Celebrated on April 22, Earth Day, is a worldwide event held to raise awareness surrounding the ever-growing environmental issues our world is being faced with each day. It is a day where people get the chance to show their support for protecting the Earth. Having been first celebrated in 1970, it is now celebrated across more than 193 countries each year.
From big corporations to governments to emerging startups, the region is slowly but surely moving into the "go green" trend with several initiatives taking the world by storm.
In honor of this day, here are 9 green initiatives in the Middle East and North Africa that are doing all it takes to help save the Earth.
1. Egypt creates largest wind farm in Africa
The largest wind farm in Africa has been inaugurated in Egypt’s Gabal el-Zayt. The wind farm is set to generate 800 million kw hours annually, providing power to about 50,000 people while preventing the emission of up to 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
2. These solar-powered abayas
Manaal Al Hammadi, a Dubai-based fashion designer, brings you solar-powered abayas, replacing electric sockets anytime, anywhere! The abayas are available in Dubai at The Fashion Vault in Sunset Mall. Hammadi showcased her abaya prototype at the Solar Expo during the World Energy Summit at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in January.
3. Morocco introduces world’s largest solar power plant
As of February 2016, the plant received $3.9 billion in funding thus far, with about $1 billion coming from a German investment bank and $400 million from the World Bank.
4. Lebanese startup, Blink My Car, saves 250 liters of water when washing your car!
An eco-friendly initiative at heart, Blink My Car not only limits the use of water to that of a cup of water, but also has specialists get to their car wash destination using electric bikes!
5. Syrian entrepreneur goes green with solar-powered washing machine “ Glean ”!
The idea for the innovative washing machine came as Yaman Abou Jieb recognized the unfortunate reality of power cuts and water shortages within his country, Syria. As an engineer, he realized he could work towards a sustainable solution. He won $300,000 during the 7th season of "Stars of Science," which he will use to launch his product regionally and internationally.
6. UAE set to launch first solar-powered hotel in Dubai's Sustainable City
This will be the first residential community of its kind in Dubai to meet the highest environmental standards by adopting a sustainable approach in becoming a regional leader in eco-tourism and global environmental protection.
7. Interior design project in Gaza turns recyclable waste into home decor
Antika is an interior design project in Gaza, named after antique in Arabic, that aims to encourage people to recycle waste material and turn it into something beautiful they can use to decorate their homes and brighten their days.
8. Egyptian ministries go green with rooftop garden project
Egypt’s Scientific Research Academy launched an experimental project to add a bit of green to Cairo by installing green roofs on all government ministries. The Green Rooftop campaign is already complete on the rooftops of the ministries of Education and Scientific Research, with plans to expand the project to all government buildings.
9. Dubai unveils largest rooftop solar project
Around 90,000 solar panels will be installed on 19 rooftops in Dubai’s Jebel Ali free zone buildings, parking sheds and the surrounding parking areas. It is said to be the largest single-rooftop project in the Middle East and North Africa.