Najla Abdellatif is a Palestinian environmental activist who’s striving to empower others to take ownership of moving towards a more sustainable life. Through her blog “Zero Waste Palestine,” Najla sheds light on climate change-related issues and promotes sustainable and waste-free practices for Palestinian and Middle Eastern households. Najla had a role as a Civil Society Observer at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties 2019 (COP25) held in Madrid.
Najla was born in Jerusalem in 1994 and grew up in the Wadi Al-Joz neighborhood before completing her school trip in Jordan and from there to Sweden, where she studied at one of her universities, majoring in business administration and economics. During her university studies, Najla became involved, by virtue of her specialization, in an institution working in the field of achieving economic sustainability, and linked this to concern for the environment, its problems, and the global crises caused by global warming and climate change.
Her Swedish mother stood by her and supported her in her new lifestyle, and she and her father started using Najla’s handmade products.
“I was living a purely consumerist life, like any girl, despite awareness of environmental problems, but as soon as I finished my university studies and returned to Jerusalem two and a half years ago, I saw waste scattered throughout the city, unlike Sweden, whose residents consume a lot, but their waste is recycled, so this problem does not appear there. From here, I started radically changing my lifestyle.”
Najla was acquainted with the experiences of the “zero waste” community around the world, and at the beginning of her environmentally friendly journey she started by manufacturing deodorant and toothpaste from oils and natural materials, and later she was able to make moisturizers for the face and body with natural materials as well.
Not only that, but she turned all the food waste in their home in Jerusalem into organic compost for the soil of their house, and buried in it daily vegetable and fruit peels, coffee residues and surplus food, while chicken bones and meat put them for the neighborhood cats to eat.