52 Weekly Challenges

SustainableQATAR 52 weekly challenges – one challenge per week for a whole year themed by month – are Qatar-specific and Qatar-relevant opportunities for all residents to take actions in personal life, work and within our communities. Read more

March Theme: WATER

by Katrin Scholz-Barth, President, SustainableQatar

In observation of World Water Day on March 22, SustainableQatar choose WATER as the theme for the month of March for our weekly challenges.

Situated in a tropical desert, Qatar’s water resources are scarce. Do you know how much rain Qatar receives on average per year? Take a guess. So where does all of our drinking water come from? 100 percent of Qatar’s drinking water is provided through desalination, an energy-intensive process. In Qatar, desalination is co-located with energy plants and reuses the waste-heat for a multi-flash distillation process to separate the salt from the seawater and make it drinkable.

Water consumption per capita in Qatar is a whopping 500 liters/day – one of the highest in the world. In the TED talk A Country without Water, HE Fahad Al-Attiyah calls for water conservation. We at SustainableQatar encourage and empower you with our weekly challenges to first observe and then take personal action in support of Qatar National Vision 2030, the 2015 Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Last year, Capetown, South Africa nearly ran out of water before seriously considering and engaging in water conservation campaigns. Innovation to the rescue! Art Director Moe Kekana of King James Public Relations company lead a team of young designers to work directly with artists and create 2-minute-long shower versions of popular songs. The ad campaign proved very popular to save water in South Africa before Capetown ran out of water. Yes, YOU, too, can make a difference in the world. One 2-min-shower per day.

Qatar receives 74 mm of rain per year. Compare this to the rainfall in the home countries of many of Qatar’s residents: India receives 1,083 mm and the Philippines receives 2,348 mm of rain on average per year. (source: The World Bank).

CHALLENGE #1 ~ WATER: SMART GARDENING

You enjoy gardening and are desperate to green your backyard. Grow your dream garden sustainably.

Challenge #2 ~ WATER: Shorter Showers

The Power of a Shorter Shower!

Challenge #3 ~ WATER: Leaky Fixtures

Did you know that even a slowly leaking fixture can waste as much as 12 lattes worth of water in a single day?

CHALLENGE #4 ~ WATER: Every Drop Counts

Turn the unconscious conscious and look for daily water savings!

22 MARCH: WORLD WATER DAY:
Learn more about the UNCCD Drought Initiative here.

April Theme: TRANSPORTATION

by Katrin Scholz-Barth, President, SustainableQATAR

Cities are human habitats that present themselves most characteristically through their architecture and public spaces. Less prominently, but just as importantly, cities are defined by their roads and infrastructure, influencing our opinions of them. Cities are all about connecting people, places, and spaces which make transportation and infrastructure essential lifelines.

SustainableQATAR dedicates April to transportation, connectivity, and mobility for our weekly challenges. Let us champion environmental sustainability through personal actions to reduce transportation-related emissions.

As Qatar grows and expands, we see a mad rush in infrastructure projects from road construction to finishing the metro for public transportation. Infrastructure is expensive to build, expensive to maintain, takes up valuable public space, and impacts land use. In addition, it is often congested.

There seems to be a conflict for space between people with and without cars. However, cities around the world from Bogota to New York have realized opportunities in this perceived conflict and recognize that streets are one of the most valuable resources a city has – hidden assets and gems in plain sight. We only need to look at them differently, through the lens of quality of life, community health and a thriving economy.  

Modern, developed, sophisticated cities are not defined by their highways but by their quality walkways, protected and connected bike paths and green ways that reflect and celebrate human dignity. Just like birds need to fly, fish need to swim, and deer need to run, we need to walk.

Modern, developed, sophisticated cities consider street design a key to their future and have started to steer ‘traffic’ in a new direction, using a new model of connectivity to optimize distribution of people and resources. This new model treats streets like public spaces to maximize efficient mobility to enjoy the city, to make streets fun, efficient, and safe for everyone who uses them.

It is no surprise that the United Nations assigned Sustainable Development Goal #9 to Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure in recognizing the importance of connectivity between people, physically, and digitally. Connectivity is why cities thrive; it’s not a zero-sum game between moving traffic and creating public spaces. It’s a home run for sustainable urbanization that also addresses climate change. Cities can share and exchange knowledge, technologies and policies to reduce traffic related emissions through an inter-cities-network.

Connectivity is not charity; it is one of the most important asset classes. Connected people and cities make for happier, healthier, and safer communities, and bring greater stability and peace.

Challenge #5 ~ TRANSPORTATION: Ride Sharing

Sharing a ride, whether in your own car or a taxi, reduces the environmental impact of your ride by at least half.

Challenge #6 ~ TRANSPORTATION: Walking & Biking

Walk and bike for more human connection and less stress.

Challenge #7 ~ TRANSPORTATION: Avoiding Idling

Idling your car engine releases as much pollution as a moving car.

Challenge #8 ~ TRANSPORTATION: Smart Driving

Can you really be more sustainable while driving in Qatar?

Challenge #9 ~ TRANSPORTATION: Electric & Hybrid Cars

It’s fast. It’s cool. It’s electric.

Challenge #10 ~ CLOSE THE LOOP: Say No To Packaging

Simple ways to reduce the amount of packaging used once and thrown away

Challenge #12 ~ CLOSE THE LOOP: Beyond Recycling

Reduce, Reuse, Remake, Refuse, Respect, Repair, Restore, Recycle, Remember

Challenge #14 ~ HOLIDAYS: Take Direct Flights

Save your health and time by taking direct flights

Challenge #15 ~ HOLIDAYS: Agritourism

Thrill on a Farm: Homestays and Farmstays save your health and time

Challenge #16 ~ HOLIDAYS: Responsible Travel

Is responsible travel even possible? The sky is the limit!

Challenge #17 ~ HOLIDAYS: Staycation

Sand & Sea, Culture & Malls – without Stress or Emissions

Challenge #19 ~ FOOD: Choose Local

Eat local? In Qatar? YES!

Challenge #20 ~ FOOD: Growing Our Own

What beats locally grown organic food? Your own-grown organic food!

Challenge #21 ~ FOOD: Cancer Fighting SuperFoods

Lower your risk factors for developing cancer

Challenge #22 ~ FOOD: Eating for Brain Health

Eat REAL food for a healthy brain

Challenge #23 ~ FINANCES: Green Investment

Future-proof your financial assets

Challenge #24 ~ FINANCES: Green Banking

Understanding financial products and services (loans and bonds) for impact and driving market demand climate solutions.

Challenge #25 ~ FINANCES: Value-based Spending

Making our voices heard by letting our values speak for us

Challenge #26 ~ FINANCES: Fintech

Using financial technology to save money and time, and help preserve the environment

Challenge #27 ~ TECHNOLOGY: Smart Purchasing

Using financial technology to save money and time, and help preserve the environment

Challenge #28 ~ TECHNOLOGY: Power Management

Save power, money, and carbon with a few simple power management tricks

Challenge #29 ~ TECHNOLOGY: Paper-less?

Can we go paperless? Or should we aim for less paper?

Challenge #30 ~ TECHNOLOGY: eWaste

What contains a higher concentration of precious metals than one ton of mined ore?

Challenge #31 ~ TECHNOLOGY: Tech FOR Sustainability

Is technology good or bad for the environment? It depends on how you use it and what you use it for.

Challenge #32 ~ GARDENING: Healthy Soils

Producing healthy soils from homemade compost and natural soil amendments

Challenge #33 ~ GARDENING: Proper Plant Selection

Selecting the right plants for a water-sensitive cheerful garden. 

Challenge #34 ~ GARDENING: Beneficial Bugs

Bees, birds, and beneficial bugs – ‘Jurassic Park’ in our backyards.

Challenge #35 ~ GARDENING: Furniture Treatment

A Kitchen Treatment for Wooden Garden Furniture.

Challenge #36 ~ Fashion: Wear Your Values

With Sustainable Fashion, we can speak without talking when we wear our values.

Challenge #37 ~ FASHION: Shop your closet

For sustainable fashion, shop your closet

CHALLENGE #38 ~ FASHION: EXTEND THE LIFE OF CLOTHES

Sustainable Fashion – Make it last. Wash Less – Fight ocean plastics!

CHALLENGE #39 ~ FASHION: Swap & Exchange

Sustainable Fashion – Swap & Exchange!

CHALLENGE #40 ~ HEALTHY HOMES: Healthy Kitchens

How to be healthy AND sustainable in your kitchen

CHALLENGE #41 ~ HEALTHY HOMES: Healthy Bathrooms

Let’s remove toxins from our bathrooms!

CHALLENGE #42 ~ HEALTHY HOMES: Healthy Living RooMS

Living Rooms are for living. Let’s keep them toxin-free!

CHALLENGE #43 ~ HEALTHY HOMES: Healthy BedrooMS

The hours spent sleeping are critical to our well-being. Let’s keep them toxin-free!

CHALLENGE #44 ~ HEALTHY HOMES: Healthy Kids’ Rooms

Our children are our most valuable asset, our future. Let’s keep their play spaces toxin-free!

CHALLENGE #45 ~ Green Chemistry: PEST CONTROL

Rid your homes of pests – safely and responsibly.

CHALLENGE #46 ~ GREEN CHEMISTRY: HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS

Clean your home without using toxic chemicals.

CHALLENGE #47 ~ GREEN CHEMISTRY: CHEMICALS ENTERING OUR BODY

Watch out for chemicals absorbed through the skin.

CHALLENGE #48 ~ GREEN CHEMISTRY: REFRIGERANTS

Refrigerants are a huge contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

CHALLENGE #49 ~ THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY: Transport

Solutions for Transport to reduce GHG emissions.

CHALLENGE #50 ~ THINK GLOBALLY, ACT Locally: BUILDINGS AND CITIES

Solutions for Buildings and Cities to reduce GHG emissions

CHALLENGE #51 ~ THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY: Materials

Solutions for Materials to reduce GHG emissions

CHALLENGE #52 ~ THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY: Food

Solutions for Food to reduce GHG emissions