Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are right around the corner. There are a number of things you can do as a way to resolve to be more environmentally aware this new year.
Use local and organic ingredients in your meals: The healthiest foods for the holiday are foods that are grown locally without any pesticides. Food purchased from local farmers or that you grow yourself will be fresher and have a higher nutritional content than food flown in from hundreds of miles or more away. If you are planning to serve the traditional snack of apples and honey, consider that eating locally made honey has been shown to reduce the severity of allergies as well.
Turn off your gadgets: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are holidays that focus both on spending time in worship and spending time with friends and family. Turning off your phone, tablet, iPod and other gadgets will keep you focused on what the holidays are about and reduce your energy use at the same time.
Decorate your holiday table naturally: Head to your backyard or a local park and create a natural centerpiece for your holiday table. A basket with acorns, pinecones and colorful leaves will make the holiday festive. Avoid purchasing centerpiece items that will go right to the landfill when you are done using them.
Get to services more sustainably: If your level of observance involves walking to services for the High Holidays, you are already doing what you can to have a transportation carbon footprint equal to zero. If you don’t or can’t walk to services, carpool wherever possible with family, neighbors and friends. Another option is to take public transportation if your synagogue is near a bus, train or light rail line.
Best wishes for a sweet and green New Year!