Bahrain, in the Middle East is one of the most wasteful nations on earth, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) 2014 Living Planet Report (download the PDF here), published recently. Bahrain as the ninth worst offender in terms of the environmental impact it has on the planet, per head of population.
But Bahrain is not lonely among its neighbors: Kuwaitis, the report highlighted had biggest “ecological footprint”. They consume more resources per person than any other country in the world followed then by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
“We are on a totally unsustainable path … and are living beyond our boundaries,” says Marco Lambertini, general director for the WWF.
The rest of the top 10 offenders were Denmark, Belgium, Trinidad and Tobago, Singapore and the United States, with Bahrain and Sweden listed in ninth and tenth place, respectively. Funny, because Swedes consider themselves so eco-conscious. Maybe due to a bad conscience.
“The size and composition of a nation’s per capita ecological footprint reflects the goods and services used by an average person in that country, and the efficiency with which resources, including fossil fuels, are used in providing these goods and services,” the report summed up.
It continued: “If all people on the planet had the footprint of the average resident of Qatar, we would need 4.8 planets. If we lived the lifestyle of a typical resident of the US, we would need 3.9.”
Many of the poorer countries on the list, countries like India, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo had an ecological footprint that our world could sustain.
Resources monitored were based on trees being felled, groundwater pumped and CO2 being emitted faster than the earth can deal with it.
Ways Muslims can deal with excessive waste can include reusing water from prayer rituals by recycling it in gardens (for pious plants!), demanding more efficient modes of public transport and buying less packaged foods.