x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Green advice is just a click away in guide to home energy use

UAE residents using more water per person per day than in any other country in the world and are among the least energy-efficient.

ABU DHABI // UAE residents use 550 litres of water per person per day, more than any other country in the world. They are among the least energy-efficient and their greenhouse gas emissions are among the highest in the world. Yet the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) hopes remedies may be just a click away. The Green Your Life campaign, launched yesterday, offers online tips on how to reduce a home's impact on the environment. Users of the website can point to the rooms of a house to explore ways of using appliances and resources more efficiently.

"It is so simple, even kids can use it," said Ebtesam al Harthi, the website's administrator. The site, created in partnership with Sorouh Real Estate, is packed with statistics and technical details. But people logging on to it can garner examples of simple better practices in their everyday lives, organisers said. "Users are encouraged to make sure they have a full load of laundry before they start their machines, for instance, thereby saving water and energy by washing their clothes fewer times," Ms al Harthi said.

"Natural alternatives are also provided for chemical detergents that people can use in their homes." Outdoor activities are also included in the simulation: an animation describes how to conserve water while washing a car. Visitors are also encouraged to water plants before 8am or after 6pm to avoid evaporation. Last year environment agency said reducing water use was a major challenge. It announced a goal of reducing water consumption throughout the emirate by 37 per cent - to 350 litres a day.

The campaign is aimed at the general public but tailored for the Emiratis, said Laila al Hassan, deputy manager of media at the agency. "We are mainly targeting people who are connected to the internet and are multimedia-savvy," she said. "People want to be able to search for this information in an attractive medium. It's a fun, educational way to learn what one could do at home." After visiting the site for the first time, Mohammed Abdulla, 20, a marketing student, likened the experience to playing a video game.

I like this website," Mr Abdulla said. "It's a smart idea." To view the site, visit www.ead.ae and click on Green Your Life.