Top 10 Sustainable Products For Any UAE Household

Sustainability Tribe is bringing a regular feature, ‘Tribe’s Eco Picks’ for our lovely Eco-minded Tribe in UAE. To begin this roundup of our recommendations we have chosen a very useful first list of Top 10 Sustainable Products every household in UAE must have, listed below in no particular order.

This list of Eco-products for homes will not only help you to start your journey of living sustainably in UAE but also will reduce your monthly or yearly living cost.

1. Tap Water filter

UAE has almost no natural source of sweet water which can be used for drinking water. Our tap water is treated sea water through reverse osmosis process and is potable but before reaching our taps through plumbing system and water storage tanks it gets contaminated with impurities like bacteria, copper, lead, iron. That’s why we need tap water filters. Many people still use bottled water, which is actually packaged filtered water. The bottled water can get contaminated in a plastic bottle, as plastic leaches in water if stored for a long time or exposed to heat. These water bottles also add to the huge amount of plastic waste, which hardly gets recycled and even if we recycle it, it can be recycled only a few times and finally ends up in landfills, creating more air and land pollution.

But if we install tap water filter we can drink cleaner water; reduce waste, pollution & carbon footprint; basically, we are choosing a healthier life for us and our planet. Read here Sustainability Tribe’s review of a tap water filter.

Filtered tap water

Where to find it?

There are many water purification brands in UAE like Pure water products, Liquid of life or high-end filters like Quooker.

But the best way to choose a tap water filter is to test the water before investing in the filter. Many companies offer to provide you the filter for trial, you can test filtered water from your home in the lab to check how safe it is to drink. The safer option of the filter is always a multi-stage filtering system which includes a combination of filters like carbon filter and ultraviolet.  Also, make sure to buy a water purification system from a registered company who have water test certificates from a local authority like DEWA in Dubai. You can also rent tap water filters.

2. Dubai lamp

Do you know, now we have world’s most energy efficient lamp available in UAE? In partnership with Dubai Municipality, Philips has created Dubai lamp. This range of energy saving eco-friendly LED lamps come in a few different models to suit your requirements and two colors. Out of which we loved the range of warm white LED lamps. These lamps are child-friendly as they don’t heat up like our regular lamps and do not contain mercury.

Dubai lamp is 90% more energy efficient than traditional lighting and they have 25% more lifespan. So once you invest in Dubai lamp, you save money on your energy bills and also save dirhams on repeated buying of lamps. Read more about Dubai Lamp here.

Dubai Lamp range

Where to find it?

You can buy it in almost all leading supermarkets and departmental stores. You can shop Dubai lamp online on Lulu’s online shop.

3. Reusable shopping bag

UAE consumes 1.5 million plastic bags annually. Most of these bags end up in landfills or even worst in the ocean. It looks like a jelly fish to sea turtles and other marine life so these bags are life threatening to this marine life. Plastic bags do not biodegrade but they decompose into tiny particles and further pollute land and water. Plastic is light material, which flies with the wind and most of the times end up in the water bodies, finally reaches oceans. Researchers have found that by now plastic is even present in the salt we eat.

The simple solution is to start using reusable shopping bags. Sustainability Tribe highly recommends keeping few reusable bags in the car boot or even in office, so that if you forget to take reusable bags with you when leaving home, you can use the spare bags from the car.

Where to find it?

You can buy reusable bags almost in all supermarkets and stores. Choose cotton (organic if possible), jute, canvas or bags made out of recycled material. Bags of the future can personalize reusable tote bags for you.

If you liked our Eco-friendly ‘Tribe Jute Bag’ click here to buy or see more pictures. These jute bags are specially sourced during our last trip to India and come in different colors. Our favorite is this traditional Indian ‘Tribe Jute Bag Yellow’. Jute is a renewable vegetable fiber and is 100% biodegradable.

Tribe Jute Bag (Yellow)

4. Energy & Water Saving Appliances

Choose energy and water efficient household appliances for your home. There are many energy ratings used around the world, read this guide for selecting the best energy efficient appliance which is made anywhere the world.

Thanks to Energy Efficiency Standardization and labeling program  (EESL) in UAE, you can easily spot energy saving appliances in store with these labels.

Energy and water efficicny labels

Interestingly these labels don’t just rate energy savings but also water savings for appliances like a washing machine. If you choose a 5 star rated product it will save energy/water and help you to reduce your electricity/water as well as sewerage bills.

Where to find it?

Any electronics shop in UAE. Don’t just see the Label but read it to see how many stars are given to a particular product.

5. Nol/Hafilat card

Not for all UAE, these cards are specifically for Dubai and Abu Dhabi; but wait a minute, who in UAE don’t travel to these two beautiful cities? If you have Nol/Hafilat card, you can take public transport and save so much of fuel, carbon emissions and avoid all the stress of driving on the busy road and just sit back and enjoy the beauty of these cities.

Using public transport is the best way of reducing your carbon footprint. Read here, how easy it is to use public transport in Dubai even with kids and strollers. 

Where to find it?

You can buy Nol Card in any supermarket or metro station. Now with the introduction of smart Nol cards, you will no longer need a physical Nol card’ it will be even more eco-friendly to use Nol cards. Click here to find more about Abu Dhabi’s Hafilat card.

6. Must have Reusables Products

Some of you might have noticed, as soon as you move to UAE, you start using more disposable items than before. I personally know a few people who love using tissue papers so much that they feel they can’t survive without it. Plus the home delivery, take away culture in UAE makes it even worst. Disposable coffee mugs, foam cups, and plates, disposable plastic spoons, forks, straws, paper napkins; you name it and we keep throwing these things in the garbage bin on daily basis. We create so much waste! Have you given a thought how much natural resource we waste by using these disposable items? We can use all those natural resources invested in manufacturing, delivering and disposing of these disposable items in something better, don’t you think?

Read here waste facts of UAE and click here to learn about Sustainability Tribe’s #ZeroWasteUAE initiative. Since more than a year now we are not using disposable items. By investing in reusable items we are not just doing good for our planet but also are saving money. So ditch tissue boxes, disposable cutlery and take away cups and invest in plastic free reusable water bottle, Reusable coffee mugs, cloth napkins.

Reusable coffee mug

Where to find it?

Cloth napkins: You can find in almost all home decor, furnishing shops. We particularly like cloth napkins and tea towels for our home from Ikea and Muji.

Reusable cloth napkins for home

Reusable Coffee Mugs: You can find them in coffee shops. The lock lock brand has simple stainless steel cheaper thermos mugs. But our favorite is Virgin Mega Store, where you can find trendy coffee mugs. We particularly loved spill proof stainless steel coffee mug from Virgin.

Reusable Water Bottles: Life factory for glass bottles, read our review here. For stainless steel glass bottles, we recommend Eco Vessel bottles, which you can find at many online baby & mom shops like Mumzworld. You can also find good quality stainless steel bottles in Virgin Mega Store. Make sure to stay away from aluminum bottles, which has toxic coating from inside. To find a safest reusable water bottle, there is a simple test; just open it and smell. If you smell any toxins or chemicals (which happens with aluminum and plastic bottles even BPA free).

Further read here how to reduce waste when you are on the go and what reusables to carry.

7. Recycling Bins

You have to have recycling segregation bins at home in UAE. We still don’t have recycling bins available in every building or community but there many recycling stations throughout UAE. So if you have segregated recycling bins at home, you could store your recyclable waste in these bins and take it to nearby recycling stations on a weekly or monthly basis. But first read here our guide to correct way of recycling.

Recycling Bins for homes

Where to find it?

The best place to find segregated recycling bin in UAE is Ace Hardware and Ikea. You can also create your own recycling bins out of cardboard box or reused items.

Drop segregated recyclables at Recycling station

You will also like to read how to reduce, reuse and recycle here. If you have some items in good condition but don’t need them then please don’t throw it or drop it a recycling station instead you can donate them. Read here our guide about where to donate items in UAE.

8. Rechargeable battery set

When we are talking about single use disposable items in this list of Eco-picks, we have to add rechargeable battery set to avoid the use of single use batteries. Rechargeable batteries obviously save more resources and can be used again and again. Remember a few tips, don’t loose the rechargeable batteries and keep buying new ones else the goal or saving resources in not achieved. Also recharge the batteries regularly and don’t overcharge them. Click here to see the photo of how to correctly store batteries before recycling them and remember to recycle the rechargeable batteries properly at the end of their life as they are toxic.

Energizer’s Rechargeable Battery set with charger

Where to find it?

You can find these rechargeable batteries and their charger almost in all large supermarkets and departmental store. Click on respective names to buy rechargeable battery set by Energizer online on souq.com or click here for Duracell rechargeable battery set.

9. Cycle

When living in UAE, we tend to get used to driving everywhere, sometimes even to nearby places. But if we have at least one cycle in our household, we can skip driving to nearby places. When the weather is better, we can take advantage of nicely made cycle tracks around UAE. To name few cycle track Abu Dhabi Corniche, Al Barsha pond park, Mushrif Park, Nad al Sheeba, Al Quadra, Yas Marina circuit & Mamzar beach park.

Cycling is not just a great fitness routine but it is also a perfect sustainable transport and helps us reducing carbon emission.

Up cycled cycle from Charicycle

Where to find it?

You can buy cycles from almost all big hypermarkets. But we would recommend these few, Wolfi’s , The cycle hub where you can also repair or rent a bike and The Charicycle which sell upcycled vintage cycles and part of each sale goes to the charity of refugee children, they also can customize your bike.

10. Composting & Plants

For your wet kitchen waste, it’s good to have a composting unit, especially if you have a small garden in your backyard or balcony. The plants can add greenery and freshness to your home but make sure, your plants are not consuming too much water, as it won’t be sustainable or eco-friendly. Try to use waste water from cooking or car wash for watering your plants. Also, use organic seeds and avoid using pesticides to have your own organic garden.

Where to find it?

My Green Chapter sells two types of composting units both of which can be used indoors or in the balcony. First is our favorite, Bokashi unit and other is more sophisticated Compostio. You can also shop organic seeds, potting material from them. My green chapter also sells interesting hydroponics gardening units, which are more sustainable options for UAE than traditional gardening and you can grow herbs year round in them. For house plants and edible plants, you can also go to Dubai garden center. Try growing your own edible garden to experience farm to table at your home!

Hope you found our first list of Eco picks helpful. Now don’t forget to read here, ‘How to start your Sustainable lifestyle in UAE‘ and to get more such eco-updates Join here our Tribe!

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11 Comments on "Top 10 Sustainable Products For Any UAE Household"

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Such a great ready – I definitely think we all need to be using more sustainable products.

Excellent read! Very thoughtful! I’ll add few to my list from today!

Thanks for the list! Very encouraging to do your bit for planet Earth.

Some great tips! Do the compost bins smell if you keep them indoors? We recycle the nitrate and nitrite rich water from our fish tank for our indoor plants!

Hi, thank you for these tips. Would you recommend any lab to test the water in Dubai? We contacted one lab and they said the test costs almost 5800AED…

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I am a Sustainability Professional. I have worked on many green building projects in the

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