Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Guavapass Giveaways- Gifts from Sustainability Fair

Hi readers, I am glad to announce that Green Living in Dubai has brought gifts for our readers from Dubai Sustainability Fair held last Friday, thanks to GuavaPass!

What Giveaway winners will get?
  • GuavaPass has very generously offered passes for 2 weeks of unlimited fitness classes across Dubai for TWO of our lucky readers. In this pass you can get access to hundreds of workout options including yoga, cycling, boot camp, pilates, crossfit, dance, martial art and much more.
  • A really special rate of AED 349/month (compared to their normal rate of AED 449/month) for first 12 months
  • You don't have to sign up for the 12 months in advance; the pass auto-renews each month and  pay as you go. You can always stop the payment though.

This way, we are promoting 'Healthy Sustainable Living'. I have just started taking different fitness classes, which otherwise I haven't even thought of trying. And believe me it's not just fitness, it's very enjoyable too. This fun part keeps one motivated to do workout regularly, at least in my case. :)

GuavaPass is online platform that has just landed in Dubai, giving members access to community of premium fitness studios and healthy-living experts. Founded in Singapore by team of passionate entrepreneurs GuavaPass was created to change the way people pursue healthy living.  Once members joins they remain part of the community even when they travel, having access to thousands of classes across Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Shanghai, Australia and now Middle East.

To enter in the draw to stand chance to win 2 weeks GuavaPass, all we are asking is send us some love in return!

To be eligible to win this giveaway complete these 3 steps.

Step 1:
Follow GuavaPass on Instagram/ Like their Facebook page

Step 2:
Follow Green Living in Dubai on Instagram and/or Twitter
Share our Facebook page on your wall. 
Comment on this post with your name. Don't forget this step, we need your name to announce the winners :).

Two lucky winners will be announced in next week on 4th November. Good Luck!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Dubai's Sustainability Fair

Last Friday Green Living in Dubai attended Dubai's first Sustainability Fair as one of the official blogger of the event. Here is special post for our readers.

Sustainability fair with a beautiful tagline 'Let's sustain sustainability' was hosted by Dubai Chamber of commerce and Muse Dubai at Dubai garden center, (one of my favorite place to visit, when I miss lush greenery). As a sustainability professional, Dubai Chamber of commerce is that one organization I have deep respect, for their sustainability policy, leadership and implementation. They are one of a great example of how to incorporate elements of sustainability in region.

So when I came to know about this fair hosted by them I was more than happy to get involved. Muse Dubai arranged the event very creatively inviting sustainable businesses and social organizations across Dubai for the fair.

There were fun activities and eco friendly workshops for kids and adults like pottery making by Ideyna, hula hoop, Dubai drums making it a very enjoyable friday evening for everyone. Social Organizations like Al Noor Training Center, SNF Development center, Enable, Manzil center had put their stalls to sell beautiful things handmade by special needs people.

One can be stylish, while living sustainable! To prove this Eco friendly fashion companies in UAE like innovative Bye Bye Rascal who make jewelry out of Vietnam War era bombs, Wildwood who make eco friendly sunglasses, Baembu who make tee shirts out of bamboo, Future fashion which is one place to buy sustainable fashion brand from around the world, Toms were selling their products in fair.

Guavapass and Organic foods and cafe were there to promote healthy living and healthy eating. My favorite eco store, The change Initiative had their stall selling everything sustainable.

Social, Economic and Environment these are three pillars of 'Sustainable Living'. And three of them were present in first edition of The Sustainability Fair! Organizers promised to return with second edition of the fair next year even bigger and better.

Check out our Instagram for more photos.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Preschool Learn and Play- Eco Friendly Way

As my son is growing older, he is demanding more engaging play time. I keep finding different ways to entertain him through which he can also learn things and won't loose his interest too soon in the activity.

I make sure these fun learning activities will make my preschooler eco aware too. Here are few such activities we do regularly.

Firstly when we go outdoors, even if  it is the outdoor landscape area around our building I let my boy explore nature surrounding him. Let him pick up leaves, collect stones, run behind birds. His clothes get dirty sometimes, but I let him select his natural toy instead of carrying toys when we go outdoors. He has learnt singing 'twinkle twinkle little star' by watching stars most of the evenings last winter.
It is beautiful to watch when he is mindful of ants queuing in park. He even talked to them few things and said bye to them :)
Stamping with vegetables
Learning numbers
  • Colouring: All kids love to play with colours. But instead of giving him drawings to fill up colours all the time, I prefer giving him blank papers and let his imagination fly freely. Colouring with fingers is messy but fun and they get to explore the texture as well. I always select toxic free colours and then we use vegetables like okra, potato, carrot, onion for stamping.
  • Learning numbers: My son loves to collect stones and dry sticks from outdoors. We always let him play with it. When he brings those stones and sticks and other natural toys I store them and let him lay with them even at home. He loves to learning counting of numbers with stones specially.
  • Music: we create music out of anything, though it can get noisy sometimes but it develops creativity in kids. Ruhaan loves making music out of his green toys like stones and using dry sticks on drum.
  • Learning colours and shapes: To do this best way is to go outdoors. From my experience, Kids learn fast the colours of tree, sky, flowers etc than what they see in books.
  • Creating art: All children love sticking activity. To create art, first we visit outdoors, park, beach and collect natural collectibles like feathers of birds, dried leaves and flowers etc. Then all do is give him glue stick, blank paper and all his collectibles. He loves to stick them on paper and creates art from his imagination.
Collage out of natural collectibles
I am sure most of the readers must have remembered their childhood after reading this. We were exposed to nature more than our kids in this digital era. So it is more important now that we motivate our children to play outdoors more, or let them play with natural items than just dumping them with iPads, do you agree?


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Global March Againast Extiction in Dubai

This Saturday, on 3rd October we been to this event, 'Families march Against Extinction' organized by Rhino Conservation Dubai at Kings School. Same time (Oct 3rd and 4th) people throughout the world to be precise from 136 cities globally marched as once voice against extinction.

More than 36,000 elephants are being killed every year so their tusks can be carved into ivory trinkets. A rhino is slaughtered once every 6 hours for its horn. If this continues within the next decade our two largest land mammals will only remain in captivity.

The march arranged at Kings Dubai was the only march in entire Middle East! Everyone came wearing black or white in empathy with rhinos. There were lot of activities for families and mainly children attending the march. One of it was banner for the march.

There was also decorate a rhino competition. Students from their primary school made cut outs of 797 rhinos representing 797 rhinos lost in South Africa this year. Children attending this march decorated them creatively. It was very educational activity, as my son can now always remember how rhino looks and "there can not be a rhino without it's horn". A big message! isn't it? After decorating rhinos they were placed in Africa shaped yard, where they belong.

Patsy Stagman of Rhino Conservation Dubai, told her in speech the actual situation of this issue. Kruger National Park in South Africa which is home of 78% of planets remaining rhinos has 12 poaching gangs, with only 50 rangers to night patrol 6,000 square miles. Horn poached reaches Hanoi within 30 hours and we live in between two! If our generation don't take action now, our children might not inherit wildlife in Africa and Asia.

But as a hope Airlines, shipping lines and airports are starting to close up the trade routes. Emirates airlines are would leader in this issue. Education in Vietnam and China might be impacting the demand at last. Result of media attention and celebrating promoting the cause; sentences for poaching and wildlife trafficking are increasing.

The enthusiastic crowd at march, was a great example how people relate themselves to this crisis. Parents supporting and helping their children in taking part in activities at march, as well as awareness and creativity in children both was equally appreciable.

We couldn't help but buy a beautiful handmade crochet rhino from the stalls at the march. The proceedings from the sale went in developing Rhino Revolution facility in South Africa. This facility will be soon be functional and will take care of orphaned calves and rhinos.

We definitely are going to take part in next march and are determined to find more ways to get involved in this cause more actively. Hope to see you there next year!


Thursday, October 1, 2015

A morning spent in Creek Park

Hi readers, it's been a while I didn't write my new post. My son started nursery last month, it took me a while to enjoy my free time without thinking of him :). Finally today on first day of new month, I could spend a great morning alone at Creekpark, as weather is getting better. Walking barefoot on grass without any bag on shoulder or having to run behind the little man. Taking a easy stroll on my pace, taking in the surrounding without a worry that I might lost my runner if I don't keep watch on him.

I realized how much I missed my me-time in past few years. But of course on the other hand my mind was making a list of what activities me and my son can do next time we are in park :). But when I sat down under the shade of a tree, listening to chirping birds; the sustainability professional in me started wondering how much water consumption of this park must be for a day in peak summer? These parks and green areas in UAE are great new habitat for birds, you almost forget you are in dessert. But the load on water desalination in terms of energy must be unimaginably high. That lush green grass, which we love to walk on, is it worth spending that much water or energy?
Creek Park, Men At Work, Natural Goodies gathered for my son

Of course there are local trees and flora fauna used in parks like Ghaf trees etc. But for aesthetic reasons are not widely used. They don't even provide a wide shade, which you would require in parks functionally. I came across a park maintenance supervisor who was cutting branches for maintenance purpose. When I talked to him about it. He told me few days back because of some technical issues irrigation water was cut off in the park. When I asked him, did these trees and flower started drying? He told me large trees are not affected if there is no irrigation for few days. but grass and flowing bushes started drying. From that conversation I felt, why don't Dubai municipality save water by not watering large trees every day? Of course I am not saying they are overwatering, but if trees can sustain, it is worth trying. But water consumption for grass is definitely higher than these trees and something has to be done for that, is what I feel sincerely.

In sustainable development (green buildings) principles there is attention given to things like water consumption of landscape areas, selection of the species of flora and fauna depending on their water demands. But there are no such regulations for parks as of now. May be Dubai government can take initiative and start a good practice for " developed parks in desserts and managing their water demands".

After a good food for brain and a serene time for myself I gathered few natural goodies like feathers, dried leaves of different shapes, dried flowers and sticks for my son. And just when I was about to leave the park spotted my favorite a blue winged Indian roller!

When you go outdoors, you feel happier!