Savings for the next generation – Reusable Water Bottles

No Water

During the month of Ramadan I had started a new program at my local Masjid called:  “Savings for the next generation – Reusable Water Bottles.” The program started about half way through Ramadan and it lasted for about 15 days until Eid.

The purpose of the program was to address four goals:

(1) Raise awareness about the waste that we should be paying attention to within the community. 

(2) How to turn that waste into an opportunity for savings for the community.

(3) More savings to the Masjid in terms of minimizing the administration costs in managing and disposing of plastic bottles of water.

(4)  To put together a revenue model for funding a scholarship program for those entering post-secondary education.

That all came together in the Savings for the next generation – Reusable Water Bottles program. Here’s the poster that puts it all together. As a community you see mostly the same people usually coming in for Iftar and Shur and we as a community would go through hundreds of plastic disposable water bottles every single day and unfortunately most of them are more than half full. Some are almost full by the time it goes to garbage or recycling. Personally, that was my main motivation for running the program. We should be mindful about how we use our resources and our impact on the environment.

Bottles Left OverA sample of plastic bottles of water left over

We are blessed in Canada to have an easy and very cheap access to clean water whereas the majority of the world doesn’t have that privilege. I figured if at an individual level we take that waste seriously and try to do something about it, we have a good chance of having a better environment – at least that is something within our control. The second issue with the disposable plastic bottles is the added cost to the administration of the Masjid in terms of disposal fees.

Setup of table

Getting the program started. Setting up.

I put together a poster to show the result of the program. If you see the calculations on the poster, in the end we sold in 15 days 97 reusable aluminum bottles at $10 each. With an additional $138 in donations we raised a total $1108 dollars. It’s not just the money we raised, what’s more significant is the money we saved the community and the Masjid.


Flyer showing the progress of the program

If each person who bought the reusable bottle had used It every day for a month and it saves 2 plastic bottles of water being wasted then If you calculate the savings based on the 97 reusable metalic bottles then we have actually saved about 5,800 plastic bottles which works out to be 243 cases of 24 of water. That is significant savings with regards to the environment, but also significant savings to the community since the cost of buying that much plastic bottles of water can be close to $2000!

Selling the reusable bottles

Selling the reusable water bottles

In the end, we took all the money that was generated and we divided that by 7 for the number of students in that community graduating from high school and pursuing post-secondary education. As such each student received a check of $158 dollar. (As a pilot project, the cost of  administrating the program in terms of buying the bottles, posters, etc. was done out of our own pockets to get the awareness about the program and to make sure all the revenue goes to the kids).

Before - Plastic bottles of water

Before – Plastic bottles of water

After - Some reusable water bottles

After – Some reusable water bottles

I had learned a lot from running this pilot program. The community, AlhumdLiliah, was supportive. I ask that you make du’ah for us to have better success to run the program again with perhaps more Masjids since I’m sure these are issues that are common to other Majids. Perhaps we can have a continuous scholarship program for the best kids from the various Masjids. Also, we can look into getting business sponsors so we have a lot of work to get it going. AlhumdLiliah, we have some time to plan it properly for next Ramadan and I’m glad that there are other brothers in the community who see the potential for this program. During this pilot, I was fortunate to have worked with brother Ashraf and we are excited about expanding this program for next year. If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions or would like to help, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Leave a Reply