Passover celebrates the exodus of the Jewish people from slavery to freedom. It is also rooted in the agricultural cycle of the year. Passover usually coincides with the beginning of spring. Passover references a time when our ancestors were more connected on a daily basis to the natural world. To become more connected to the Earth and go “eco friendly” for this holiday, consider following all or some of the tips below:
- Help the environment by reducing waste as you empty your home of chametz (leavened foods such as breads, pastas, etc). Give leftover bread and grain-based items to area food pantries rather than throwing them out.
- Clean your house using environmentally friendly cleaning products. Consider brands such as Trader Joe’s or Seventh Generation. Or make your own cleaning product by combining water, lemon juice and a splash of vinegar.
- As much as possible, buy your Passover fruits and vegetables from local, organic sources. This reduces your carbon footprint as you will not be purchasing produce flown in from hundreds of miles away. Cook with vegetables that are in season.
- Use soy or beeswax candles for your Passover table. These create less soot and are more sustainable than paraffin candles.
- Avoid disposable plates and utensils. If your level of observance requires using separate dinnerware during Passover, invest in purchasing separate dishes that you can use over again each year. Don’t clog landfills by using plates, cups and cutlery that get thrown away after a single use.
- Use washable napkins and a washable table cloth for your Seders. This is another way to reduce waste.
- If travelling for Passover, consider carpooling with others and travelling at off-peak times to avoid wasting gas.
- Incorporate environmental themes as part of your Seder. Find one example at http://www.rac.org/sites/default/files/freedom%20seder%20.pdf
(Freedom Seder for the Earth)
Have a joyous and green Passover!