Are you falling back into your old and not-so-healthy routines? Here are a few ways to make some not-so-drastic but helpful and sustainable changes.
Words by Ipshita Sharma
Carry your own bag
It is such a simple thing but makes such a difference. Even one bag contributes to the overwhelming amount of plastic that needs to be disposed of. Most groceries sell reusable bags and the ubiquitous tote is an easy addition to your handbag or rucksack. Spinney’s supermarket has gone one further and asks customers to drop off clean plastic bags for other shoppers to use.
While a plant-based diet may sound difficult to keep up, you’d be surprised at how much there still is for vegans to eat – especially now that restaurants are adding more options to their menus. Try it, even if just once a week, and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Say no to straws
Single-use plastic is polluting our oceans. Avoid plastic straws where you can, or buy a wooden or metal one and bring it with you. You can also ask for no cutlery when you order takeaway. The turtles thank you! Many food outlets have ditched plastic nasties and Rove Hotels even lets customers exchange plastic bottles for dining credits.
Head to the farms
Ripe Market and the Farmers’ Market on the Terrace are just of the many small farmers’ markets propping up around the city. Not only are they a great day out, but the fruit and veg they sell are grown locally, cutting down that carbon footprint and ensuring an income for regional growers. If you’re more of the ‘click-it’ generation, then you can always get goodness delivered to your door.
This one’s a no-brainer, though Dubai doesn’t really allow for this all year round. After work, walk around your block or to the supermarket, instead of ordering over the phone or online. At the weekends, hit one of the emirate’s many parks, where for as little as AED 5 admission, you get access to acres of beautiful grass and dedicated walking tracks.
Cook up a storm
This is where you use the fabulous food and veg you got from the farmer’s market! Eating in more helps not only your health but also the environment, with less waste and fuel costs. A good place to start is brown rice (an easily available brand is India Gate) and greens like a locally found rocket (jarjeer in Arabic) and spinach. Add some protein and off you go! Can’t cook but want to? We took a crash course in healthy cooking at Culinary Boutique.
If the first few weeks at the gym have convinced you that exercising is not your thing, sign up to ClassPass fitness app for a free two-week trial to find out what really gets you going. Whether it’s on the pole, or riding a bike, just get out there and get moving. Also, read our guide to the best yoga studios in Dubai.
Why is our skin always taken for granted? Baz Luhrmann is insistent about sunscreen and so are we, because after all, we live in a desert. This goes true for both men and women, by the way.
Read all about it
Cut down your screen time by shutting off an hour before bed. Read, catch up with a friend or call your parents. In fact, you could even take a trip to Dubai’s Old Library and pick out your next analogue read.
Shop with intention
Spend your money somewhere that will make a difference to people who need it. The Al Noor Smiles ‘N Stuff Shop has a range of fantastic items, from bookmarks to tote bags, and handbags to cookies, all made by the students.
While you could easily go to Dubai Garden Centre and call it a day, go a step further and support Enable, an initiative partly run by the centre that sells succulents and garden arrangements and supports differently enabled youth. Not only will you increase the oxygen around you, but you’ll help someone too. Prices start from AED 40.
Recycle and reuse
Recycling bins are now a pretty common sight around Dubai, so make sure you take advantage. Keep household goods and fast fashion out of the dumpsters – with Dubai flea market and social media pages selling second-hand items, you can make some cash or furnish your home and yourself for a fraction of the price of new.