How do we best effect change is a question that environmentalists, marketers, and social activists are constantly addressing. In the UAE, one man hopes to stop reckless driving through a campaign that combines emotion and logic, the “Green Sheikh” believes that it is necessary to reach Middle Eastern men, whose responsibility it is to lead by example, while Lebanese bloggers are creating change by circumventing mainstream media.
In Abu Dhabi, the government has chosen the airport as the perfect location to reach the greatest number of people. And their props demonstrate just how desperate they are to change the attitude of this carbon and water guzzling Emirate.
According to Vesela Todorova with The National, 11 million people pass through Abu Dhabi’s airport each year.
“It is an important location because it is our international gate,” Mr Mazrouei, the chairman of the Abu Dhabi Airports Company told the paper.
In order to spread the urgent need to reduce carbon and water consumption as part of the Emirate-wide “turn it off” campaign, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi has installed one two meter high lightbulb, two giant taps, and two electricity switches in terminals one and three of the International airport.
They have also put up posters, 12 large digital screens, and 77 smaller screens that will remain up for one year.
“We have covered all areas at the airport, nobody can miss it,” said Mr. Mazrouei.
They have further driven home their message with these two facts reported by The National:
If everyone who passes through Abu Dhabi International Airport during one day chose to shower rather than take a bath, the water saved would fill two million half-litre water bottles.
And if all Abu Dhabi residents set their air-conditioning just 1°C higher in summer, the reduction in greenhouse emissions would be equivalent to taking 100,000 cars off the road for a year.
“The simple steps we are suggesting through this campaign will make a positive environmental impact in the long run,” said Majid al Mansouri, secretary general of EAD.
:: The National