This page highlights ways in which individual pilgrims can perform a greener and eco-friendlier Hajj and Umrah.
A pilgrim who is performing Hajj or Umrah has an individual responsibilty to look after the environment. Every person will answer for their own actions and the choices they made. For pilgrims, the responsibility is even more serious as they perform their Hajj and Umrah with the hope that Allah swt will accept their pilgrimage.
The sections below with advice on how to reduce waste are:
Water is the most valuable resource in the world. Wasting water is not allowed in Islam. When performing Hajj or Umrah, it becomes even more unacceptable.
Below are ways in which water can be conserved.
1. Finish your Water
When drinking from plastic bottles, pilgrims can ensure that they drink or use all of the water in the bottle.
Many people drink only some of the water and throw the rest in the bin. This should be avoided, if possible.
2. Re-usable Bottles
Re-filling a re-usable bottle, made from metal or glass, and keeping it with you, can substantially reduce the need for plastic bottles.
Many eco-friendly bottles keep the water cool throughout the day.
Learning to perform wudhu from a bottle can help to reduce the amount of waste water.
The Prophet (pbuh) performed his wudhu using only around 750ml, which is the size of an average small water bottle. He performed ghusl with no more than 1.5ltrs of water!
4. Taking a Shower
When taking a shower, either in your hotel room, or in Mina during Hajj, a person should be conscious of the amount of water they are using, and the time they spend washing.
Quicker showers means less wasting of water.
Zam-Zam is available throughout the Haramain, in Makkah and Madinah. A good habit to get into is to refill your bottle every time you visit either masjid to pray.
This will also reduce the use of disposable plastic bottles and the plastic disposable cups used in the masjid.
6. Shut your tap!
Don't leave the tap running whilst performing wudhu, or brushing your teeth.
Litres of water are wasted when taps are left running whilst being used, or when left unattended. Be sure to close the tap tightly when finished.
The Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) prohibit wasting food. There are a number of ways in which food waste can be avoided and reduced by pilgrims during Hajj.
7. Finish your Food
When eating meals, a person can ensure that he or she finishes their portion of food.
Leaving food which is half-eaten and unlikely to be consumed by anyone else, should be avoided.
8. Sharing is Caring
Many times, especially during the days of Hajj in Mina, one portion of food can be large enough to share between 2-3 people.
If you are with friends or family, try to share the food to prevent waste.
9. Don't Overeat!
Overeating due to gluttony is strictly prohibited in Islam.
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach... it should be: one-third for food, one-third for water, and one-third for air.”
In other words, no-one should stuff themselves!
The Prophet (pbuh) said, “Cleanliness is half of faith." Therefore, by keeping your environment clean, not using plastics and avoiding litter, we are fulfilling a religious obligation.
10. Avoid Plastic Bags
Re-use plastic bags or buy alternative reusable bags made of cloth. Plastic bags are the by far the biggest source of pollution in the world, as they do not bio-degrade.
The simplest solution is to take reusable cloth bags with you when you go shopping during Hajj or Umrah.
11. Avoid Plastic Utensils
The sunnah is to eat with your hands!
Single-use plastic forks, knives, spoons and straws should be avoided wherever possible. Pack your own utensils.
Be like Ertuğrul Gazi and bring your own spoon!
12. Avoid Littering
One of the most apparent sights during Hajj and Umrah is the vast amount of litter. From food waste to plastic bottles, from used nappies to cut hair, litter is everywhere!
As a responsible Muslim pilgrim, avoid adding to the problem of litter and make sure that you discard your rubbish properly.
There are many other aspects to being eco-friendly, sustainable and environmentally greener. Below are some general tips.
13. Put your lights off!
Get into the habit of putting off your hotel room lights, and any other electrical devices, when you leave the room.
Saving electricity goes towards saving energy.
14. Re-use your towels
By hanging your towels and re-using them, you can help to reduce the amount of energy and water hotels use to wash and dry the towels and linen.
3 million pilgrims can end up using a lot of towels!
15. Buy eco-friendly products
Try and buy sustainable products that provide environmental benefit over their whole life cycle, from manufacture till disposal.
There are many bio-degradable and sustainable products available.
Refer to section 18. What to Pack
16. Recycling Ihrams
Male pilgrims should try and borrow Ihram sheets from friends and family, instead of buying brand new Ihrams.
This is a cost-effective way of recycling, reducing the enviromental impact of manufacturing and gaining reward by donating an Ihram.
17. A Walking Hajj!
If you are fit and able, consider walking certain parts of the Hajj routes.
By walking between the Hajj sites, you will be reducing your carbon footprint in terms of vehicle pollution.
However, please discuss with your Tour Operator which routes are easier to walk, and avoid any extreme hardship.
18. Book with an EcoHajj Tour Operator
There are a number of Hajj and Umrah Tour Operators who are partnering with EcoHajj and have committed to providing a greener pilgrimage.
Please click here for a list of our EcoHajj partners.