Amal’s social mission includes a commitment to environmental sustainability, and we are striving toward the goal of Zero Waste in our facilities. Amal staff teaches trainees to separate all of the waste streams into recyclable, reusable and compostable materials and these practices are at work in all of Amal’s facilities. With just a little bit of effort, Amal is showing how easy it can be to incorporate conservation practices into daily routine. These are some of Amal’s environmental initiatives:
In the Moroccan desert, water is precious and Amal takes water conservation seriously. Our outdoor sinks are fitted to divert wastewater into storage containers, and this reclaimed water is used to water our gardens at Amal Targa. A large water tank collects reclaimed water in the wetter seasons, to be used during the dry summers.
Vegetable peels, egg shells and similar scraps from food preparation are put directly into our compost piles at Amal’s Targa center, along with compostable paper. Amal also scatters coffee grounds directly into our garden beds to boost the soil.
Amal’s newest environmental initiative makes use of the land it has at Amal’s Targa center. In addition to the acres that are planted for vegetables and herbs that Amal uses in its meals, the center is parceling out individual garden plots that will be tended by members of the staff and the community. Amal provides the land, the individual cares for the plants and together both share in the bounty.
Amal’s neighboring non-profit, Center Terre d’eveil, a nonprofit holistic health center, has three goats who benefit from the food that is left on plates and tajines at the end of a meal. We can hear them bleating with joy when dinner is served!
Amal also gives our used cooking oil to Centre Terre d’eveil, which recycles it into their fragrant natural soaps and other products.
Amal makes its own hand soap, too! We mash together citrus peels and pulp, coffee grounds reclaimed from our coffee service, salt and white vinegar to create an aromatic soap scrub that replaces harsh chemical soaps in our basins and washrooms.
Separating recyclable materials from garbage is not yet commonplace in Morocco, but Amal is committed to this practice. A local company, SMVM, collects our plastic, glass and aluminum containers for recycling and reselling. Non-compostable paper that can be safely burned is fed into our clay bread oven.
As Amal trainees and staff create beautifully plated meals and desserts, there is healthy, usable food leftover from our preparations. Amal carefully turns the remainders into healthy vegetarian lunch dishes served to the community at a Saturday Buffet. As our chefs and trainees carve tomatoes into roses and oranges into artful wedges, they save the bits of fruit they cut away and turn them into juices. Amal saves bits of carrots, potatoes and beets that are julienne garnish for meat entrees turns these scraps into stews and soups. Extra chocolate ganache from a cake becomes a new dessert! The Saturday Buffet attracts Amal’s neighbors, who come out to support a good cause and enjoy a healthy, low-cost lunch. This idea was generated by the UN climate change summit, COP 22, that was held in Marrakech in 2016.
“I am sick with how much trash every one of us throws away. People resist it at first, separating out the food waste and the garbage. But they learn to do it and then they don’t even think about it, it just becomes habit.” — Oumaima Mhijir, director of Amal’s Targa Center