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


Blogs

Sustaining Jewish Memory

  • February 26, 2013
  • Member since 2011

I was recently speaking with a colleague about how much more green and sustainable we were in the “good old days.” Growing up in the Great Depression, many of our relatives integrated the lessons of conservation because economics dictated that they do so. How many of our bubbes would keep the house thermostat low in the winter and tell you to put on a sweater, reuse food containers for storage, darn socks or refurbish household items with leftover fabric and paint? More recent generations have become less frugal; we purchase products that make our lives ...

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Sustainable living is more than the 3-R’s

  • January 1, 2013
  • Member since 2011

Hopefully we’ve all been recycling (or been around recycling) long enough to recognize the symbol that has become synonymous with the act: the triangle with the 3 arrows, moving in the same direction, creating a closed loop, a cycle. Bonus points for those that know that each of those 3 arrows actually stand for different acts, only one of which is recycle. This symbol is actually the graphic that was created for the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. The order is important, as it is prioritized by the most desirable action first. Ideally, recycling is ...

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Green Gifting (for Hanukkah)

In a prior Planet Jewish blog we provided you with suggestions for making your Hanukkah celebration more eco-friendly. In the spirit of reducing waste (baal tashchit) and tilling and tending planet Earth for generations to come, here are some specific suggestions for green gifting over the eight nights of the holiday. Give Alternatives to “Stuff”: Consider giving gifts that do not create waste. Give a museum membership, tickets to a play or a certificate to a local restaurant. Buy Gifts at Fair Trade stores: One way to show that ...

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Celebrate America Recycles Day

Thursday November 15 is America Recycles Day, a program dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. Recycling is a great way to reduce the amount of waste generated and thus to honor the Jewish principle of Baal Tashhit. Why Recycling Is Important: Recycling saves energy, conserves natural resources and creates green jobs The national recycling rate of 34 percent annually saves the energy equivalent of nearly 229 million barrels of oil The national recycling rate of 34 percent annually avoids greenhouse gas emissions ...

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Green Your High Holidays

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Clean the Land: Love It. Live It. Clean It.

It’s happened to each and every one of us. You’re at the beach in Tel Aviv, surrounded by white sand, blue sea, shining sun…and, of course, bronzed bodies. With the enthusiasm of a kid in a candy store, you run to the water and jump in. “This is just too perfect! This has to be a dream!” you think to yourself. You dip your head, envisioning yourself recreating one of those movie scenes where you emerge from the water with your hair slicked, basking in the Mediterranean sun. Unfortunately, when you break the ...

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Reduce Workplace Waste

Whether you own your own business or work for someone else, it is a good practice to be mindful of your energy use and use of office supplies during your work day. There are many simple practices that will allow you to use less energy and produce less waste. This pays off by helping the environment and lowering costs as well. Shut down your computer. According to a recent study by the Harvard Green Campus Initiative, computersare responsible for about 40% of the energy consumed by office equipment in the United States. One desktop computer left in full ...

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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 ...

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Recycled Paper (CJN June 2011)

This "Sustainable Jew" article originally appeared in the Canadian Jewsih News June 10, 2011 Recycle, reduce, reuse. Last month, my column discussed the challenge of recycling of paper on which Jewish holy words are written. This month, we will focus on some key considerations to help you make sustainable choices about what paper you use as well as how you use, and eventually reuse, that paper. The three actions mentioned above— choice, use and reuse—help influence what paper options are available in the marketplace. As such, the actions ...

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Take Care Reproducing Documents (CJN May 2011)

This "Sustainable Jew" column originally appeared in the Canadian Jewish News May 12, 2011 We are now in “sphirat ha-omer,” the count-up to Shavuot—the time of the giving of our Torah. Our study and transmission of our Written and Oral Laws ("Torah Shebichtav" and "Torah Sheba'al Peh," respectively) has benefitted from technological advancement. We are known as the “People of the Book”—five books of Moses, 24 books of Tanakh, countless written commentaries—but many are beginning to find ...

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AS I SEE IT: Ways to green the upcoming holidays

AS I SEE IT: Ways to green the upcoming holidays Originally posted in in the Princeton (NJ) Packet (http://bit.ly/sy6DlG) By Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins Dr. Dov Peretz Elkins is rabbi emeritus of The Jewish Center of Princeton and a member of Sustainable Princeton (www.SustainablePrinceton.org). His most recent book is “Simple Actions for Jews to Help Green the Planet", which can be purchased at http://bit.ly/uoUGDx. Why is a rabbi writing about Christmas? Hanukkah, sure . . . but Christmas! Answer: ...

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The Little That Holds A Lot

How do I share about the hidden dangers of electronic waste? I find it hard to stare directly at this information. I’d like to start with a meditation from Reb Nachman of Breslov- his images from a hunchback beggar that depict a little that holds a lot. First, silence- the little that holds a lot. Next, let’s remember the life giving land- filled with fruit trees that become dwarfed by the bounty of fruit- the little that holds a lot. And only now do I turn to Reb Nachman’s nightmarish image of the mountain of excrement and waste- produced by one ...

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Jewish FreeCycle

http://www.jewishfreecycle.com/green-video.html Shalom! Welcome! We are a grassroots nonprofit movement of "generous donors" and "gracious recipients". All Free! You have give, you need receive..... Upcycling, Ecycling, Re-purposing, Regifting and Reusing supporting and strengthening our Jewish Community through "Tzedakah" and "Gemilut Chasadim". Membership is free. "He that gives should never remember, he that receives ...

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Turning Waste Into Treasure

I read a story last week that really got my attention. It was posted on the New York Times Green Blog (see story here: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/29/an-oil-bonanza-in-discarded-plastic/), and was discussing a company’s effort to convert discarded plastic into crude oil. Now I know this does not sound like the most environmentally friendly initiative, as the crude oil will eventually be utilized, resulting in the release of green house gases into the atmosphere. However, although I am a huge supporter of renewable energy, I think there is room ...

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The Power of Electronic Recycling

“Look at My works. See how beautiful they are, how excellent. See to it that you do not spoil or destroy My world. For if you do, there will be no one to repair it after you.” (Midrash Ecclesiates Rabbah 1 on 7:13 c. 9thcentury) In today’s ever more technological world, the number of electronic items the average person uses and wears out continues to grow. According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), Americans now own approximately 24 electronic products per household. As Jews we should be mindful not to immediately throw out ...

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Environmental Tip of the Week: Know your local recycling policies!

Cross posted in Environmental Tip of the Week Just Google recycling policies [your city] and you should get relevant sites. I found a site with Seattle's recycling ordinance, for example, that apartment building landlords can put up as a sign. If you live in an apartment building, it's worth checking its policies against the local laws to make sure they comply.

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