On the 2nd of February, volunteer moms from the Dawoodi Bohra community of Houston launched Happy Nests, a global Bohra initiative to reuse and upcycle plastic materials that would otherwise be trashed as well as to raise awareness of the damage that plastic is doing to the environment.
Local Bohra ‘Super Moms’ are teaching their daughters to think of creative ideas to ensure that more of the plastic they use every day such as milk cartons, yoghurt tubs, and shampoo bottles can be ‘upcycled’ – or given alternative uses, such as planters for growing kitchen herbs.
On Sunday, mothers and daughters gathered in the grounds of their community masjid (while observing CDC guidelines and local Covid-19 regulations to ensure the event was held safely) to showcase their creativity and share ideas. Tasneem Maimoon and Tasneem Raja of Happy Threads provided a demonstration on how to use recycled plastic containers to grow herbs and flowers, and shared tips on smart ways to incorporate everyday waste materials like cloth, plastics, toilet paper tubes, and foil into the planting process. All attendees were given seeds and potting compost for their upcycled plastic planters.
By creating awareness about the benefits of reuse and upcycling and the damage caused by plastics, Happy Nests hopes to reduce the volume of plastic waste in landfills. In particular, Happy Nests strives to encourage young people to be more mindful of their environment and generate good habits.
An organiser of the event, Farida Jamali, said, ‘It is very important that we teach the next generation how to conserve our resources.’
Tasneem Maimoon, another event organiser, said, ‘It is sad and alarming to know how much plastic and waste goes into our oceans, and the harm it causes marine life. Now more than ever with the pandemic, millions of single-use disposable masks and gloves are being thrown away, which is making the dire situation worse. Each of us must reduce, reuse, recycle, and upcycle if we want to help save our earth.’
Happy Nests is part of Turning the Tide, a global Bohra initiative to eliminate single-use plastic and rid water bodies of plastic pollution. Bohras regularly lead practical efforts to protect, enhance and clean-up the natural environment where they live while raising awareness of the need for sustainable development.
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