These are some of the buzz words you have likely heard bantered about. But what does it mean to Be Green from a Jewish perspective? The Torah prohibits us from wasting resources. When we waste our resources, whether water, trees, air, food, clothing, or other materials, we are violating the commandment of Bal Tashchit (“Do Not Destroy”). When we waste resources, we destroy what G-d has given to us. Another way of approaching our impact on the world is recognizing that Being Green supports Tikkun Olam – Repairing Our World. If you believe in being green, either because of what is written in the Torah or you simply want to protect the environment, you can improve how we use our resources here at Beth El and in the community at large.
Sustainability at Beth El
Beth El has taken steps to reduce our carbon footprint and find new ways to promote environmental awareness and responsibility. We would love your input and help with additional ideas to keep Beth El moving forward! Read the history of the Greening of Beth El.
Recycling Paper – Beth El collects paper trash for recycling every day in the green receptacles in our parking lot (near the office). You can bring anything made out of paper here to be recycled, including your junk mail, newspapers and magazines. Not only will you help the environment, but proceeds paid to us by the recycler benefit Beth El!
Eco-Friendly Products – Whenever possible, Beth El uses eco-friendly products throughout the synagogue. This includes using biodegradable plates and utensils and informal gatherings and using eco-friendly soap products in our main rest areas.
Plant a Row for SHIM – For those gardeners who love seeing others enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor, Beth El’s Social Action Committee has partnered with SHIM (South Hill Interfaith Ministries) to help our neighbors in need. Donate your excess vegetables/fruits/herbs from your garden for distribution at local food pantries. Sharing your harvest is a simple mitzvah! Contact Joan Charlson to arrange your harvest donation.
How we can Improve Our Environmental Footprint?
Get involved in Sustainability at Beth El by contacting Andy Baram. Whether you wish to join our Sustainability Committee, share ideas, or ask questions, we’d love to hear from you!
Being Green At Home
Each community in the South Hills has different guidelines for helping environmental and recycling efforts. We hope you will read what your community is doing and become active participants in making your home green (even a ‘light shade’ of will help!). And don’t forget to contact us with any ideas you come across that might work here at Beth El!
What We Talk About When We Talk About Plastic Recycling
February 12, 2021
Try to imagine a day where you go without using plastic—it’s impossible. From yogurt containers to shampoo bottles to takeout containers, plastic is a part of our daily lives. Just a few years ago, this didn’t bother many people because recycling plastic was easier and more commonplace. South Hills townships used to recycle all plastics…
Sponges. We all use them, from cleaning pots and pans to other household chores. But did you know that many sponges contain plastic? They are also a repository for germs and pretty hard to recycle. One way to make environmental changes in kitchen habits is to replace sponges with Swedish dishcloths. They are made from…
I grew up having paper towels handy for many uses, especially in the kitchen. Wash your hands; dry with a paper towel. Spill on the floor; wipe with a paper towel. Rinse fruits and vegetables; spread to dry on a paper towel. You get the idea. Once we started composting, we would add the used…