Food! It’s a big part of Ramadan. After fasting from food and drink from the onset of sunrise, we all look forward to the sunset when we can eat together at a community iftar. Somewhere between saying “Bismillah” and that first bite, let’s infuse some perspective and mindfulness into our worship. Let’s rectify our stomachs with the Sunnah.
As Muslims our interactions with nature should be grounded in the principles of rahmah (mercy), shukr (gratitude) and mizan (moderation). The blessings of eating in community should be balanced with how we eat in community. Surely our attitudes and appetites would change for the better if at the start of each iftar we see a picture of the mounds of garbage created by unchecked cravings and thoughtless actions from the previous iftar. Ramadan is the perfect time of the year to actively address issues of wastefulness, over-consumption, hunger and global warming.
TAKE THE GOOD TREE VILLAGE RAMADAN CHALLENGE!
- Let us know who you are and where you’re from. Add your first name, last initial, and location as a comment to this blog post.
- Try at least one Ramadan Challenge. Start when you want. Stop when you want. Start again.
- Share the Ramadan Challenge with your friends.
- We said vegetarian, but go ahead and keep eggs, milk and other dairy products in your diet. Just try to keep away from anything that has a face until the weekend.
- Already vegan or vegetarian? Welcome! But please share at least one of your favorite recipes.
Illustration by Sam Kerr
What are the benefits of WEEKDAY VEGETARIAN IFTARS
- Eating less meat is healthier for our bodies.
- It takes a lot of resources (water, feed, land) to put meat on our tables.
- Eating less meat is easier on our wallets.
- Experience the challenges of being vegan / vegetarian in a “carnivorous” religion.
What are the benefits of NO TRASH IFTARS?
- Save your iftar host (your masjid, your fellow Muslim, yourself) money on all the disposable dinnerware they must purchase to feed others.
- Reduce the waste added to landfills after feeding family, friends and community. Let’s feed our communities without trashing our planet.
- Get in the Ramadan spirit. Reusable dishware is more durable and often more attractive than disposables. You can use what you already have, but eating on special reusable dishware used just for Ramadan, for every Ramadan, adds a touch of beauty and tradition to iftar celebrations.
Need help GETTING STARTED?
Treehugger has a rack of easy vegetarian recipes. Browse the recipes at Moosewood Restaurant or go to your local library and check out vegetarian cookbooks.
The Preserve On the Go Tableware Party Pack is pretty much one-stop shopping. They are made from recycled plastic and post-consumer paper; lightweight but sturdy and can withstand hundreds of uses; dishwasher safe; and BPA- and melamine-free. Find them at My Organic Market (MOMs), Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.
For those with more adventurous tastes, check out this colorful, eclectic, durable No Trash Iftar Kit which contains:
- a BPA-free tumbler
- a SnackTAXI Organic Twice-as-Nice Napkin
- a bamboo To-Go Ware CONSERVE Utensil Set
- a stainless steel divided food tray and double-walled bowl from The Tickle Trunk, and
- a collapsible market tote
Take the Good Tree Village Ramadan Challenge and reap even more spiritual, economic and physical benefits of fasting this Ramadan, inshaAllah. For additional opportunities to green your Ramadan, check out 10 Ways to Green Your Ramadan.
Tell us how it goes: What’s been the reaction of people in your community? What’s your favorite vegetarian recipe? Does your meat taste more delectable on the weekend or has it lost a bit of its luster?