Egyptians are becoming more aware of their environmental impact day by day. We no longer deal with the cause as facts and numbers, but instead, we’ve started taking a stand. From grassroots movements to governmental initiatives and individual efforts. A great example we’ve come across was Zero-Waste Egypt, an Instagram account dedicated to promoting the zero-waste lifestyle to Egyptians. We had a quick chat with the woman behind it all, Eman Mossallam, about her personal journey and how people can follow in her footsteps.
Tell us more about how you started your zero-waste journey, and why you decided to share it with others?
I’ve always been environmentally aware from a very young age, but I didn’t know how to channel it into a lifestyle. That was until I found out about living a zero-waste life. I decided to create this public Instagram page so I can try to motivate and inspire others who want to make a difference and don’t know where to start.
Via Zero-Waste Egypt
What was the most challenging part of your journey?
I can’t say there was a challenging part per se. You start with what you’re comfortable with and you up your game one step at a time. What might be challenging for one person could be a starting point for someone else.
The eco-friendly lifestyle is still not widely common in Egypt, so it’s hard to adapt easily; how can people start reducing their waste?
Environmental awareness is growing vastly in Egypt, and adapting or doing a few changes is not as hard as you think. I’ve shared lots of tips and tricks on how to start reducing your waste on my Instagram account, but the easiest step/advice I would give for reducing our waste is to purchase less. That means fewer clothes, buy exactly what we’ll eat, use what you already have, and to not fall for the greenwashing marketing campaigns.
Where to find affordable eco-friendly products in Egypt?
We’ve always had eco-friendly products in Egypt, but we never had the proper PR campaign for it! You can find natural loofahs (baladi loofah) in every local souq, and you can find almost everything you need at your local spice store. Also, you can DIY most of your toiletries; like deodorant, toothpaste, body lotion, and even all-purpose cleaner, all of which you’ll find in detail on my page @zerowaste.egypt.
Via Zero-Waste Egypt
What would be your resolution on this year’s World Environment Day?
Start composting, I’ve been putting this off for a while because it looks intimidating, but it’s about time I find a better way to dispose of our organic waste.
By Nadine Arab