Rasha Saleh, environmental activist
Rasha Saleh, environmental activist Image Credit: Supplied

Rasha Saleh, environmental activist, Dubai

“I wanted to assess my performance and changes I’ve made so far towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle,” says Rasha Saleh, Dubai-based environmental activist. Born in Abu Dhabi, Rasha graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Environmental and water engineering from the American University of Sharjah.

The challenge, she says, offered her a chance to spread the message that one person can also make a difference. “The challenge was also a chance for me to push myself and say no even when it’s not convenient. It opened my eyes to how much plastic and meat I consume on a daily basis.”

Founder of a social media platform called Enta Green UAE where she spreads word on the beauty of local nature, talks about conservation locally and globally, Rasha is currently a conservation education and outreach coordinator in the education team working on its programme Connect with Nature.

She shares her 5-day Sustainable Challenge diary:

Going plastic-free: “During the 5-day challenge, among the many things, I carried my own my refillable water bottle, , did take away breakfast, oats with milk in a glass jar, used my no-package, no-waste deodorant bar and shampoo. No single-use plastic, no food waste through the 5 days. I refused a plastic water bottle in a meeting. Had a veggie bowl for lunch- dine in. Had my coffees in a glass cup. My snack at the gym came in paper bag. Ordered a smoothie at a petrol station and got it filled in my reusable cup. I carried my own bamboo cutlery.”

Going meatless: “I avoided meat at restaurants [for my meals]. Ordered salad and meatless pasta instead. For Brunch on Day 2, I prepared a hammoumi sandwich and had salad for dinner. I had vegetarian pizza instead of a doner sandwich and vegan snacks. I would have usually had some chicken sandwiches and meat meals during the 5 days.”

Eat local, buy local: “The eggs I ate for breakfast were local. Halloumi was from Lebanon. Vegetables were locally grown. For the rest of the time, I did not shop during the last three days as I was always on the move.”