You’re not required to complete the task, but neither can you desist from it.
– Pirkei Avot 2:16
The word brit means “covenant.” (And the word hazon means “vision.”)
The Brit Hazon is our opportunity to make a personal commitment to do better – to take a stand and take action and be part of the solution for a healthier and more sustainable world for all.
By participating in the Brit Hazon we invite you to:
1. Commit to a personal behavior change that lessens your negative impact on planet Earth
2. Give of your time and/or money to an organization that supports environmental efforts
3. Invite others to join you by sharing your commitment on social media, inviting your friends and family, or encouraging your Jewish institution to join the Hazon Seal of Sustainability.
We are in a global climate crisis and Jewish tradition compels us to respond. We must envision the world we wish to create and we must see ourselves as part of the solution.
The Brit Hazon
As part of the Brit Hazon, we invite you to commit to one of the following behavior changes for a six-week period. Click on the commitments to read more about them. When you decide on the commitment you want to make, select “commit” and you will see a list of specific actions you can take for the next six weeks to achieve it. Join a growing community of people taking action to create a healthier and more sustainable world for all!
Once you have completed one commitment after six weeks, we invite you to sign up for another one. You can partake in the Shmita Challenge by committing to all six! Sign up for one six-week commitment and complete it; then come back and sign up for another; and repeat!
The Brit Hazon Commitments
Industrial production of meat and dairy is one of the largest contributors to climate change today. From the mono-crops produced to feed these animals that degrade soil health and create a dependency on chemical inputs derived from petroleum products, to the enormous amounts of greenhouse gases produced by these creatures, to the swaths of rains forests that are clear cut for the grazing of cattle, industrial farming of animals is destroying ecosystems and directly causing a rise in global temperatures. Transitioning to a plant-rich diet can significantly reduce the impact you have on planet Earth.
Around the world, almost ⅓ of all food produced is not eaten. Not only is this a waste of resources like water, fertilizer, labor, and land but the methane released as this food decomposes accounts for almost 8% of all global emissions. While we might not individually be able to address systemic waste issues we can control how much food we buy, how much we let go to waste and what we do with that waste – compost anyone?
Refrigeration and transportation exhaust are two of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions around the world, and much of those emissions come from moving food across the globe. By choosing to grow your own produce or buy from local vendors you are not only choosing to support your local economy (which research suggests increases quality of life for everyone in town) but you are also making a commitment to lower your carbon footprint!
Transportation is the number one human impact cause of global warming. From air travel to single-person driving trips, we use a lot of fuel. Commit to lowering your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of fossil fuels you use in transportation. Consider carpooling, flying less, or even going electric.
The over consumption of single-use plastics is connected to all of the top 10 contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. By choosing to reduce our consumption of single-use plastics we are not only decreasing the resource demand on our Earth but also preventing harmful waste from entering our water system and harming delicate ecosystems around the world.
Our rampant use of electricity not only taxes our aging infrastructure around the world but also produces significant amounts of toxic pollution contributing to a rise in global temperatures. By reducing the amount of energy we use by adjusting our thermostats, hanging our clothes to dry, or enjoying Shabbat, we can significantly decrease our carbon footprint.