In partnership with EnviroMuslims and with generous funding from Olive Tree Foundation, Faith & the Common Good has launched Greening Canadian Mosques, the first program of its kind giving Canadian mosques the tools and resources they need to embed sustainable practices and policies within their facilities.
As is the case for many religions, Islam holds a high regard for environmental stewardship and the important role humans have as stewards of the planet. Muslims all over the world have a religious duty to learn about environmental issues and make changes both individually and collectively to protect the natural environment. While there is growing interest from Islamic leaders and mosques in Canada to engage on the matter, there is limited targeted guidance and support for them to lead the way on environmental stewardship.
The Greening Canadian Mosques program aims to support Canadian mosques in developing and implementing environmentally friendly practices and policies. The program consists of two main resources:
- Toolkit: The toolkit features key statistics and Islamic references on environmental issues, helpful resources, inspiring case studies, and creative ideas to make mosques more environmentally and economically sustainable – reducing their impact on the environment while contributing to the well-being of local communities. The toolkit consists of different areas that mosques can focus their efforts on including waste management, water stewardship, energy conservation, sustainable transportation, community engagement, event management and environmentally conscious efforts towards greening the holy month of Ramadan. Each of these sections are divided into tangible actions that can be taken depending on their relevant costs (no-cost, low-cost, and high-cost). The toolkit also consists of policy templates, action plans, and resources to help gain the support of senior leadership.
- Communications Package: The communications package consists of graphics and word templates to help mosques showcase their leadership and participation in the program. These consist of templates for newsletters and websites, as well as social media templates and graphics to communicate participation in the program.
Another important feature of the communications package is the addition of multilingual posters that can be displayed in Canadian mosques. The posters are in Somali, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic and Gujrati, and cater to the diverse Canadian Muslim population.
The Greening Canadian Mosques program is a call to action for Muslim community leaders to embed policies and practices within their mosques centering around the protection of the natural environment, and to encourage their Muslim congregations and community members to uphold their roles as stewards of the environment – protecting it from harm and leaving it in a state better than how we found it, for our future generations.