Youth for Change!
By Maitha Al Remeithi
Maitha is a young Emirati student, currently pursuing a degree in chemistry at the University of Sharjah. She has always been an advocate of sustainability, which is why she joined the Green Footprint initiative as an intern to promote green living. Today, she is also one of the Future Sustainability Leaders at Youth 4 Sustainability Program with Masdar. We are featuring this article in order to inspire more young people in the UAE and share Maitha’s vision.
Describe yourself in 3 to 5 words?
Crazy enough to think i can change the world.
“Switch the tap off!” That’s something I would always yell out in my art classes back in high school. The fact that our resources were being wasted would make me extremely mad. I would always walk around classrooms and turn off the lights in rooms that weren’t being in use. That’s where my passion for sustainability came about. There are many little things we can all change that wouldn’t change much in our lives, but would greatly impact the world we live in.
I believe that I thrive in professions that allow me to research and investigate new solutions to the obstacles that we face, as a result, I was drawn to chemistry. The study of chemistry would allow me to unlock the secrets of the world we live in. Did you know the first law of thermodynamics, which states that nothing can be created or destroyed, actually supports the greenhouse effect, or that when lighting strikes, it produces ozone, which helps repair the ozone layer?
Believing in science is one of the main reasons why I am so passionate about sustainability, we learn new things every single day about the natural world. Its only fair to pass on this opportunity to the next generation so that they can have the same joys we had. After all, we are only here some years before we pass down this world down to our children.
Why do I love the UAE?
I’ve lived in the UAE for all my life. I love the diversity, it’s so interesting making friends who have a different background than my own. What I love about the UAE is the mix of cultures between everything- even my self. Both my parents are local but because of the diversity here in the UAE, I was able to mix a little bit of all cultures into myself.
If you could get a magic stick, what would you improve?
First of all, i would enforce a single-use plastic ban- water bottles now come in 100ml tiny bottles! I would also enforce composting and recycling here, as well also try to make everyone a little bit more compassionate and caring.
Where do you like to do you groceries, and why?
At UNION COOP, it’s easy to find the products I’m looking for, they also have a lot of bulk fill-up stations, for example, I now get my halloumi at the bulk fill-up station it comes in a big bucket with halloumi that lasts me a few months, I also re-fill the bucket once I’m done with it. ( they may decline the first time if you want to refill, but insist and most times it works 🙂 )
Your favourite eco-brand?
Eco-friendly Kaia and Modi Bodi
Your favourite eco-friendly restaurant/cafe?
Un-wrapped which i use to get at university.
The best way to spend time with family and friends?
Family time is best spent at the farm or in the desert huddled around a bonfire.
How so you spend your free time?
I usually spend the free time I have babysitting or going to a friend’s house- but I mainly study for the entire day with little dancing breaks in between.
The best recent discovery in the UAE?
The best recent discovering the UAE must be Hatta Dam, the view there is amazing, they also have hikes and biking trails!
Do you recycle, and how?
Personally, I don’t recycle, as I don’t really use plastic, and also the closest recycling bin very far and you have to insert the bottle one by one which is not a very good investment of time. I wish we had recycling bins closer to where I live. But in the meantime, I try to produce as little waste as I can.
What is the best way to learn about sustainability and green living?
Youtube research in my opinion is one of the best forms of research as its both informative and entertaining, also if you are like me and like to watch as many videos as you can on your breaks I suggest speeding up the time by 2X.