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Our Green Iftar At Castle Hill: Less Waste, More Nature (Photos)

On our second-to-last fast in Ramadan The Eco Muslim family drove 9 miles to have the greenest iftar we could plan within a few hours. Nex...

On our second-to-last fast in Ramadan The Eco Muslim family drove 9 miles to have the greenest iftar we could plan within a few hours. Next time insha-Allah we'll walk it or cycle for a completely carbon-free iftar.

Packing Plastic? No Thank you

For the iftar meal on 17 August 2012 we planned several warm and cold 'finger foods' and wraps. I made a lot of salad because we eat more greens than anything else. Kebabs were grilled not fried and wrapped in foil, not plastic cling-film. Foil can be reused for sandwiches, craft projects or to insulate my plants when they're first growing.

For my creative readers, make an eco-friendly resusable sandwich bag.


Phase 1: On arrival we walked around the Roman hill and spotted our favourite places.

Our vegetarian food consisted of salad and cheese wraps and thin potato wedges, which are like onion pakoras but shallow fried in a gram flour and cumin and sea salt paste instead of hot spices.

My aunt made the meaty food, a rich Indian chicken dish in tomato sauce and coriander, which we also turned into wraps on site.

Phase 2: Eco-sister Zanjbeel wills for the sun to set so we can prayer salat-ul Maghrib (the evening prayer) and eat!

Hosting An Outdoor Green Iftar Party

There are a few extra things you have to consider when hosting an eco-iftar. These are in addition to a regular indoor dinner.
  • Where is the nearest bin?
  • Is there a recycling bin on site?
  • Since we don't do plastic (we brought paper plates for storage only) how are you going to wash the dishes after eating?
  • Don't use tissue paper for serving, bring fabric napkins which you can wash - no waste, more absorbent for spills and environmentally friendly.
  • How many people are attending?
  • How much will each person eat? Give smaller portions to adults and give more greens to children.
  • Pick a spot that does not obstruct the path of others and with plenty of space to run around.
  • No benches? Go with the sunnah. Bring a water-proof nylon mats and a fabric cloth.
  • Have you brought prayer mats? Where will you pray?
  • Assign the youngest man in your group to make the adhan (call to prayer) and help the youngest girl to read the du`a (supplication). This involvement is vital.
  • Make the meal fun and happy. It got quite cold towards the iftar but we kept ourselves warm by singing and reminiscing our childhood memories.
  • Bring a few outdoor games. A tennis ball will do to play a game of catch and carry smaller children in turns on parachute fabric.
  • Bring night lanterns. The paper ones that lift in the air after lighting. Ensure you come back to pick these up! Otherwise stick a note on the lantern for return or asking the finder to dispose of it appropriately.
  • Begin your iftar meal with dates and water. Don't throw the date stones away: gather them in a pouch, wash them at home, boil and thread them together to make a natural tasbih (dhikr beads/rosary)
  • Drinking too much after an iftar meal makes you bloated so begin with half a glass of water and sip slowly 3x in between courses.
  • What hot drinks are you having?
  • Is there time for dessert on site? If not, keep them packed to have at home.
  • Don't use plastic cups, bring flasks.
  • Eat every last salad morsel (the perishables) but save more water. You can use this bottled water to wash your hands afterwards, make a quick wudhu near an unused grassy area.
  • Have you brought a bag for any rubbish?
  • Bring another water-proof bag for the fruit peelings to toss into your compost.
  • Assign a person to distribute the left-over food. Pack in foil containers or sandwich boxes.
  • Check you haven't left any food or rubbish. The smallest food piece can attract pests and spoil the natural environment.
  • Who will read the ending du`a?
Phase 3: Eco-mum sits to make dhikr. This spot is the highest in my hometown. We live in a rural town that has a good balance of the city-life and farm-life.

We were originally a part of 8 but quickly turned into 13 when my grandmother and aunt decided to tag along. So it's important to consider things like food portions and the prayer facilities. It was too cold for my grandmother, she's 70+, but we brought a blanket for her, a fold out chair and even her own wooden table.

Phase 4: Counting down the minutes to salat-ul maghrib while preparing the food and waiting for family to arrive.

Phase 5: Iftar time. It is just turning 20:40 Ukay time so we break our fast with dates, water and pray salat-ul maghrib. Our meal commences, we huddle and eat and laugh. My aunt calls us 'nutters' for coming to the coldest and highest spot lastminute.com!

Phase 6: Only one bag of rubbish, ma-sha-Allah. Those plates will be recycled so considering there were 13 of us, that's pretty good.

After sunset and iftar we watch the town light up before heading home, happy, wholesome and fulfilled.

Alhamdulillah.


Peace + eco-jihad.
Zaufishan, The Eco Muslim

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  1. That's beautiful!! MashaAllah! I think theecomuslim is a great blog! I wish you a blessed Ramadan 2013 and hopefully there will be more iftars like this in the future.. I got inspired and already plan a iftar like this myself ;)

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  2. How very kind of your message and support, I really do appreciate it and I'm even more happy that it inspired you to take up action to green up your life.
    Do consider joining the eco Muslim newsletter: http://eepurl.com/fuZmw

    Jazakallah
    Zaufishan (:

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