10 Easy Eco-Hacks to Live More Sustainably in Dubai  

5 mins

Living sustainably doesn’t have to involve major life changes in fact, with these 10 easy, affordable and satisfying steps, you can easily lower your carbon footprint

With the devastating effects of climate change becoming more prominent with each passing year, it’s easy to feel helpless and like you’re unable to make a difference to the planet.  

But, by making just a few simple changes, all of us can become an everyday eco-warrior and make a lasting and positive impact.

Dubai is becoming more green-minded with each passing year, and living sustainably is no longer an awkward, expensive or impossible task. 

Below are 10 brilliant ways to kick off your new eco-conscious lifestyle.

Buy Pre-Loved  

Dubai’s pre-loved fashion scene is booming. From designer handbags to high-street steals, the choice of second-hand marketplaces and boutiques has never been bigger. To grab high-fashion pieces for a fraction of the going price, turn to Luxury Promise, BOPF (Business of Pre-Loved Fashion), The Luxury Closet, La Suite and Your Bagsy, or for thrifty bargains check out RETOLD, Thrift for Good and Ripe Market’s vintage clothing stores.  

sop sustainably at stories like this, THrift for Good charity shop interior

Cycle don’t Drive  

By the end of 2026, Dubai aims to have 819 kilometres of cycle paths. While 20 new pathways will open over the next few years, the city already has amazing peddle-friendly routes in key areas such as the Dubai Marina, Jumeirah, Business Bay, Al Quoz, Mushrif Park, Meydan and more. Along with being an eco-friendly form of transportation, cycling is sociable, a great workout and a brilliant way of spending time in the fresh air. So, particularly during the winter months, there’s no excuse for not choosing two wheels over four.

Get a Recycling App  

Here in the UAE, there’s an app and a delivery service for absolutely everything, and that includes recycling. Reloop offers pickups for plastic, paper, metals, glass, clothes, cigarette butts, electronics and household items in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah for a small charge, while recycling through RECAPP is totally free. Providing doorstep collection for plastic bottles and metal cans in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it collected 883 tonnes of recycling in 2023 alone. For those living in Abu Dhabi, it also has a smart deposit point in Masdar City.

man picking up recycling from woman in pyjamas

Eat Local   

Locally grown fruit and veg and homemade food products always taste better than mass-produced items that are filled with preservatives. Choosing to buy from local businesses also results in less carbon emissions being created through transport, and it allows you to support the local economy while eating more sustainably. Checking out Ripe Market, Manbat farmer’s market, the Not Just For Vegans Market and Greenheart Organic Farms is a great way to start.

Become a Smart Gardener  

While outdoor vegetable plots are not entirely compatible with the UAE’s scorching summers or apartment living, even the smallest of kitchens has room for an indoor garden from Click and Grow. Letting you grow organic herbs, fruits and vegetables indoors and all year round, each garden kit comes with automatic watering technology, nutrient-rich soil, and ‘pro-grow’ lights to ensure your plants stay healthy and strong. 

basil growing in e device

Go Plant-Based  

A recent study by the University of Oxford found that following a vegan diet results in 75 percent less climate-heating emissions, water pollution and land use than a high-meat diet. Ditching animal products also reduces wildlife destruction by 66 percent, and water use by 54 percent. Thankfully, Dubai is home to countless vegan restaurants, takeaways and food products.

In fact, there’s never been a more fun or exciting time to join the plant-based revolution to start living more sustainably. For special celebrations and date nights you can’t go wrong with BOCA or Lowe, while SEVA Table and Little Erth by NABZ&G are some of the best casual vegan hangouts. Meanwhile, for a naughty treat day blowout doesn’t get much better than the epic vegan burger from BLOOM Vegan Kitchen. 

Install a Water Filter  

Investing in a water filter is an instantaneous way of slashing your plastic waste production and living more sustainably. Say goodbye to those annoying large piles of plastic bottles, and instead enjoy having fresh and clean water straight from the top. It’s an immensely cost-effective switch as well. According to filter specialist waterclub.ae, installing a water filter can save a family AED 5,000 on water in just two years, and the equivalent of 1,825 plastic bottles per year. Other reputable local water filter brands include Tappie and Waterdrop UAE. 

rthree water filters on a kitchen side

Use Public Transport  

Removing the hassle and stress of traffic jams, parking, parking fees and unpredictable other drivers, Dubai’s public transport system is an extraordinary thing that is too often overlooked. While jumping in the car might initially seem more convenient, taking the time to walk – sustainably – to one of the city’s numerous bus, tube or tram stops is not only an eco-friendly decision, but also an extremely smart one. Clean and efficient, and letting you get anywhere in the city for just a few dirhams, getting more use out of your Nol card should be a top priority for every eco-conscious individual in 2024.

Bathroom Switches

For bathroom supplies, Lush shampoo and conditioner bars smell absolutely incredible, while Oserth hair products come in bottles made from sugar cane bioplastic. Completing your plastic-free beauty routine,  homegrown makeup brand Avvai offers 100 percent PCR (Post Consumer Recycled) plastic packaging, while D’L’arta, Shirley Conlon, Skin Story and SunKiss are all proudly zero-waste skincare brands that have been founded here in Dubai. 

pile of colourful shampoo bars


There are few more rewarding ways to spend your free time than volunteering, and Dubai offers lots of ways to contribute to environmental efforts. Organisations Azraq and Goumbook are always looking for volunteers to help them with their monthly beach clean ups, while Emirates Nature – WWF hosts over a dozen volunteer events every month. Or, if you’re a big dog lover, shelters such as the Stray Dogs Center and K9 Friends welcome volunteer dog walkers and feeders warmly.

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