Quantcast

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

6 Benefits of Coconut Oil

Which State Best Supports Its Locally Grown Foods?

15 Junk Foods Disguised as Health Food

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Dan Nosowitz

It's no secret that the past few years have been disastrous for the American farming industry.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and coconut oil are fats that have risen in popularity alongside the ketogenic, or keto, diet.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Bijal Trivedi

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.

Read More Show Less
Rool Paap / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be good or bad depending on the situation.

Read More Show Less

By Joe Vukovich

Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Emily Moran

If you have oak trees in your neighborhood, perhaps you've noticed that some years the ground is carpeted with their acorns, and some years there are hardly any. Biologists call this pattern, in which all the oak trees for miles around make either lots of acorns or almost none, "masting."

Read More Show Less

By Catherine Davidson

Tashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane in front of her.

Some 700 kilometers away in the capital city Delhi, temperatures have yet to dip below 25 degrees Celsius, but in Spiti there is already an atmosphere of impatient expectation as winter settles over the valley.

Read More Show Less

The Dog Aging Project at the University of Washington is looking to recruit 10,000 dogs to study for the next 10 years to see if they can improve the life expectancy of man's best friend and their quality of life, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less