6 Easy Ways to Green Your Hanukkah
Hanukkah, which starts this year at sundown December 16, and ends at sundown December 24, is actually the perfect holiday during which to contemplate energy conservation and using Earth's resources wisely. It tells the story of the cleansing and reconsecration of the Temple after its destruction and how there was only one night's worth of pure oil for the menorah. But miraculously, it burned for eight nights, enough time to produce more purified oil. So the idea of making our resources go further is already embedded in the celebration.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Here are a few things to think about to make your own holiday gentler on the environment, stretch your resources further and respect the bounty that Earth gives us.
1. Don't buy cheap, throwaway holiday items. Well-constructed menorahs, made from quality materials and handcrafted by artisans, can become family heirlooms. You don't need to buy bags of those cheap little plastic dreidels either. Think of the pleasure you'll get passing a special quality wooden dreidel down to a child or grandchild and telling them stories of your own Hanukkahs past.
2. Use slow-burning beeswax candles, which use no petroleum-based products. They're smoke- and drip-free and allow you to enjoy the holiday lights longer.
3. Look for locally sourced, organically and sustainably raised food for your holiday feast. While many summer farmers markets are closed for the season, many have holiday editions where you can buy things like pasture-raised meat, eggs, milk and butter, greens raised in hoop houses or greenhouses, and long-storage produce like onions, potatoes, squash, turnips and apples, as well as value-added products made in your own area.
4. Obviously those latkes—the traditional potato pancakes—are going to require a lot of cooking oil, although using a little less won't hurt, we promise you! Use healthy, environmentally friendly oil, and be careful how you dispose of it. Since cooking oil is biodegradable, the best way is to put it in your compost bin with some sawdust and lawn clippings.
5. You're going to eat a lot (don't overdo it; grandma will survive if you turn down thirds), so gather up all the scraps and put those in the compost bin too—or if you don't have one, find a composting facility.
6. Gifts pile up during Hanukkah, since it's a tradition in many families to give something for each of the eight days. Instead of a lot of new junk with a short lifespan, think about making or recycling gifts, or giving intangible items like a pass to a skating rink or toboggan chutes, a promise to babysit or a donation to a cause that's particular close to friend or family member's heart.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
For the first time ever, a vegan restaurant in France has been awarded a coveted Michelin star.
- Vegan Food Goes Mainstream at U.S. Colleges - EcoWatch ›
- 8 Fast Food Chains That Serve Local, Organic, Vegan Food ... ›
- 15 of the Best Vegan Restaurants in America - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Ice cream samples in the Chinese municipality of Tianjin have tested positive for traces of the new coronavirus.
- Coronavirus Found on Frozen Food Imported to China. Should You ... ›
- Here's How to Clean Your Groceries During the COVID-19 Outbreak ... ›
- Young Children May Have Higher Coronavirus Levels, Raising ... ›
By Galen Barbose, Eric O'Shaughnessy and Ryan Wiser
Until recently, rooftop solar panels were a clean energy technology that only wealthy Americans could afford. But prices have dropped, thanks mostly to falling costs for hardware, as well as price declines for installation and other "soft" costs.
A 2018 study estimates that installing rooftop solar systems on low- and moderate-income housing could provide up to 42% of all rooftop technical potential in the residential sector and improve energy affordability in low-income communities. NREL
- Federal Energy Regulators Reject Attack on Rooftop Solar Policies ... ›
- A 'SmartFlower' Grows in Chicago: Innovative Solar Design Powers ... ›
- Construction Begins on Keystone XL Pipeline in Montana - EcoWatch ›
- Trump Approves Keystone XL Pipeline, Groups Vow 'The Fight Is ... ›
- Keystone XL Pipeline Construction to Forge Ahead During ... ›
California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.
- Bond Fire South of LA Forces 25,000 to Flee - EcoWatch ›
- 'Explosive' Southern California Lake Fire Spreads to 10,000 Acres ... ›
- 10 Wildfires Ignite Around Los Angeles in Unseasonable Wind and ... ›