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10 Things Every Green Mosque Should Have

Using ideas from The Eco Muslim Green Mosque Guide , here are some must-have environmentally friendly features that will act as the "...

Using ideas from The Eco Muslim Green Mosque Guide, here are some must-have environmentally friendly features that will act as the "green" platform for a house of worship. Tick them off as you reach these goals or pick just 3 that your mosque can definitely do!


Here are the Top Ten Things every eco-mosque should have.

1) A Garden
No Eco-Mosque should be without a colourful flower patch, fruit trees and a vegetable plot. Any unused space outdoors can be fenced and converted into a garden, and indoors-small pots, hanging baskets or large containers can be used to grow herbs and spices.

Community gardens become a lifelong joy and children get a buzz knowing that they're coming to the mosque to plant seeds and watch flowers grow.

And the best thing? No need to buy a bag of berries when Muslims can simply step outside to pick a fruit salad.

2) Solar panels
Solar panelling is a gift that keeps giving. Although they can eat up a fair portion of the mosque's annual budget, once installed on the roof or as a chic outdoor 'solar tree', they potentially cut energy bills up to 50%, according to Energy Saving Trust (EST). My local mosque in Huddersfield has invested in several awesome solar panels and over in Turkey, a a village mosque in Büyükeceli is almost entirely powered by solar panels.

3) Renewable energy
Light: Natural lighting from large skylights reduces the dependency on electricity. It makes sense too: use more glass to save on building material costs. By creating this 'greenhouse' effect, a mosque has the best passive-heating and cooling system, plenty of light for an airy atmosphere, and a ready-made green roof.

Insulation: Using locally generated energy from ground heat pumps, an Eco-Mosque has an almost zero carbon footprint, like Cambridge Mosque that will use conservation technology for its thermal energy.

Wind turbines are a must in mosque minarets. The proposed eco-mosque in Norderstedt, Germany, will be one of the first to use its 22-metre towers with 1.5 metre glass rotor blades to each generate a third of the building's electricity.

And if there isn't space for a giant wind turbine, a hot alternative is the recycled bubble pods shown on Huffington Post - Marine Solar Cells - that harness both solar and wave power to increase energy capture.

4) Community Litter Clean-ups
Easy and free, nothing says "we care" like a street clean-up. Get 10 volunteers to spring clean the mosque each month, and take it outside. I take inspiration from ShINE Muslim Environmentalists in Sheffield who swept and picked up litter from their street and took garbage off residents for recycling. I've seen how dirty and littered streets put you off walking there, and criminality seems to be linked to rundown, polluted areas.

Recycling bins are therefore an easy way to direct people into action. Ringing up the local council for a green bin and hanging up a sign or two helps mosque-goers know what to do with their trash and food packaging. An Eco-Mosque would be a big supporter of keeping its local community, and the streets it's on, welcoming, free of rubbish and clean

5) Eco-Islam workshops
The only way to get a message across is to be an example and DO. Eco-Mosques would hold educational seminars for adults to demonstrate how they can reduce waste and their carbon footprint at home. And clear, bold guides will help members maintain a healthy mosque environment. Members like to know what their mosque is doing, so by organising eco-Islamic workshops, the green spirit is being shared and celebrated.

6) Eco-Children Leaders
Taking the message to the little people is really important too as they are the next generation of Muslim leaders. School teachers can be invited to provide fun educational materials on science and health for mosque children, and more mature students can lead the younger in eco-projects such as gardening classes, recycling artwork and outdoor fitness activities.

An Eco-Mosque will also wise up to larger health issues on smoking, alcohol and drug addictions. By having hands-on activities on these issues, good mental and physical health messages will be reinforced. I believe these ideas only really work when mosque teachers and Imams receive training first.

7) Water management
Water recycling ethics are embedded in Islam's Eco-Wudhu. The Prophet, peace be upon him, warned against "squandering" water even if near a gushing river and many mosques have state-of-the-art wudhu facilities where used water is recycled to feed plants.

One idea is to install water-saving devices such as movement-sensor taps. The Al-Markaz Al-Najmi mosques in Manchester, England, installed infra-red taps in 2008 which limited congregants' water wastage.

8) Food management
Mosques are notoriously known for throwing away plastic Styrofoam cups and leftover food from Muslim celebrations. But a true Mosque would have a completely greener attitude.

Just as Ramadan Iftaar charts in mosques list which member will host the evening meal, `Eid and Jum`uah dinner celebrations should focus on asking each individual (or family) to bring a dish to feed two people, a sort of "pot luck" dinner. This is in line with the Prophet's advice, peace be upon him, that one meal should be enough to feed two.
"Food for one is enough for two and food for two is enough for three and food for three is enough for four." - Bukhari + Muslim


+ Get the Green Ramadan Zero-Trash Kit

Local residents can be invited to tuck in, more food events should be catered to the homeless and on days when there is too much food, it can be distributed in reusable foil tins or frozen.

9) Bike-a-thons
Some mosques have car parks, but most Muslims who use cars to arrive have to park on the pavements, further away from the entrances, creating traffic jams and increased carbon emissions.

Local Muslim dad, Abdur Rashid, cycled over 180 miles to raise $22K for his daughter's school Al-Huda, an incentive that we should be using our energy and creativity to boost our Islamic futures.

For greener transportation, Eco-Mosques should provide ample space for parking bikes and plan out biking routes to beat the afternoon and after work congestion.

Read more + Cycle or Walk? Travel Green in Ramadan

10) Greener Architecture
Domes: Although seemingly a design intended to beautify, domes have always had an environmentally friendly function. As the dome is heated by the sun, it draws air from inside the mosques and releases it, acting as a natural cooling system.

Solar panelling, wind turbines and photovoltaic panels are the best alternatives to meeting an Eco-Mosques's electricity needs. Greenpeace provided photovoltaic panels for the Turkish mosque in Büyükeceli which were installed within 10 days.

Green materials: For the ultimate Eco-Mosque construction, sustainable materials are the only way to go. Think reclaimed stone, sustainable wood, solar panels and energy efficient glass panes.

Here's making a du`a (supplication) that all our mosques will become Eco-Mosques!

Image + Green Mosque, Khamhbat (Wikimedia)

Peace + eco-jihad.
Zaufishan, The Eco Muslim

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Post a Comment

  1. Energy Saving Warehouse21 Aug 2013, 10:38:00

    Interesting

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your feedback (:

    ReplyDelete
  3. Visit masjidhamza.co.uk and see we have a roof full of solar panels. for more info email me saifer_rehman@hotmail.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have just got in touch with the masjid Saifer, and I'm really interested in knowing why solar tech was installed. Please do share your work insha-Allah.
    (:

    ReplyDelete

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