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Making Jewish Holidays Greener

By Loretta White
September 28, 2009
File under: Culture, Entertaining, Environmental Concerns, Family, Food, Gardening, Goals, Green Events, Health, Holidays, Lifestyle, Recycling, Uncategorized, Waste Reduction, Wildlife Preservation


Rosh Hashanah, or, the Jewish New Year, is somber unlike January 1st.  We take inventory, a lot of reflection and repentance until the 7th day of Sukkoth or Hoshaana Rabbah. Closing the period of Divine judgment.

How can we become better people? What resolutions have we made to do better?  I hope that thought has been made to be resolute to make sustainable/green choices that will help us treat our family; the world and ourselves better and ensure a better place to live.

As in any part of our lives, these green practices can also apply;

1. RRR–Laminate or cover your printouts of the old texts to reuse every year not reprint.

2. Buy local food for traditional food; apples, honey, spinach, wine.

3. Plant; a grape vine, apple tree, a whole garden
“till it and tend it” (Genesis 2:15)

4. Bee Keep-start your own hive or plant flowers/plants that will encourage populations in your area.
They are in a fast decline and we need to help them survive and prosper.

5. Support a local farmer and pick your own.

6. Choose fair-trade products.

7. Use organic products that reduce pollutants and are healthier for your body.

8. Cards/gifts-pick recycled paper.

9. Light candles and turn off the lights (I know, we already do this, but, lets do more!)

10. Put dimmers on your light switches-not only romantic, but, practical at saving energy.

11. Turn off your vehicle-don’t idle in a parking lot, at home, awaiting someone,

12. Waste-reduce and opt for less waste choices like with Tashlich; Cast crumbs, not
bread in this symbolic gesture to cast your sins away.

13. Turn the thermostat down a few degrees, put on a sweater.

14. Compost your waste; coffee grounds, food scraps, even if you have a small yard or none at all you can use a small plastic bucket and use the compost to feed your indoor plants.  And if you don’t have any indoor plants – get some! The EPA measures indoor air quality 10 times more polluted than outside air!

15. Replace all your lights with energy saving fluorescents.

16. Teach-Share your knowledge of these practices. For children, here is a picture book of ideas.

Have you truly become the person you want to be? Can you better yourself, the way we treat each other? Sustainable practices do just that.

After all, Jewish law states that God prohibits excess waste and destruction, so, both can be considered sins. Another reason to rethink your practices!

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