Saturday 11 February Temple Israel enjoyed a special Tu B’Shevat Seder with Rabbi Julia Margolis. It was most informative, especially for our conversion class to learn about our culture and traditions.
Everyday Conservation Actions by Barbara Lerman-Golomb, Director of Education and Outreach, HAZON Since the “Tu” in Tu B’Shvat stands for the 15th day of Shvat, we would like to offer 15 tree and water conservation tips.
- Dishtowels…the quicker picker upper. Use dishtowels instead of paper towels for drying dishes and kitchen spills. Think how many paper towels you need to match the absorbency of only one dishtowel! Set up a simple system: one for spills, one for dishes, one for drying lettuce and other veggies.
- Think cloth napkins are only for formal dinners? Think again! You can use cloth napkins for all your meals. Use them with a napkin ring to help identify users for repeated use. By the way…kids rarely use napkins in their school lunches, but if you give them one, they’ll throw it away. A cloth napkin in a child’s lunch box will most likely go unused, yet saved.
- PutYourJunk Mail to Work for You! Instead of discarding junk mail, business mailings or any sheets of paper with only one side of use, use them again for writing drafts. Keep an in-box or recycling receptacle by your printer to hold sheets until you need them.
- Yo,Yo Wrap! Save previously used wrapping paper and use it again. Or, use swatches of fabric, newspaper, reusable gift bags or a cloth sack for gifts. If you need to purchase new wrapping paper, make sure it’s recycled.
- If it’s Free, It’s for Me! Use toilet tissue and tissues with at least 50% “post consumer recycled content” free of dyes, perfumes and dioxin. (The process of bleaching paper to whiten it is responsible for creating the toxic substance, dioxin.) It’s in the bag. The cloth bag ,that is. Keep cloth bags in your car, with your bicycle or by your front door for all your shopping needs instead of taking a paper bag, or plastic bags (made of non- renewable sources).
- The Three P’s–Precycle, Practical, Preservation Buy items with little or no packaging or in bulk that you can stock in your own containers. Most stores carrying bulk items give money back for using your own bags or jars. Buy food in cardboard packaging that can be recycled or that has already been recycled (it’s gray inside). Tip: Create file folders and post cards from used cereal boxes.
- Drink to Your Health Keep a commuter mug in your car, in your backpack, at your office for a fill up of your favorite beverage instead of taking a new paper cup.
- Wood That’s Too Good (to waste) Avoid items made from rain forest woods such as rosewood, mahogany, teak, or ebony.
- Be Cool Keep a bottle of cold water in the refrigerator instead of wasting water down the drain waiting for it to get cold.
- Don’t Kick the Bucket Keep a bucket in your shower (or outside to collect rainwater). Transfer it over to watering cans or jugs to water your indoor and outdoor plants.
- Go With the Flow Take a shower instead of a bath and buy a low-flow shower head and a sink aerator for your kitchen or bathroom faucet to conserve water. To find these items, contact your local hardware store or visit www.greenpages.org or the Real Goods catalog at www.realgoods.com to check out their products for a healthy home and planet.
- Dear John Use a jug filled with water or stones to take up space in the toilet tank or buy a special “toilet dam” so that less water is wasted. Or, conserve your flushes.
- Clean and Green Don’t waste water down the drain while washing dishes. Fill the sink up instead. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and washing your face.
- A Healthy Lunch box A reusable lunch box or cloth bag; a thermos; reusable storage containers, food that needs no packaging (e.g., fresh fruit) and a cloth napkin. Replace paper plates with reusables for picnics or casual meals.
- PLANT A TREE!