Recycling Subscribe

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


Blogs

Earth Etude for Elul 19–Elul: The Month for Climate Action

  by David Krantz~ Tekiah! In Elul, we hear the call for the quintessential sound of the shofar every morning. It’s meant as a daily wake-up call to action. Perhaps appropriately, the word Tekiah itself also means “disaster.” Day after day in Elul, the shofar shouts: “Disaster! Act now!” Just as an alarm clock gives us notice that we have to get to work, the shofar reminds us that time marches onward and that our mistakes won’t correct themselves. We must actively engage with the world to repair it and our relationships with each other. The ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 16 – Boggled by Bottles

by Rabbi Suri Krieger~ Today, driving home from the gorgeous flower-full Massachusetts Horticulture Society in Wellesley, I had to swerve on the road three times… to avoid plastic bottles thrown out on the highway. It boggles my mind that the bottle dilemma is still one of the most abusive forms of earth erosion we are guilty of. Bottles were one of the first recycle items to be tackled, and yes… we can see recycle bins everywhere now. But the fact that we even have those bins, indicates how drastically we have missed the point. The Recycle, Reuse, Reduce trilogy is ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 15 – Shema: Listen to, and do for, the Earth

by Joan Rachlin~ During Elul, the month of reflection and spiritual return, or t’shuvah, I am working to deepen my connection to the earth so that I can in turn strengthen my efforts to protect it. I want to listen to and observe nature in a more intentional way and to encourage others to do the same. We all know how to observe nature, but how—and why—should we listen to it as well? I want to both watch and listen to the miracle that is nature so that I can better understand what we have, stop taking those gifts for granted, and to become more aware of ...

Read More


This Mother’s Day Be Good to Mother Earth.

Here are ways you can be “greener” for Mother’s Day and going forward: Reduce. Try to buy less — especially those things that have a negative impact on the environment, such as plastic tableware if you have company coming for Mother’s Day dinner. Reduce your energy needs. Winter is finally over and it’s warmer inside and out. Open your windows and let the fresh air in. If it is really hot, set your thermostat no higher than 78°F (26°C) when you are home and higher when you are away (information from the U.S. Department of Energy). A programmable ...

Read More


Rainbow Day is on Shabbat Behar in 2018, May 11-12!

Celebrate Rainbow Day and the Rainbow Covenant with all Life! The first covenant in the Torah, when Noah leaves the ark, is a covenant with all creatures, and a covenant with the Earth itself, not just with humanity. There are so many ways you can teach about this covenant, the rainbow covenant, on the day it was established! What is Rainbow Day?  On the 27th day of the second month, Noah, his family, and all the animals that were with them left the ark (Genesis 8). Exactly one lunar year and ten days before—one complete solar year—the flood began on the ...

Read More


For many years I have believed that my religion, Judaism, has been stolen. Why? Because Judaism has powerful messages on peace, justice, compassion, sharing, and environmental sustainability that can help shift our imperiled planet onto a sustainable path. Yet, most Orthodox Jews, while doing many  commendable things, are in denial about climate change and other environmental threats and are increasingly supporting politicians who promote benefits for the wealthiest Americans and highly profitable corporations, at the expense of average Americans. I ...

Read More


My Green New Year’s Resolutions

I want to be "greener" this year and here are my plans: 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 coming for dinner. I am also going to reduce my energy needs. I am going to wear more layers of clothing at home this winter, for example, so I can lower my thermostat without feeling cold. Resolution #2: Reuse. When we go out to eat, I am going to try to bring my own containers to take home the leftovers. Styrofoam can take hundreds of ...

Read More


Jewish Teachings on Ecology

This post is chapter 4 of the 1982 second edition of my book,"Judaism and Global Survival." The complete text can be read freely at www.JewishVeg.org/schwartz, where I also have over 250 articles. Comments and suggestions always welcome. . ============ "In the hour when the Holy one, blessed be He, created the first human being (Adam), He took him and let him pass before all the trees of the Garden of Eden and said to him: 'See my works, how fine and excellent they are! All that I have created, for you have I created them. Think upon this and do not dispoil and ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 23 – Collective Versus Personal Action in the Jewish Bible

by Andy Oram~ Environmental activists are constantly juggling between the personal and the political. Do we devote our efforts to using our cars less, substituting vegan meals for meat, and recycling? Or do we canvas our friends and neighbors to pressure governments and businesses to adopt more planet-friendly technologies? We know that we need to do both the personal and the political, but those of us who have taken the environment as our cause have found ourselves swinging between them in a way that is frustrating and distracting. And as we prepare for the High ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 19 – Keeping Agreements as a Spiritual Practice

by Rabbi David Jaffe~ I am a people pleaser. On the surface that may sound just fine. I get along well with people, care about people and want to give them what they want. But the motivations for my people pleasing reveal its dark underside. I don’t like conflict, so I will do whatever is necessary to make sure people like me. For example, I will say yes to things I know I will never do, sacrificing my integrity to avoid the momentary discomfort and hard feelings of saying no. I am not sharing this publicaly to self-flagellate. Rather, my own condition is ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


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...

Read More


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.  ...

Read More


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:...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


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, ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More


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 ...

Read More