EVERYONE can make a difference
Ibrahim Al Zubi, Green Tuesday’s ambassador, talks innovation and conservation with cashy
Green Tuesday is not just about conserving money, time and your own energy, it’s also about taking stock of the world around us. We here at cashy like to think we encourage a mindful way of living that helps you to make the most of your hard-earned cash, but what about how you make the most of your community? We wanted an ambassador who was really involved in conserving and helping our precious natural environment of the UAE – enter Ibrahim Al Zubi. Aside from keeping up with a fast-paced full-time job, Ibrahim dedicates his free time to a not-for-profit organization, the Emirates Diving Association. The EDA works to carefully conserve the UAE’s oceans and marine wildlife, trying to reverse some of the damage being done by the overdevelopment of our coastlines. Ibrahim was kind enough to get involved with UAE Saves Week as a Green Tuesday ambassador, and we couldn’t wait to find out how to do our bit!
We are so happy to feature you as part of our Green Tuesday here on - your work within the Emirates Diving Association is doing a lot towards sustainability of our oceans in the region and we’d love to talk to you about it some more!
It is my pleasure to be part of this great initiative.
What are the biggest problems facing our environment here in the UAE?
I believe the biggest challenges we face not only in the UAE but also globally are related to climate change, which can cause lots of the natural disasters we are witnessing. To be specific, for the UAE and the Middle East I would say the most dangerous is the fast development of the region leading to a higher population and more pressure on our natural resources such as water. Inevitably that higher population will also produce more air and marine pollution, harming our natural environment further.
What are some simple steps everyone in our community can take towards being kinder to our environment and our oceans?
First and foremost, use less water. But there are other considerations. EVERYONE can make a difference – the sky is the limit! Be simple, innovative and always think efficiently – for example: reuse plastic bags, take your own shopping bag out with you, go for a walk in our ‘wintertime’ when the weather is cooler and more facilitating, appreciate the nature around you! Get into good habits and think of the other creatures you are sharing this planet with - treat the oceans, our beaches and the planet as you treat your home. Because this is our home!
What is the biggest threat facing Dubai's beaches and oceans?
Overdevelopment on our coasts and overuse of beaches, oil spills (when they happen), and our own pressure on the oceans’ natural resources (over-fishing, waste and refuge ending up in sea water, overworking the beaches).
Why is UAE Saves Week important to you?
It helps me to be innovative, simple and think efficiently – keep your spending simple and make your money more efficient!
What was your most important financial lesson?
Stop – think! – act.
If you could give one piece of money advice to our community, what would it be?
Think about if you really DO need to spend money on items you don’t REALLY need.
Do you think the UAE needs more education on environmental awareness?
I think UAE is doing well in terms of its environmental stance so far, but the more the merrier!
Is there a place for schools to encourage environmental awareness from an early age?
I think most of our schools here already consider environmental awareness an important part of their extra-curricular activities, which is great.
How do you work to conserve the environment and energy in your daily life?
Within my home, I try to practice good habits. I switch off unnecessary lights; put our AC on 24c. Outside home, I am a volunteer with the Emirates Diving Association – a not for profit marine conservation voluntary organization – anyone is welcome (and encouraged!) to volunteer!
What's your biggest money regret?
I believe we shouldn’t have regrets in life - everything happens for a reason but you can make bad experiences better by learning from them. I believe I could manage my financial affairs better. Until last year I didn’t manage my spending and didn’t know exactly how much I spend every month - I could give a rough estimate but not an exact number. Knowing this could help me to save more money and at the same time I could tell where exactly my money goes.
Last year I did an Excel sheet that I update every month with my income - this simple solution helped to know exactly how much I have every month and if I am actually saving money. I did this as per an advice of a very good friend of mine – simple advice with a big impact, just like UAE Saves Week.
Have you ever needed to budget your money? What steps did you take?
Yes, recently I decided to work out budgets for everything. I think when you start getting older and thinking of retiring and doing what you enjoy, making a budget and managing your expenses becomes a very important thing - especially when shopping and spending money becomes a main part of your lifestyle! I have a budget for my accommodation, hobbies and travelling. It’s funny how this has impact on the choosing countries you want to visit - sticking within your budget!
What is your worst spending habit?
I spend a lot of money buying unnecessary presents for others (mainly family) - I get super excited when I travel to see family or when they come and visit, and my real irresponsible spending action starts then. I forget how much this city has to offer for free or next to nothing - a nice day at Jumeirah beach park, or Safa park, for example! I think I need to be reminded to think efficiently which is what UAE Saves Week will do for me.
To get involved with Green Tuesday, why not upload a picture of you turning your AC down, or snap a shot of your latest DEWA bill and upload it to the gallery!
We'd love you to join us for our upcycle workshop at the Jam Jar today. Lizmar Hilton will be running it from 7 – 9 pm. Lizmar will be showing us how we can customise, revamp and upcyle household item – so come along and bring that thing you'd like to spruce up, or bits and bobs you'd like to put to good use.
Why not upload a photo of what you'd like to re-use on our gallery!