Consumerism Subscribe

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


Blogs

Adventures in Being “So Kind”

Register. There it was on my list of pre-baby things to do. I had the feeling that people would want to buy things for us, and I knew they’d be asking if we had a registry. Setting one up seemed like the proper thing to do. It would help everyone know what we needed. But the truth was, we didn’t need all that much. We had saved bags of clothing, toys and other baby gear from our older son. And we live in a generous community where neighbors had already given or lent us key things like a carseat, a baby swing, a jogging stroller and our choice ...

Read More


Moving Forward with “Move Our Money/ Protect Our Planet”

More than 100 Rabbis, Cantors, and other Jewish spiritual leaders have signed the Rabbinic Call to Move Our Money/Protect Our Planet. (Providentially, not planned by us, the initials spell “MOM/POP.”).! There are now four initiatives we want to take toward giving additional reality to this Call: 1) Sabbatical/ Shmita Year In Leviticus 25, the Torah calls for the human community to let the Earth rest from organized agriculture every seventh year -- a Sabbatical Year called Shabbat shabbaton or Shmita ("Release" or "Non-attac...

Read More


70+ Rabbinic Call to Move Our Money to Protect Our Planet

Dear chevra, By April 30, 2014, more than 70 Rabbis and other Jewish spiritual leaders have signed this Call. Now we appeal to all members of the Jewish community to join in this effort. To do so, please click to: <https://theshalomcenter.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=11&reset=1> We — Rabbis, Cantors, and other Jewish spiritual leaders — call upon Jewish households, congregations, seminaries, communal and denominational bodies, and other institutions: Move Our Money to Protect Our Planet. In the ancient tradition ...

Read More


Environmental Tip of the Week: Replace one or more store-bought, chemical-filled body-care products with something homemade and natural!

Cross posted in Environmental Tip of the Week This is a great resource to get you started: http://www.jewcology.org/content/view/Do-It-Yourself-Body-Care-for-the-New-Year

Read More


Uplifting People and Planet

Exciting news! Just in time for Tu b’Shevat, Canfei Nesharim and Jewcology are proud to announce the launch of a new ebook exploring traditional Jewish teachings on the environment, Uplifting People and Planet: Eighteen Essential Jewish Lessons on the Environment, edited by Rabbi Yonatan Neril and Evonne Marzouk. This ebook is the most comprehensive study in English of how Jewish traditional sources teach us to protect our natural resources and preserve the environment. From food to trees, energy to water, wealth to biodiversity, the book studies eighteen ...

Read More


Is Fur a Jewish Issue?

Jewish worshipers chant every Sabbath morning, "The soul of every living being shall praise God’s name" (Nishmat kol chai t’varech et shim’chah). Yet, some come to synagogue during winter months wearing coats that required the cruel treatment of some of those living beings whose souls, we declare, praise God. Should Jews wear fur? Several factors should be considered: 1. What does the Jewish tradition teach about the treatment of animals? 2. How much suffering do animals who are raised or trapped for their fur experience? 3. Does the wearing of fur coats have ...

Read More


Earth Etude for Elul 2 – Elul Writing Project

by Molly Bajgot We’re nearing a time when the Earth will not provide as bountifully as it has in the past. In exchange for a loss of resources, I believe the Earth is pleading for us humans to return to ourselves, our deep souls, so we recognize a bounty that lives within us. Could this lead to the feeling of fertility in the human spirit, we may extend the times of plenty. Answering this call is not easy. We cannot stop deadlines so we may each have the time return to ourselves as a form of resiliency. It’s a necessary evil to take this time. We may ...

Read More


Polish Shechita Ban Ignores Key Factors

The recent Polish government ban of shechita (Jewish ritual slaughter) overlooks some important considerations. First, it ignores the many problems related to stunning, their preferred method of slaughter. These are thoroughly covered in the book, "Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry," by Gail Eisnitz. Through many interviews with slaughterhouse workers and USDA inspectors, she carefully documents in gut wrenching, chilling detail the widespread, unspeakable torture and death at U.S. slaughterhouses ...

Read More


Tnuva Admission of Inherent Animal Abuses Should Get Dietary Issues Onto the Jewish Agenda

Pauline Dubkin Yearwood and Richard Schwartz "Slaughtering by its very nature causes the animals great suffering." Who said this? A vegan activist or someone from an animal rights group? That’s what you'd think, but prepare to be shocked: The statement was made by a major Israeli dairy and meat producer, Tnuva. The company is currently the defendant in two independent class action suits related to the mistreatment of animals at its Beit She'an slaughterhouse, where it produces meat under the name Adom Adom. The ...

Read More


Darkness Upon the Face of the Deep

Darkness upon the Face of the Deep –חשך על פני תהום Rabbi Ed Rosenthal “In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was null and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God hovered on the surface of the water.” (Gen.1:1-2). While we are taught that God is omnipresent and there is no place where the Divine presence does not dwell; there are few places that evoke a spiritual experience or a connection with the Divine more surely than the surface of water. ...

Read More


The Sin of Unknowing

It amazes me how we will work so much harder at convincing ourselves that our current toxic habits are ok, or are ok in moderation, rather than accepting the reality that we’ve maybe made mistakes, and have to do better. We seem, as a culture, so willing to deny and rationalize the very things that we inherently know are not good for us now, and certainly pose problems for our future. I’ll admit easily that change is hard, especially in our busy lives, but what’s the alternative? I wish that I had learned how to appreciate meditation and yoga when ...

Read More


A Very Green Rosh Hashanah

On Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate the New Year and give thanks for the creation of our world. We dedicate time to family and friends and we reflect on our past year and celebrate the start of the new year. It's the perfect time to make new goals for the year ahead and try to do better for yourself, your family, and our world. Shopping for the holidays Be eco-"logical" about planning your family gatherings right from the get-go. Shopping locally for an organic Rosh Hashanah meal, apples and honey will not only help support your neighbours and ...

Read More


Don’t Buy Bottled Water

One of the core tenets of Judaism that links it to the environmental movement is the tenet of Baal Tashchit: “do not waste” or “do not destroy.” While it may be convenient, especially in the summer heat, to buy a bottle of disposable bottled water, there are many environmental and health reasons why you should resist this urge. Why Bottled Water is Bad for the Environment: Consider these statistics from the non-profit organization Food and Water Watch before you spend money on bottled water: As much as 40 percent of bottled ...

Read More


Eco-Friendly Clothing

Consider your closet as a possible way to help the planet. It can be difficult to find eco-friendly fabrics. Many clothes are made from petroleum based fabrics, such as polyester. Even natural fabrics are grown or treated with major amounts of pesticides and chemicals that aren’t good for the environment. When possible, look for organic cotton. While they aren’t yet widely available, you can also try to find clothes with labels certifying the clothing as fair trade or environmentally friendly, such as Fair Trade Certified, GOTS – The ...

Read More


Eliminating Plastic Bags and Water Bottles

  • May 22, 2012
  • Member since 2011

A casualty during Maryland’s Legislative session was the Community Clean Up and Greening Act (HB1247/SB511), commonly known as the “Bag Fee bill.” This bill would have established a five-cent fee for plastic and paper carryout bags with the proceeds split among the retailers, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and the counties. Most proceeds would go to the counties for environmental cleanup, restoration of impaired waterways, and public education. Funds would also be used to distribute free reusable bags to Marylanders, particularly elderly and low income ...

Read More


Raisins (or, How I Discovered My Inner Foodie)

I don’t usually think of myself as much of a foodie. In order to address some health conditions, I’m on a pretty rigorous diet, which has taken a lot of previously loved foods – tomatoes, bread, ice cream, chocolate – out of the mainstay in my diet. For a long time I thought that I didn’t like food at all: I wished I could simply take a pill and move on with my day. As you can imagine, this has kept me on the fringe of some parts of the Jewish environmental movement. I’m not one for conversations about making the most ...

Read More


Raising a Jewish Environmentalist?

This past weekend, I attended the Kayam Beit Midrash, an annual event at the Pearlstone Retreat Center in Baltimore. I was proud to attend for the second year with my family – my husband and my beautiful 7-year-old son. We spent the weekend learning about Shemittah, the amazing Jewish mitzvah to let the land rest every seven years. I really appreciate the Kayam Beit Midrash. Through their passions for Jewish learning, farming and agriculture, they manage to bring together a really diverse and interesting group of people. I got to see a lot of old friends, ...

Read More


Eco-Friendly Home

Many people may not think about common purchases made at the grocery or home improvement store and their impact on the environment. However, as Jews commanded to till and tend the Earth and not to waste resources, we need to be mindful of the environmental and health effects of many products we routinely buy. Here’s a list of some commonly purchased items for the home, with an eye toward the more environmentally-conscious option when shopping in a store or online: • Paper goods—Items such as toilet paper, paper towels and tissues are a ...

Read More


Unwanted Old Things

(reposted from Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin's blog: http://blog.bjen.org/, dated February 22, 2012) When my son moved to NYC last summer, he took the furniture from his DC-sized area apartment to his Manhattan-sized apartment. And - unfortunately - discovered that it didn't all fit. So, like the native New Yorker he is, he put the excess furniture out on the curb. Three hours later, it was gone. I had earlier seen a man on the street stop, set his briefcase down beside my son's flotsam (or more properly, jetsam), call someone to describe his find to, all ...

Read More


Equity or the Flood: Two Visions of Justice

It is now seven weeks to Passover and the Passover foods are already for sale in my local supermarket. My family is already planning when to do our shopping and whom to invite to the seder. Like many Jewish families, we put a lot of time and preparations into this holiday because we want to make it special and different from the rest of the year as was done when we were children. But our preparations are not only about shopping, cooking, invites and the changeover of dishes. Every year, we spend at least a little time considering what we ...

Read More