8 Tips for a Green Hanukkah
This year Hanukkah falls on December 7th-15th. As it's a holiday based on the concept of conservation—a one-day supply of oil lasted a miraculous eight days—we are sharing 8 tips for a more sustainable holiday to celebrate the 8 days of Hanukkah.
1. Menorahs: Often passed down from generation to generation, a menorah can last many lifetimes, making them incredibly sustainable. If you're in the market for one, however, consider getting an antique or secondhand menorah. Local thrift stores and online platforms like eBay are good places to look. Or make your own! Websites like Etsy or Pinterest offer inspiration and step-by-step guides to help you craft the perfect menorah using sustainable materials and repurposing items.
2. Use Sustainable Candles: The celebration of Hanukkah requires a lot of candles over the course of the eight days (44 to be exact). Consider using candles made from beeswax, soy or vegetable oil instead of traditional wax candles.
3. Choose Sustainable Gifts: When exchanging presents, consider eco-friendly options. Look for products made from recycled materials, support local artisans, or give experiences rather than tangible items.
4. Practice Responsible Packaging: Wrap your gifts in recycled or reusable materials, such as newspaper or fabric. Avoid using single-use wrapping paper and make sure to recycle any packaging materials you receive.
5. Reduce Food Waste: Plan your Hanukkah meals mindfully to minimize food waste. Cook and serve only what you need, and donate any excess food to local food banks or shelters. Composting leftovers is another excellent way to reduce waste and nourish the earth.
6. Support Local and Organic: When shopping for ingredients, prioritize locally sourced and organic food items. This not only supports local farmers and reduces carbon emissions from transportation but also ensures healthier meals for you and your loved ones.
7. Embrace Sustainable Decorations: Consider using natural and reusable decorations like pine cones, branches, or homemade crafts. Avoid purchasing disposable decorations made from plastic or other non-recyclable materials.
8. Dispose of Cooking Oil Properly: Be sure not to put that used latke oil down the drain! Reuse it if possible, or save it for proper disposal at your local drop-off location.
As Hanukkah is a time for giving, take the opportunity to make a positive impact on your community and the environment. Volunteer for local environmental organizations or donate to causes that promote sustainability.