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A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on recycling.


Blogs

Small Changes Add Up to Make a Big Difference!

After the November election, many of us were left with numerous concerns, including about how the president-elect and his advisors will deal with environmental issues such as climate change. While those concerns are still valid, I realized there are many things I could change about how I live my life that can make a difference for the environment. I made three resolutions: reduce, reuse and recycle. Resolution #1: Reduce. I am going to buy less — especially those things that have a negative impact on the environment, such as plastic tableware when I have company ...

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Making Hanukkah Green, Inspiring Future Generations

This blog is written by guest blogger Leah Schuckit, JCRC Fall 2016 Social Justice Intern.   As a young Jewish kid, Hanukkah was my favorite time of the year. I can still remember being in grade school and impatiently waiting for my Hebrew School lessons to turn to the Maccabees and the Temple menorah’s miracle. I remember the way that certain brands of candles smelled once you lit them and the excitement I felt when my family would start singing Hanukkah songs. I remember all of this alongside the more central concepts of Judaism I was taught in my childhoo...

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Three Simple Steps Toward Going Green

If you are someone who cares about protecting the environment, you may find yourself frustrated at times because you are not doing as much as you could to change your lifestyle.  While caring for God’s creation and reducing waste (baal tashchit) are important principles in Judaism,   you don’t have to do it all to make a difference.  Here are a few simple suggestions to get you going on the right path.  Start slow and keep it going:  As with anything in life, creating eco-friendly change is more likely to succeed if you take it one small step at a time.  ...

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Sukkot and Eco-Friendly Eating

Sukkot, the harvest holiday that takes place  on the 15th day of the month of Tishrei, marks the end of the agricultural year.  Jews give thanks for the bounty of the Earth.  We commemorate the holiday by decorating our sukkah with fruits, vegetables and harvest items.  We shake the lulov and the etrog to connect ourselves to the Earth as we eat and spend time outside. It is fitting during the traditionally agricultural holiday of Sukkot to think about our food choices.  Here are a few ways we can be more eco-friendly in our eating and food purchasing habits:...

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Go Back to School and Be Green

With many area schools beginning their fall semester between mid-August and early September, many students and their parents will be heading to the stores for back-to-school supplies.   Your back-to-school purchases make a huge difference. Here's why: 14 billion pencils are produced every year, many made with wood from ancient forests. Americans use about 31.5 million tons of printing and writing paper each year, requiring 535 million trees (most from virgin tree fiber) and 12 billion gallons of oil to make. The average American consumes about 660 pounds of paper ...

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Greening Your Travel: Part Two

Summer is here and what better way to honor the environment and the Jewish principle of baal tashchit (do not waste) than by planning your summer travels to be as eco-friendly as possible.  Here are a few tips to help as you plan your summer getaway:  Use eco-friendly transportation as much as possible:  Some options include doing a biking vacation and/or taking public transportation (such as train or bus) to get to your ultimate destination.  These alternatives are often cheaper and also reduce your carbon footprint as opposed to travelling by car. Bring your ...

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Reducing Food Waste in Seven Easy Steps

Statistics show that in the U.S. alone   60 million metric tons of food is wasted each year, of which about 40 million metric tons of it end up in municipal landfills. This represents between 30 to 40 percent of the overall food supply and the single largest component in landfills.  It is an important value in Judaism that we not waste resources, including food (the principle of baal tashchit).  Below are a few simple steps you can take to personally reduce food waste as you shop. Inventory your food items before grocery shopping—Take stock of what you already ...

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Get Ready for Earth Day

By JEI intern, Maggie McCarthy Though the earth sustains us, its health depends upon our care and responsible use of its resources. Protecting the planet is both a religious and spiritual imperative. The Hebrew phrase l’dor v’dor captures this central command. We must pass on a thriving earth “from generation to generation”. Earth Day provides the perfect occasion to remember our duty to the planet. In attempts to raise environmental awareness, Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin proposed a day of celebration, instituting the first Earth Day on April 22, ...

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Greening Your Purim

The Jewish holiday of Purim, which begins this year on the evening of March 23, celebrates  the deliverance of the Jews from their enemies in the biblical Book of Esther.  Purim typically involves reading from the Megillah, dressing up in festive costumes , eating hamantashen and giving gifts  of food and drink to others (Shalach Manot).  With a little creativity, you can make this holiday more eco-friendly.  Below are some suggestions: Do a clothing/costume exchange with friends: Instead of buying a new costume for the holiday, gather with friends (both adults ...

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Ways to Reduce Waste When Dining Out

There are a number of ways that you can reduce waste as you dine out at restaurants or head to a café for a warm drink in the cold weather.  Reducing waste (the principal of baal tashchit) is a core value in Judaism and can go a long way toward helping the environment, especially added up over time. Consider ways to reduce paper cup waste:  Take a thermos with you when you order coffee in a coffee shop,  indicate that your order is “for here” and ask for the mug rather than the paper cup.  You can then pour the coffee into your thermos.  Also consider brewing ...

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Eden Village Camp is hiring a Farmer/ Educator

Eden Village Camp is Hiring! About Eden Village Camp: Eden Village Camp aims to be a living model of a thriving, sustainable Jewish community, grounded in social responsibility and inspired Jewish spiritual life. By bringing the wisdom of our tradition to the environmental, social, and personal issues important to today’s young people, we practice a Judaism that is substantive and relevant. Through our Jewish environmental and service-learning curricula, joyful Shabbat observance, pluralistic Jewish expression, and inspiring, diverse staff role models, we foster our ...

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Alon Tal tells why it is important to vote for Green Israel Now!

Last chance to help us make Israel a greener, environmentally healthier land: Until the end of April you can vote online for the upcoming World Zionist Congress. The results determine, among other things, the division of power at the Jewish National Fund’s international board. For the past decade I have sat on the JNF board, largely because of the support and intervention of the Green Zionist Alliance – a wonderful group of young environmentalists who decided to get involved and improve Israel’s environmental performance. This support has allowed me to ...

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Vote for Green Israel in the WZC Election before April 30th!

You can support the Israel you want to see. All American Jews can vote in the World Zionist Congress election going on right now. One of the most common questions, we get is why it costs $10 to vote. As Mirele Goldsmith, a Green Israel slate member answers: "The American Zionist Movement has contracted with an independent company to run the online election.  This is to insure that the election is fair.  The registration fee is being used exclusively to pay for the election.  It is not a donation to the WZO.  I wish there was no fee, but it is a small price to pay ...

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GREENING YOUR PASSOVER

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 ...

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Going Green for Valentine’s Day

If there is a special someone in your life, Valentine’s Day is a day when you probably feel compelled to celebrate and give a gift.   At the same time, this holiday can be the height of commercialism and yet another reason to shop for high end “stuff.”  Consider rethinking the holiday and using it as a way to show love while being mindful of environmental impact. Below are a few ways to do so: --Give an eco-friendly gift:  Avoid the mall or department store. Go eco-friendly with your gift.  Some ideas include fair trade chocolate, organic handmade soap or a ...

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Eden Village is hiring farm educator apprentices for 2015 growing season!

Eden Village Camp is Hiring!  Submit Your Application About Eden Village Camp: Eden Village Camp aims to be a living model of a thriving, sustainable Jewish community, grounded in social responsibility and inspired Jewish spiritual life. By bringing the wisdom of our tradition to the environmental, social, and personal issues important to today’s young people, we practice a Judaism that is substantive and relevant. Through our Jewish environmental and service-learning curricula, joyful Shabbat observance, pluralistic Jewish expression, and inspiring, diverse staff ...

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Do’s and Don’t’s of E-Recycling

With the large increase over the past few years in electronic communication devices, and the fast pace in which new versions of the latest cell phones and tablets come out, there is a potential for concern about what is happening to old electronic devices when they are replaced.  Electronic gadgets that are simply tossed in the garbage or sent to an unreliable e-recycling organization can result in toxic waste that threatens health and safety.   Keeping in mind the Jewish value of baal tashchit (do not waste) ,  there are a number of things you can do as you consider ...

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Greening Hanukkah

Hanukkah is a time where we celebrate the renewal of the eternal flame and rededication of the Temple.  It is a great time to rededicate ourselves to the goal of preserving God’s creation, conserving energy and helping the environment.  Here are a few things you can do leading up to, and during, the holiday to rededicate yourself to making the world more eco-friendly.   GO GREEN IN YOUR HANUKKAH GIFTING:     Give Alternatives to “Stuff”:  Consider giving gifts that do not create waste.  Give a museum membership, tickets to a play or ...

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Make Your Thanksgiving Celebration Eco-Friendly

Thanksgiving, while an ecumenical holiday, is a great time to consider the Jewish principle of baal tashchit (do not waste).  There are many things you can do to make your celebration of this holiday more earth friendly. Reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible:  Try to buy only as much food as you need and look for food that either has no container or that has a container that can be recycled.  Plan to compost any non-meat food items that can't be eaten (such as carrot peel) or that have to be thrown out after the meal.  Also plan to use reusable cloth napkins ...

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Tips for an Eco-Friendly Simcha

Planning a simcha, such as a wedding, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or bris, offers many opportunities to make an environmental impact.  Every choice you make in planning your event can be a chance to make a statement about the importance of respecting and preserving God's creation, the Earth. Here are some ideas of ways to reduce waste as you prepared for the big day. Reduce paper use:  Consider using the Internet for all or some of your announcements about your event.  Invitations can be sent electronically.  RSVPs also can be sent to a specially designated email address ...

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