While the main essence of Ramadan is practising modesty, over the years we can see hotels and restaurants aggressively advertising Ramadan buffets at a hefty price. The ‘eat all you can’ motto encourages overeating, which goes against the tradition of the Prophet in observing moderation when eating, and drinking to break fast.
Among other concerns regarding Ramadan buffet, food wastage has also become a major criticism. Statistics in June 2018 showed that 16,668 tonnes of food nationwide was wasted on a daily basis, which could be used to feed 12 million individuals. The figure usually jumps 15 to 20 per cent during the festive period. During the fasting month, 20,088 tonnes of food was wasted daily, enough to feed one and a half times the Malaysian population.
Last year WWF launched the ‘Save 1/3’ movement which aims at achieving two main goals which are to prevent the food we have from being wasted and ended up in landfill and to reduce the use of natural resources to produce food that is not eaten. The campaign offers consumers opportunities to make smarter choices to fight food waste in one’s daily life and during major holidays.
During the holy month of Ramadan, the campaign calls consumers to reflect on our planet’s future because we are currently, wasting 1/3 of all food produced. By preparing and eating in moderation, we not only honour the Prophet’s teachings but also avoid wastefulness of the resources that go into food production.
May also saw the celebration of a profession that requires the utmost patience – teaching. Every year, teachers across Malaysia are honoured and celebrated on 16 May. Under the Education for Sustainable Development programme in WWF-Malaysia, we have engaged with many educators who became the eco-champions of their schools and higher learning institutions.
These eco-coordinators demonstrate perseverance in the pursuit to develop environmental responsibility and leadership in their classrooms, universities and campuses. As Bill Gates once said, ‘patience is a key element of success’, we now have 25 tertiary education institutes running the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) EcoCampus programme and 328 schools are running the Eco-Schools programme.
WWF-Malaysia recognizes all the eco-champions who are playing important roles to inspire and connect their students with nature for a sustainable future. Their patience and dedication will go a long way in shaping the young generation that cares for their planet.
As we are in the festive mood, on behalf of WWF-Malaysia I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Malaysians a blessed and joyous Hari Raya. May this festive season bring you an abundance of joy and laughter during this celebration. Where ever you are going, be patient on the road and have a safe trip back home to your loved ones.
Nor Shidawati Haji Abdul Rasid
Senior Manager, Formal Education
Education for Sustainable Development, WWF-Malaysia