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The Best Eco-Friendly Gift Options in the UAE
Posted on Nov 04, 2013 by Luke James
Not often known for its environmental credentials, it can be hard to come by environmentally conscious products and gifts for others in the UAE. We explore some of the best options for those looking to give green.
The explosive growth of the UAE over the past few decades has been a monument to the ingenuity of the human spirit, a testament to what can be created when there is sufficient will (and capital). But this growth is often at odds with environmental concerns and comparative to other nations, the UAE has been relatively slow to adopt ecologically friendly processes and products, leading to its somewhat murky reputation as having one of the world's heaviest ecological footprints.
But there has been a growing groundswell of support for more ecologically sustainable ways of doing things. From the introduction of expansive bike trail networks to the recent construction of what’s being touted as the world’s greenest building, there are a number of initiatives being implemented to increase the environmental credibility of the UAE. We explore a selection of some of the best places to source environmentally friendly products in the UAE.
The Change Initiative
This massive 4,000 square metre retail shop provides a wealth of sustainable solutions to customers whilst practicing what it preaches. The Change Initiative’s building in Dubai has been named the ‘Greenest Building in the World’ according to the U.S. Green Building Council, awarding it 107 out of a possible 110 LEED points. The structure is a impressive means of showing that if Dubai can build the largest, it can also make the greenest.
The Change Initiative is dedicated to delivering sustainable foods and products that are stylish and ecologically sound whilst educating consumers on the benefits of living a more sustainable lifestyle. With an exclusive range of suppliers that go through a rigorous selection process, The Change Initiative is one of the only places in the UAE to finds brands such as Vitra who produce beautiful, high quality home and office furniture with a low environmental impact, and elegant kitchenware like the Kyoto GreenPan, an up-cycled aluminium frying pan.
Nespresso Coffee Pods
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for coffee lovers it’s tough to look past Nespresso’s coffee pods. Their innovative system of using aluminium coffee pods through customized filtration units has revolutionized the home brewed coffee market, allowing for cafe quality coffee from the comfort and convenience of your home.
Nespresso has recently launched a recycling service for used capsules; offering a range of collection points or a handy pick up service that collects old capsules when new ones are ordered.
From the collection points, the capsules are gathered by Bee’ah, the Middle East’s leading and award-winning fully integrated environment and waste management company. The beans are separated from the aluminium casings, and the loose grains are then used as fertilizer while the aluminium is reused to make new aluminium products. The process of reusing aluminium requires 95 percent less energy than sourcing new aluminium, meaning you can sip your coffee knowing that you’re doing so in an environmentally conscious manner.
Anu Agarwal first opened the doors to TheGreenEcoStore in 2011 after finding it difficult to source eco-friendly products in Dubai. Since then, thanks to a dedicated retail store on the ground floor of the Mercato Mall and an expansive website,TheGreenEcoStore has blossomed into the perfect, all in one destination for eco conscious consumers.
The store offers a range of products that are either handmade, recycled, recyclable, reusable, organic, sustainable, biodegradable or environmentally safe, and shoppers are guaranteed that products which are green: easily absorbed into the ecosystem without compromising on quality.
Stocking a huge range of products with everything from solar gadgets to bamboo kitchenware and soy candles to eco friendly toys for the kids, you’re sure to find the perfect gift no matter who it’s for or what your budget is.
With spare time at a premium these days, often the best ways to source a gift for friends or loved ones is online. The following stores are a great place to start for those that want to peruse a wealth of eco-friendly options from the comfort of your home:
Ekotribe is dedicated to helping people reduce their carbon footprint in terms of the products we use at work and home on a regular basis. With an expansive range of items including green gift bags, eco-friendly toys, organic beauty products and more, Ekotribe is a great first stop for those looking to give the gift of green.
Tatiana Antonelli Abella and Randala Jishi Anabtawi were disappointed with the availability of information in the UAE about environmentally sustainable products and services, so they took it upon themselves to create Goumbook, an online directory for all things green in the Middle East. Whilst still a great resource for green information, news and events, the green directory has now grown to include an expansive online store with a great range of green goodies that make ideal gifts.
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