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Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet - A Book Review

Today we're proud to share a book review by Sherine Aboelezz, an activist, English teacher, journalist, and writer.  

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Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, author of "Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet," uses narratives, research, and scripture to show a long standing connection between Islam and active environmentalism. In his book, Abdul-Matin creates a step by step guide for American Muslims looking to green their everyday lives. He emphasizes that living a “Green Deen means understanding that God created us directly from the Earth and that we must do all that we can to take care of it, protect it, and manage all of its bounty in a sustainable way” (p. 6).  Abdul-Mattin takes this a step further by outlining four ways in which an American Muslim can attain living a "green deen": "waste, watts (energy), water, and food." 

The interesting thing about reading a book called "Green Deen" is that it makes a religious individual, of any creed, realize the intimate connection between being a steward of the earth and worshipping God. "Green Deen" is not a book that preaches about the greatness of Islam or any other religion, but rather encourages people of all religions to partake in a green movement i.e. to understand that taking care of our planet is a religious obligation.  ... read more

No New Plastics Month in Review

No New PlasticsNo New PlasticsAlthough I'm not proud to admit it, going plastic free was not an overwhelming success. Plastic is EVERYWHERE, from our living rooms to our cars to our nights out. And our plastic habit is piling up to the tune of 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour and 25,000,000,000 styrofoam cups every year in America alone. And plastic doesn't go away, even if you do your due diligence by tossing it in your recycling bin: every piece of plastic ever created still exists in some form or another. Even those that "biodegrade" just break into to small pieces, never truly disintegrating entirely.

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The Downside of Ice Melt

This blog post was originally published on Keen For Green in February 2011, but it's such useful information that we like to repost it every winter.

http://www.analogphotography.comI don't know about the rest of you, but I can tell you that we in the Midwest have had the snowiest, iciest, coldest winter in decades, and it's really gotten me thinking. Since I became a dog mom in January of 2002 I've heard that ice melt is bad for dogs. This has led me to always keep a mat at my front door and religiously take off my shoes the moment I enter the house. I've also stopped using any ice melting product in the back yard, my dog's domain. But is there any truth to this ice melt rumor? If so, what exactly can ice melt to do a dog? 

According to the ASPCA, it is the sodium chloride and calcium chloride in the most common ice melts that is potentially damaging to the puppy in your life. If your dog walks on an ice melt containing one of these chemicals, her paws can become dry and cracked. And if she licks her paws or eats the ice melt (the ASPCA cautions that she can also ingest it by drinking from a puddle of melted snow containing ice melt), her problems can get worse. The ASPCA lists symptoms from as mild as excessive drooling and loss of appetite to as severe as decreased muscle function, coma, and death. ... read more

Green like Grandma


When I was little, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, or "Nonna."  I always remember that she would save the little plastic yogurt cups and I would use them as drinking cups while I was there.  It dawned on me that my grandmother was actually quite green.  While today's generation is getting more eco-conscious, our grandparents and great-grandparents generations did a lot of very green things, without even realizing how green it was.  ... read more