Hope this quiz will help you recognise how green you are. Or aren’t…
1. How close is the connection between Islam and the environment?
a) Global warming and stuff like that are not as important as establishing a khalifah.
b) We are each khalifahs (guardians) of the earth; as such, I try to keep my carbon footprint very light.
c) Muslims didn’t cause all these problems and shouldn’t be responsible for them.
d) The earth is Allah’s (SWT) creation and must be treated as such!
2. Your tech-gadget habits run along the lines of:
a) I throw away and replace my smart phone quarterly and my laptop annually.
b) My family helps to facilitate collecting and re-homing used mobile phones to persons in need.
c) I haven’t bought any new electronics in ages but if I did, I would be sure to first check their eco-ratings online.
d) What do you mean that “You aren’t supposed to throw dead batteries in the bin?”
3. When pausing to consider your water consumption, you closest agree with the following:
a) The water-cycle is at least as old or older than humankind and my consumption is my fair share.
b) I have to drink only bottled water. Tap water makes me gag.
c) I use my grey water to water my garden.
d) I allow myself a five litre daily allotment for all my water usage and if I run out, I make tayammum and go thirsty until the next morning.
4. Whatever you are shopping for, you are always sure to check the label for:
a) The price.
b) Whether or not the company tests its products on animals.
c) To be sure that it’s not made by a poorly rated company in your pocket-sized green shopping guide.
d) You don’t, you simply pay and be on your way.
5. What’s your drive?
a) Nearly all my transport is done by foot, though I do take the train weekly to go to an organic you-pick-it farm during the summer and I belong to a car-share program for those rare instances when I truly need one.
b) The mini-van is called “Mom’s Car”, the SUV is considered “Dad’s” and we felt a brand new car would be safest for the 16 year old, so she has a Mini Cooper.
c) Why yes, of course I drive one. Actually, I nearly live in it with all the errands I must run and all the extra-curricular activities these kids do.
d) I inherited my mom’s low petrol usage compact and have been keeping my eye on the prices of electric cars.
6. How is your energy situation?
a) I’m a little sluggish, but will be fine once I get my triple no-foam latte.
b) We just finished re-caulking and plastic-covering all the windows for winter, and when the snow melts we’ll be installing our new solar paneling.
c) I’ve been meaning to apply for home energy subsidiser program, but you know…
d) Among our many tricks for keeping our energy use down, I turn the thermostat low at night, cuddling in our family bed instead of burning that midnight oil, and we always use just one mudd of water each to make wudu with.
7. “Fair trade” is defined as:
a) An exchange made in which the buyer saves a lot of money off the ridiculously inflated retail price.
b) A purchase in which both the buyer and seller are happy about the price paid.
c) A barter made on a day with clear skies.
d) A purchase made in which the producers of the item are not undercut, but rather receive fair pay for their work and/or product.
8. “Re-use” is practised in your home by:
a) Tonight’s dinner will likely yield tomorrow’s lunch.
b) Re-use is what I try to do with everything before I repurpose it.
c) I’m not a very creative person.
d) I’ve been meaning to buy one of those plastic bag drying racks so that I can re-use produce bags, but you know…
Tally: 1. a=2, b=3, c=1, d=4. 2. a=1, b=4, c=3, d=2. 3. a=2, b=1, c=3, d=4. 4. a=2,b=3, c=4, d=1. 5. a=4, b=1, c=2, d=3. 6. a=1, b=3, c=2, d=4. 7. a=2, b=3, c=1, d=4. 8. a=3, b=4, c=1, d=2.
8–12 points: You are not-at-all an environmentalist: The grass isn’t greener on the other side, rather there is a haven of drought-resistant landscaping over there and you should get some. You would benefit greatly by reading ‘The Green Deen’ by Ibrahim Abdul-Matin and/or regularly visiting the websites of The Green Prophet and the Eco Muslim.
13–21 points: You are a ‘Greedy Greeny’: Most of your contributions to environmentalism are economic-based; you use reusable batteries and light bulbs because they save you some money, but you aren’t too impressed with toilet-paper made out of 60% post-consumer materials, and you don’t think twice about the numerous single-serving disposable packages you use daily, such as your yoghurt tub and organic smoothie cup. You can afford to be a better khalifah (who can’t?!) and so you should be.
22-30 points: The Eco-Jihadi: You are concerned about your responsibility to the environment, and do what you can to keep your carbon footprint as light as possible. Good green job!
30+ points: An Extremist: You fuel your body by only eating foods grown in your hydroponic garden, composted with your own guano. You haven’t bought a single newly manufactured item in nearly a decade and fashion your wardrobe from repurposed cast-offs from second hand shops. You only buy what can be found within walking distance of your home and have immense guilt about the carbon footprint created by your Power Mac, but find some solace knowing that your footprint has been slightly offset by reading your beloved SISTERS Magazine via a digital subscription. Hey Greeny, swerve a little back to the middle-road, you’re giving off some bad eco-dawah with your incessant shaming.
To learn more about your carbon footprint (or increase your green-speak if this quiz is all muddy for you), take the ‘Ecological Footprint Quiz’ at earthday.org
Brooke Benoit lives in a traditional mudhouse in the High Atlas Mountains where her guilty non-green pleasure is cheese puffs in a single-serving cellophane package.
Orginaly published in my current favorite issue (until the next one!) of SISTERS Magazine– the magazine for fabulous Muslim women.