ACTION ITEMS- BE A GREEN MASJID HERO!
Do you cringe everytime you go to a huge event at the Masjid and see all the styrofoam waste?
If you answered "YES", then this page is for you.
NOW's YOUR CHANCE to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
ALL HANDS ON DECK. LETs do it!
1. SCHEDULE THE MEETING: Schedule a MEETING with the board of your local Masjid.
- Ask someone you know who knows someone on the board to help you get a 10 minute timeslot at the next meeting. Ask for their number and CALL them to ask for a timeslot. Emails are easily disregarded. Phone calls are harder to ignore. You may need to be persistent and patient.
- Once you get a hold of someone, ask if they are the person they should talk to about getting some time at the next meeting. If not, can they refer you to someone?
- Here is a guideline on what to say " Assalamu Alaikum, my name is ___________ and I am a regular member of the _____________ Masjid. I have some environmental concerns that I would like to share with the board and I have a few suggestions as well as some easy solutions. May I please have 10 minutes at the next board meeting? I really care about our Masjid and also about our earth and wanted to help educate our community on becoming zero-waste." AT THIS POINT, they will probably ask you what your concerns are and may try to dismiss having you come to the board meeting. You may say "My concerns are the amount of waste we generate at every single event and also that we are using Styrofoam. Styrofoam lasts forever and doesn't go away. As Muslims, we are responsible and accountable for the waste we create. I wanted to share why its so harmful to the environment. All I ask is for 10 minutes. If you can't give me 10 minutes, then may I have 5 minutes?
- BE PERSISTENT. Generally, due to the lack of staff to oversee environmental concerns, it may be wise to offer assistance in the task. Generally, the board of Masjids care but don't have the time to deal with this sort of stuff. Be Kind, courteous and patient.
- IF THE BOARD does not let you get through, go to the Sheikh of the masjid and ask for some of their time. Continue with step 2 but now instead of presenting to the board, present to the Sheikh.
2. PREPARE FOR THE MEETING:
- Grab some pals and practice your presentation. BE SURE TO KNOWLEDGE UP on your presentation tactic. After your meeting date is secure, please Contact us and we will help give you some pointers.
- Do your due research. Spend some time at the Mosque at events leading up to your meeting. Take photos of the styrofoam and all the waste you see around you. Tally up how many cups, plates, and water bottles are being used at each event. If you know a local Boy or Girl Scout troop, as them to help with this project as they can earn a badge for this type of thing.
- Ask some wealthy people you know if they would be willing to sponsor a few WATER BOTTLE FILLING STATIONS. They cost around $500 - $700. Ask another sponsor if they would
- Prepare a bag of reusable materials to show at the meeting.
- Prepare a bag of Styrofoam materials that have been used at the actual Masjid events.
- Prepare a bag of alternative materials they could purchase instead of styrofoam. Warn them that alternatives will cost about 8 cents each extra per cup or plate but that they could easily charge an extra .25cents to make up for it.
3. THE MEETING
- Respect the amount of time given to you.
- Organize your presentation into 3 main parts and decide who on your team wants to do what part.
- PART 1- Thank the board for their time in meeting with you today and introduce yourselves. Then say "As I have been learning more and more about our environment and simultaneously what our Deen is about, that we should be stewards of the earth, I am concerned that our Masjid is not exemplifying that. We use a lot of Styrofoam (TAKE OUT SOME EXAMPLES OF WHAT STYROFOAM LOOKS LIKE) at every event (Understandably because its the cheapest material to use), and styrofoam cannot be decomposed and is usually not recycled because it costs too much. IT just sits in our landfills or breaks up into tiny pieces and makes it into our ocean. It's a shame that we use something for only a few minutes that stays for such a long time, especially when in the Quran, Surah Al An'am it states "And do not waste for God does not love the wasteful". PLAY THE 4 min VIDEO
- PART 2- PLAY THE VIDEO
- PART 3- Take out the bag of alternatives that they could use. REUSABLE being the first choice. Then recycled paper products (Hot dog boats work really well) and Bamboo (Very sustainable). "We know its not easy to get everyone at the Masjid on board with this. That is why we recommend incentives to get people to start bringing their own cups. In Ramadan, if they know that its $1 or $2 for Chai but FREE if they have their own cup, they will start bringing their own cup. If they know there is a $1 discount at the food being served after Jumuah prayer if they have their own plate, they are more likely to bring their own plates with them. Either way, it's our responsibility to change the materials that are allowed on the premises. I will be emailing you a draft of a vendor contract you can use to send to any vendors that are going to be selling food or drink items on the Masjid premises. I will also email you a link with alternative servingware, and a copy of this video for you to share with anyone on the board who missed this meeting. You can also have a banner made to display at the masjid to show you are going green. I will send you the link to get that going. You are free to use it or part of it to add to your own contracts you use. As a member of this masjid, I feel its important that the Masjid takes the lead in showing that we are the Khulafah (Inheritors) of this earth and that it is our job to at least show some sort of oversight on our own premises.
- THank you for your TIME. It would be great to include some of the environmental lesson into the next Khutbah.
- Congratulations for making it this far... But the battle is far from over.
- Follow- up is perhaps the most important part of this. All would have been a waste if you don't do this next part.
- Call your contact a few days later and let them know you just emailed them all the info they need. Ask if they need help getting a banner made or if they need any support in ordering the new materials.
- Continue to email and call them. Offer to help step into a role that might help create a positive change and educate the community.
- Email them them the following and customize it with your name, etc:
It was so nice meeting with you. Thank you for taking the time to hear me out and listen to my concerns.
I wanted to follow-up with you as promised.
Here is the link to alternative sustainable materials your masjid can use: https://www.artandwildernessinstitute.com/green-up-your-masjid.html
Here is a copy of the vendor contract agreement. Feel free to copy it and edit it to your liking or add your logo to it.
Here is a copy of the Banner to print . Let me know if you need help getting this sponsored. It costs about $60 to print a 4'x 6' banner.
All Masjids that green-up will be featured on Art and Wilderness Institutes Masjid Eco-Hall of Fame. It would include a logo to your masjid and honor the work and commitment you are doing for our planet.