The throw away society

We now live in a throwaway society – paper, food and packaging are all thrown away with no consideration to what happens to our waste once they are discarded?

People living in big cities discard thousands of tons of rubbish each year. It is estimated that in Birmingham, where we are head quartered, that enough rubbish is thrown away every year to fill more than 6000 double-decker buses.  This rubbish remains buried in the earth for years poisoning it and effecting the lives of future generations. The places used to dump this rubbish are filling up fast and the economic costs to the community are rising dramatically.

Do we care about the state of our environment? Should we not take responsibility for our surroundings and help make our communities cleaner, safer places to live in?

Steps you can take to making a difference

  • Reduce your consumption and cut down on the rubbish accumulating in your homes. Ask yourself if you are really need what you are about to purchase
  • Reuse whenever you can. Repair whenever you can. We realize that this is increasingly difficult to do because of what is known as built in obsolescence. The idea of the throwaway society comes from this as manufacturers think in the long term making advanced versions of gadgets you already possess. You the consumer is then persuaded to join the ranks of the trendy and Upgrade.Upgrading is a means to staying in fashion and play the perpetual game of catch up. Think of the dramatic advances in cell phone technology and the number of times you or your friends may have upgraded; think of the millions of bulky computer screens that had to be junked when they were replaced by flat screens. Think of all the pollution generated in the manufacturing and transportation of these gizmos. Think of all the pollution they will cause as they are dumped.
  • Recycle – It is estimated that over 60% of what we throw away can be recycled. Recycling is like sadaqa (charity). It stops wealth and goods from stagnating unused in some people’s hands while others may be in need of them.

The following are different approaches to changing people’s attitudes to waste:

Tower Hamlets – Faith recycling Programme

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets working with the London Sustainability Exchange initiated this recycling project focussed on the East London mosque. 45 % of this borough’s population are Muslim. IFEES acted as consultants to this project.

Birmingham – Clean Medina

The idea for a video based campaign to deal with this endemic issue that blight cities came from our now dear, departed Ayman Ahwal – may Allah shower him with countless blessings.

Whilst we were delighted to provide the resources and production facilities Ayman, wrote, directed, filmed and edited Clean Medina all by himself. It was produced in Birmingham, UK, with the support of the city council in September 2007. You can view this now and should wish to have a copy of this resource or wish to adapt it to make another version to suit your own particular circumstances please write to us at

Watch Clean Medina in YouTube.

And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth: behold in that are Signs indeed for those who reflect

Qur’an, The Crouching (Al-Jathiyah) 45:13