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Doing It Eco-Friendly: Distributing Iftar

Free Iftar Meal From Sampoerna Bank (banksampoerna.com)

In fact, we produce more waste during Ramadan, especially food and plastic waste. The latter skyrockets because of huge consumption of single-use plastic packaging. In Ramadan 2021, the plastic waste in DKI Jakarta rose to 20%. Regrettably, managing those amounts of plastic waste will take multi-stakeholder contributions due to the complexity.

One Ramadan activity that potentially contributes the biggest amount of waste is giving free snacks (takjil). Many of these charity organizers don’t consider the environmental sustainability aspect and many of them use single-use plastic. Despite that, we can receive more benefits if we can reduce the use of plastics.

Islamic Perspective Towards Waste Management

The Condition of Waste Processing Center (Antara Foto / Dhemas Reviyanto)

The waste management problem doesn’t have to be seen exclusively from a scientific perspective only. A rarely discussed perspective is the religious perspective in responding to this issue. Islam, as a religion that encourages love and harmony in humans and God’s creatures, also has a perspective on waste management problems.

The Indonesian Ulema Council (Indonesian: Majelis Ulama Indonesia / MUI) released a fatwa in 2014 about waste management to prevent environmental degradation. This fatwa was formulated based on Allah’s commandment in Qur’an and hadist. One of Qur’an verses that reminds us to not destroy the earth is Surah Al-Qasas verse 77, But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.

From an Islamic perspective, humans have a role as Khalifah (leader) on earth who are responsible to protect the environment from destruction, including caused by the waste problems. God tells humans to treat all creatures well, preserve sustainability, and be grateful for all he serves to support humans’ lives.

The MUI’s fatwa resulted in a decision that obliges Muslims to maintain cleanliness, obliges the government and entrepreneurs to process waste, and prohibits the disposal of proper and reusable goods. In releasing this fatwa, MUI calls for every person to be responsible to manage their waste since maintaining the environment’s cleanliness is a part of worship. Every effort of waste management will bring benefits and blessings for those who do it.

Iftar Snacks Should Be Plastic Free

UNESA snacks for iftar (memorandum.co.id)

Charity is a prioritized worship for Muslims during Ramadan. Ramadan as a moment full of togetherness is a time to share our blessings with people in need. So, they can enjoy the blessings of Ramadan together. In Islam, there is an obligatory alms for those who can afford them, namely zakat, and other types of alms are sunnah. One of the typical Ramadan sunnah alms commonly done is giving free snacks for iftar.

Giving snacks for iftar is usually done by the community, who distributes iftar to the poor and travelers. Usually, it is held in mosques, prayer rooms, and on the streets. This charity brings many benefits to both the recipients and the donors. However, so far there are many donors who use single-use plastic to pack food. Usually, their reason to use plastic is to keep food hygiene and simplify the process of food distribution. It is very unfortunate, since we shouldn’t have to do good deeds at the expense of the environment. Therefore, it would be better if we try to find an alternative besides using plastic packaging for meals. Want to know more about the alternative? Let’s find out tips for iftar meals that are free of single-use plastic waste, so, you can #WorshipWithoutWaste.

Use Bamboo Woven Container

Balinese Rice Mix With Vegetables, Sambal, And Chips (Besek Nasi Campur) (Bali Travel News)

The woven bamboo packaging is a perfect solution for plastic-free, strong, and durable packaging. This woven material is suitable for a besek (Indonesian bamboo woven box), basket, or tampah (Indonesian bamboo woven flat container) for you to wrap and serve takjil (Ramadan snack) to be distributed. This packaging is very easy to obtain, the price is affordable, reusable, and aesthetic. This material is environmentally friendly because it can decompose naturally in nature.

Choose Less Plastic Waste Menus

Besek Takjil (Grab Food)

The choice of iftar meal menu is also important so the charity is still eco-friendly. You can choose menus that do not require additional plastic packagings such as fried foods, bolen, soes, onde-onde (fried bread with mung beans filling), apem (Indonesian traditional pancake), donuts, and others. Or, you can choose traditional snacks wrapped in banana leaves such as nagasari, lemper, lemang, lupis, serabi solo, and many more. Not only delicious, but these menus are also Indonesian people’s favorite healthy, nutritious, and environmentally friendly snacks.

Prepare Refill Waters

Free Iftar Meals In Mosque (M Risyal Hidayat / ANTARA)

Providing refill drinks and reusable glasses can be a substitute for plastic-packaged drinks. The advantage of serving refill drinks is we can choose various refreshments such as tea, syrup, or mineral water in hot or cold conditions in containers such as teapots or dispensers. In addition, we can take drinks and refill freely as we need. If you provide refill drinking water, prepare a reusable glass or encourage drinkers to use their own bottles. Refills are a smart solution to reduce the potential for waste generated from our activities.

Hopefully, these less waste iftar solutions can result in real actions. Solutions and actions are a complete package of #WorshipWithoutWaste to implement sustainable consumption and production.

This article is an educational medium from the collaboration between the Greeneration Foundation and Siklus through the Driving Refill Solution.

Author :

Aviaska Wienda Saraswati

Aviaska Wienda Saraswati

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