Sustainable Iftar Gatherings: How to Host with Minimal Waste

Mar 15, 2024

Oluwaseun Bamise

Ramadan, a month of fasting, reflection, and community, also presents an opportunity to embrace sustainability. With millions around the world gathering for iftar, the evening meal when the fast is broken, the potential for waste is significant. However, this time of spiritual renewal also offers a moment to reconsider our environmental footprint, particularly in how we host iftar.

Embracing Eco-Friendly Practices

The essence of Ramadan is not just in fasting but in purifying oneself and fostering community bonds. Integrating eco-friendly practices into iftar gatherings enhances these spiritual goals by respecting the planet that sustains us. Here are ways to make your iftar gatherings more sustainable:

Minimize Food Waste

Planning is crucial to avoid over-preparing food. Encourage RSVPs to estimate the right amount of food. Consider potluck-style iftars where guests bring a dish to share, reducing the burden on the host and minimizing waste. Leftovers can be packed in reusable containers, donated to those in need, or composted.

Use Sustainable Tableware

Disposable plates and cutlery, while convenient, contribute significantly to landfill waste. Opt for reusable dishes, utensils, and napkins. If this isn't feasible, biodegradable or compostable options are better alternatives.

Decorate Mindfully

Decorations add a festive atmosphere but often result in unnecessary waste. Use items that are reusable, such as cloth tablecloths and durable lanterns. Natural decorations, like flowers or reusable craft projects, can also enhance the ambiance without impacting the environment negatively.

Conserve Water

Water conservation is another key aspect of a sustainable Ramadan. Use water judiciously when washing dishes or preparing food. If possible, collect rainwater for plants or use water-saving devices.

The Community Aspect

Sustainability during Ramadan should extend beyond individual efforts. Encourage your community to adopt similar practices. Share tips and successes in community newsletters, social media, or at the mosque. Organize workshops or seminars on sustainable living that can continue the conversation beyond Ramadan.

Success Stories: Learning from Others

The Hilton's Green Ramadan campaign, as reported by Food Tank, showcases a successful approach to reducing food waste during Ramadan. By adjusting food preparation and serving methods, and educating guests on making climate-conscious choices, Hilton reduced food waste by 61 percent. This example demonstrates the feasibility of incorporating sustainability into even the most traditional practices without compromising the quality of the guest experience​


Sustainable iftar gatherings are a reflection of our commitment to the principles of Ramadan and our responsibility towards the planet. By adopting mindful consumption, waste reduction, and recycling practices, we can significantly lessen our environmental impact. Let this Ramadan be a starting point for integrating sustainability into our traditions, paving the way for a greener future.

As we strive to make our iftar gatherings more sustainable, let us remember the importance of community, sharing, and gratitude. Let this Ramadan inspire us to adopt practices that not only benefit us spiritually but also contribute to the well-being of our planet and future generations.