Implementing Energy Savers At Huddersfield's Only Eco-Mosque
Google the words 'eco mosque' and in the top 3 million results not one will direct you to Huddersfield. This is because there hav...
Google the words 'eco mosque' and in the top 3 million results not one will direct you to Huddersfield. This is because there haven't been any environmentally active mosques in my hometown, since, like, ever. Until now.
With over 16 mosques across the region, this small but metropolitan town has built a great network of Islamic institutions, including the university's Islamic Society and An-Naseeha Foundation. There are no visible Muslim enviro-activists though. There's your average home dawah groupies, the street preachers, variant mosque committees and academic types but for someone a little more eclectic like I, I've been looking for a greener base to call home.
Our mosque, in the middle of our street
Anware-Madina masjid is located in a strong community where people look out for one another and there's a sense of dignity amongst their work. As a recently renovated building, the mosque is open to all and a pretty neat place for new Muslims, education and drama. Well, you can't have a Muslim centre without drama, it's law. Just between you and I - some of the dramas included tiffs over a new gym, martial arts classes, and a change in educational curriculum. Yet with those ongoing issues in the background, it's the friendlier face I'm happy to be promoting.
Our community mosque is trying out for healthier menus this Ramadan. There is a chart for people to designate themselves as "iftar caterers" with 48hrs notice. All food is calculated to avoid waste and nearly everything leftover is distributed amongst the people. This sharing of food is a particular Muslim tradition since we like to be good hosts, even in our mosques.
To reduce water wastage the organisers wipe their plates clean and soak the dishes before washing. Cold water is used instead of hot and during this Ramadan more effort has been made to recycle the plastic cups and cutlery. I remarked on use of more eco-friendly cleaning products so that's a future investment insha'Allah - God willing.
A meeting was held recently with architects about replacing the current lights with low-energy tubing - more cost effective than lots of smaller halogen bulbs. The masjid accountant has a monthly job of analying the electric bills to figure out how to reduce energy consumption over peak timings such as Muslim wedding seasons (niqah) and the `Eid festival. The more activities they accomplish during daylight hours, the less they need to rely on lighting during evening and at night.
The mosque is looking into getting a grant for its construction including basic building work and a lift for the disable, and more creative projects such as an installation of solar panels and a vegetable garden for children.
Already recycling bins have appeared outside and no scrap of paper is thrown away. It's reused, shredded for composting and recycled. The vegetable garden will require more involvement from women gardeners as the men are usually beard-high in "business matters" and several pots of herbs and flowers decorate the outside.
It's a great start to a wonderful initiative. May God bless it and its team to grow from strength and provide support for its members.
Image + The Eco Muslim
More environmentally active centres:
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Green Ramadan: How To Form A Green Mosque Committee
The Green Mosque, winner of Faith in Place
Sufi Saint Inspires World's First Eco-Shrine In India
Good Deed: Keep Your Masjid And Home Clean