Three local eco-experts shared their top tips for living a more sustainable lifestyle in the UAE
Better Living magazine teamed up with Cosentino to host the ‘Better Design Breakfast’ panel on ‘how to design an eco-friendly home in Dubai’. The three experts speaking on the topic were local sustainability specialists Rukhsana Kausar from Liquid for Life, Jo England from TRIBE, and Nadeem Khan from Think Upcycle. Attracting a large crowd, the event took place at Cosentino’s showroom in D3 and was moderated by Sophia Dyer, Deputy Editor of Better Living.
As climate change remains a hot topic around the world, for us folk living in the desert, the topic of sustainable living is becoming increasingly important. With the UAE’s sustainable vision of 2021 looking to improve the country’s eco-footprint, many residents have started to take heed of their own actions, but where do the experts suggest we begin?
“Tackle a room at a time”
Rukhsana Kausar, Founder of Liquid of Life
Rukhsana Kausar set up water filtration company Liquid of Life in 2009 in order to address the massive dependency on single use plastic bottles in the UAE. Their currently working with over 150 corporate businesses and have helped over 2000 households switch to filtered drinking water.
“When you’re trying to bring about improvements in your home, I suggest taking it room by room,” says Rukhsana. “Over the past year, as the majority of the population around the world have been spending a lot of time indoors, it’s those small changes that can help bring about significant improvement in living situations. Sustainability is still quite mainstream, and there’s a big gap between actually taking action because people are still wasteful,” she says.
“Bringing in natural products- be it dried flowers or other items for furnishing do look a lot better and it feels like you’re brining nature into your home. The impact these actions have on mental health and wellbeing makes you connected to your space as well.”
“Question where your items come from”
Jo England, Founder of TRIBE
Australian designer Jo England’s home decor brand TRIBE sources ethically made products from over 1000 artisans from 25 countries around the world. With the aim of creating products that are biodegradable and good for the environment, Jo focuses on combining design and creativity to deliver boho-style products that have a minimal impact on the environment.
As far as individual changes go, Jo advises to, “questions where your items come from, and to be careful when you purchase items from big brands. There’s a lot of greenwashing these days, and it’s become a trend to be eco-conscious,” she explains.
“Do your research. There are many homegrown eco-brands in the country, and they are just a click away on Google or Instagram. It should be a conscious choice to know what you’re buying, where it comes from and who it supports,” Jo states.
Adding to her point, Jo thinks the power lies with the consumer, “try to talk to your local supermarkets about potential solutions to their unsustainable practices, you may even see that they’re willing to listen and improve their methods. “
“Find your why”
Nadeem Khan, Founder of Liquid of Life
Nadeem Khan’s 2019 born company, Think Upcycle was created to give new life to pre-owned furniture through the process of upcycling. The website is a hassle-free process that picks up (for free) and resells secondhand furniture items (giving the person a commission). They have also partnered with local designers to upcycle and redesign items in order to save them from ending up in the landfill.
Nadeem thinks we should start by, “find your why and determine the reason behind your conscious efforts. If you’re making the right choice for your home, you’ll end up saving a lot of money in the long run. “
The businessman went on to say, “there isn’t a single answer to sustainability. Everyone’s needs are different, and they’re affected by their living conditions, income and accessibility. But the idea is to start somewhere.”
Take a look at Cosentino’s newest ‘carbon neutral’ range here