The rise of environment-conscious dining

THE WEEKEND WARRIOR –

Organisations all over the world are declaring war on plastic — a necessary and progressive step if we ever are going to rehabilitate the planet. In Oman today, several establishments started banning the use of plastic straws — a small step but one that impacts most importantly sea creatures that mistake these things as food.
What I am hoping to see next is for big shopping malls and supermarkets making a commitment to stopping single-use plastic bags. Truth be told, this is a big area of improvement and many will readily admit that this is the biggest contributor to plastic waste problem in the Sultanate today.
While conversation about managing food waste has gotten a boost from the government, gaining a much-needed momentum, I’ve recently come across some small-scale yet innovative efforts that contribute to the overall planet conservation efforts.
One of these is the Friday Earth-hour themed dinner hosted by Grand Millennium’s Bahriyat.
The concept is simple. Enjoy a quiet evening with the lights off and only candles illuminating the table.
Every year, during earth hour, a collective effort is being made all over the country. Everyone is urged to turn off their lights for at least an hour to help the earth breath a little bit.
While the purpose of it is to create awareness, the overall goal is for people to be conscious of their power usage and carbon footprint.
Thus, I applaud the Earth-hour themed initiative because the concept may be simple but I can see its potential impact.
Imagine if all establishments in the country can dedicate at least one hour per week, adopt this practice, it would contribute more to the overall Earth hour efforts. Finding new means of protecting and giving your little bit in the global effort can mean a lot.
The Jungle in Qurum is often overlooked when it comes to its concept but its subtle message is one that is universal.
I don’t see a lot of nature-themed establishments in Oman. Having the opportunity to visit this place on a weekend, I was amazed that behind the food, it also creates awareness about environmental protection.
While originally they have only played with the jungle concept, the key message, especially for the children diners, is that we do need nature and that forests are home to different animals and are not just source of logs or precious stones.
Here, they try to make dining in nature fun. While the boom boxes are spewing different sounds made by animals in nature, it is subtly reminding us that this might become the case for the future generation if we don’t come to our senses. All of these animals, if not protected, can all end up extinct and the children of the future will only hear them on recordings or see them on TV.
We don’t take our role seriously as nature’s protector, so we need to be bombarded with more reminders so many of us will come to our senses.
Sustainability and environmental protection are not just the task of the government or people working in organisations dedicated in looking after it. It is an everyday task that all of us has to pitch something in.
By applauding little efforts like those mentioned, I hope it will create a domino effect until the habit becomes an integral and permanent part of many of us.
We all want to fix the planet. We should start by actually doing something.

yru.weekend@gmail.com