Tell us about yourself.
My name is Yara, born and raised in Abu Dhabi, a city that has always been my home and a source of inspiration. I’m deeply passionate about life’s simple pleasures, including music, poetry, and sports. But what truly fuels my spirit is my work in sustainability. It’s my way of giving back to both people and our precious planet, offering me a profound sense of purpose and fulfillment.
What inspired you to embrace eco-friendly practices and make a shift towards sustainability?
My inspiration springs from witnessing the healthier and simpler lifestyle of the older generation in my dad’s family. They embodied practices like walking instead of driving, minimal waste generation, resourceful cooking, organic gardening, and strong social connections. Those experiences instilled in me the value of a more sustainable way of life.
What are the primary steps you take to integrate eco-friendly practices into your lifestyle?
My approach is straightforward. I identify eco-friendly practices relevant to my context, plan how to implement them, involve others to raise awareness, and ensure I maintain consistency in my decisions.
Share some of the most effortless yet impactful eco-friendly changes you’ve made in your daily routine.
Effortless yet impactful changes in my daily routine include eliminating single-use plastics (water bottles, shopping bags, straws, cutlery), minimizing paper use, donating items I no longer use, practicing energy and water conservation, and opting for eco-friendly, biodegradable products.
What difficulties have you encountered while striving to live in an environmentally conscious manner?
One challenge I face is the lack of proper waste segregation and recycling infrastructure in my current location, which limits my ability to recycle effectively.
Describe rewarding moment on your sustainability journey
Among many rewarding moments, being selected as an Eco Ambassador by the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi in 2022 stands out as a particularly special achievement.
What are some misconceptions about being eco-friendly that you’d like to debunk?
One common misconception is that eco-friendliness revolves solely around recycling, whereas preventing waste generation in the first place is even more critical and should be prioritized.
From your perspective, how does technology contribute to the promotion of sustainable practices and attitudes?
Technology plays a vital role in promoting eco-friendly practices through awareness campaigns, sustainability platforms, and educational content accessible worldwide. Moreover, it aids in the production of high-quality, bio-based, reusable materials, advancing various sustainable solutions.
How do you plan on continuing your sustainability journey? What other aspects do you plan to change?
I’m planning to start composting food waste at my home soon and reduce my online shopping to minimize excessive packaging waste.
Lastly, how do you think we can ensure that eco-friendly options and choices are available and attainable for a diverse range of individuals?
By increasing awareness and encouraging more individuals to adopt eco-friendly practices, we create a higher demand for sustainable options. This, in turn, drives market competitiveness, resulting in a wider array of diverse, high-quality, and affordable eco-friendly choices for everyone.