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Chanukah

What is Chanukah?

Chanukah celebrates the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple following its defilement by Syrian Greeks in 164 BCE. Since then, Chanukah has become known as the Festival of Lights, due to the one day supply of oil lasting a miraculous eight days, and is known for the traditional lighting of the hanukkiah. In addition, it is customary to feast upon fried foods and foods made with oil. Since Chanukah celebrates the idea of preserving resources, Hazon offers some Healthy, Sustainable Chanukah Resources as suggestions for your Chanukah celebrations!

When is Chanukah?

Chanukah is celebrated in 2020 from sundown on Thursday, December 10, through sundown on Friday, December 18.

Greening Chanukah

As you plan for your holiday festivities be sure to check out the Hazon Chanukah Greening Guide as well as 10 Ways to Make your Chanukah More Sustainable – both incredible resources from our Hazon programs team!

Download the Chanukah Greening Guide

 


Activities & Rituals

Spinning the Dreidel for Chanukah Gelt

Every Chanukah, Jewish children of all ages receive chocolate gelt as a treat to enjoy during the holiday. Our consumption of chocolate gelt offers us an opportunity to learn more about chocolate, where it comes from, who helps produce it, and how choosing the type of chocolate gelt you eat during Chanukah can connect with your Jewish values.

Check out this new program for middle school and high school students

Every Hanukkah, Jewish children of all ages receive chocolate gelt as a treat to enjoy during the holiday. Our consumption of chocolate gelt offers us an opportunity to learn more about chocolate, where it comes from, who helps produce it, and how choosing the type of chocolate gelt you eat during Hanukkah can connect with your Jewish values.

As your students grapple with learning that most chocolate production includes forced child labor, they will also learn that Fair Trade designation provides a means to keep children out of chocolate production, helping to support the children, their families, and their communities to rise out of poverty.

Check out this article from Tablet Magazine – “Gelt without Guilt” describing the Fair Trade Gelt Campaign and how you can get involved.

Download the Educator’s Guide

Spinning the Dreidel for Chocolate Gelt is a partnership of Hillel at the UW, The Kavana Cooperative, and Fair Trade Judaica and was made possible by funds granted by The Covenant Foundation.

Purchase Fair Trade Hanukkah gelt for your community.

Make your own gifts.

Take a photo and create your own frame, knit a scarf or a hat, or make your own beeswax candles. Also, bake a special Chanukah dessert to give to friends and family as a more environmentally friendly gift. Read about this family’s non-materialistic guide to gift giving.

Give money for a great cause.

Instead of giving chocolate Chanukah gelt, give money to sustainability initiatives you care about. You can support Hazon and help build a healthier and more sustainable community, by a general Hazon Donation.

8 Days of Action.

After lighting your menorah each evening, dedicate yourself to being more environmentally sustainable and reducing your impact on the planet. Volunteer at your local emergency food provider one night, cook a meal for someone recovering from surgery the next night, and screen a movie relating to food justice another night.

Free your Chanukah.

We often think of Passover as a time of freedom and the elimination of slavery, but Chanukah has a lot ot offer here as well – check out this resource from the Passover Project for more information

Food & Recipes

In collaboration with our friends at the Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA) we have included a number of plant-based recipes (marked with an asterisk *). Explore and be pleasantly surprised that you really don’t need eggs or milk in any of these wonderful recipes. 

* Simple Vegan Latkes

  • 8 white potatoes
  • 1 onion (optional)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Neutral oil for frying-about 3-4 cups (locally pressed cooking oil, organic coconut oil or RSPO sustainable palm oil)

Grate the peeled potatoes in the coarse grater into a sieve placed over a bowl, so that the liquid will drain into the bowl.

Add a little salt to the grated potatoes and massage them with your hands to drain the liquid. After a minute or two of intense fiddling, let them sit for  few minutes, to let the fluids drain down (you can press down with your hands to accelerate the process).

Gently pour away the liquid that has accumulated in the bowl underneath, without spilling the white starch that has accumulated in the bottom of the bowl. You’ll want to keep this starch because it serves as a natural binding agent for the latkes.

Pour the grated potatoes into the bowl with the starch and add more salt to taste, and 1/2 cup flour. If using onion, it is best to grate the onion separately and squeeze the liquid out of it before adding and mixing it with the potatoes.

Heat oil in a wide pan (it is best to work with two pans at once, to shorten the frying time). As befits this wonderful holiday, do not be stingy with the oil. If you don’t use enough oil, the latkes will not be cooked well on the inside and will not be crispy. So go ahead, pour about one centimeter (about .3 inch) of oil into the pan and light up the stove.

When the oil is very hot, form the latkes with your hands, lightly squeezing and tightening them together. Fry over medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side. When one side is brown, turn the latke over and brown the other side too.

When ready, remove from oil and place on a paper towel to absorb some of the excess oil. Serve with Tofutti “cream cheese” mixed with salt, lemon juice, and chopped chives.

Recipe originally from this Hebrew blog, translated by a Hazon staff member.

Basic Latkes

  • 6 russet or 8 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large yellow or sweet white onion peeled
  • 3 tablespoons flour or more
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • locally pressed cooking oil, organic coconut oil or RSPO sustainable palm oil

Grate potatoes and onions. Mix them together. The mixture will release liquid. Dispose of as much of it as possible. (I suggest using a colander and a couple of clean dishtowels, or cheesecloth.)

Mix the eggs in a bowl with the salt and pepper.

Combine the potatoes, eggs and flour. If the mixture is still liquidy, do your best to drain it and add more flour.

Form the latkes into thick patties between your hands and squeeze any extra liquid out. This is important — the quality of latkes is entirely dependent upon technique.

Place into a pan with approximately with ¼ inch of vegetable or safflower oil and fry on high heat. Do not press the latkes down once they are in the pan. Simply flip when the bottom is golden brown. When done, place them on paper towels to drain.

Recipe originally from The Jew and the Carrot

* Aloo Tikki (Indian Potato Cakes with Green Chutney)

For the Aloo Tiki:

  • 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes (scrubbed clean, peeled + halved)
  • 1-2 Tbsp vegan butter (plus more for cooking // or sub a neutral oil of choice)
  • 2 tsp curry powder (plus more to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom (plus more to taste)
  • ~1/2 tsp each salt + pepper (to taste)
  • 2/3 cup green peas (thawed if frozen)
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (optional // for coating // gluten-free for GF)

For the 5-minute Green Chutney:

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro (stems mostly removed // 1 bunch equals ~3 ounces)
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • ~1/4 tsp each salt + pepper (to taste)
  • 1 large lime (juiced // or sub lemon)
  • 1 Tbsp sweetener (such as cane sugar, maple syrup, or honey if not vegan // plus more to taste)
  • 1-2 Tbsp water (to thin)
  • 1-2 Tbsp ripe avocado (optional // for extra creaminess)
  1. Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender and slide easily when picked up with a knife. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the potatoes cool, prepare chutney. Use a small food processor, mortar and pestle, or a spice grinder to combine all ingredients until well blended and pureed. (A blender may work, depending on size – the smaller the better).
  3. Add only enough water to encourage blending. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more garlic, salt, sweetener, or lime as desired.
  4. Add cooled potatoes to a mixing bowl along with vegan butter, salt and spices. Mash to combine, trying not to overmix. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. The cardamom really helps the curry flavor punch through. Don’t be timid with the salt.
  5. Add peas and mix once more. Then scoop out about 1/4 cup measurements and form into round discs (should be enough for 8-10 cakes as original recipe is written).
  6. Season the tops of the cakes with a pinch more salt, pepper and curry powder. If using panko bread crumbs – recommended for a crispier crust – sprinkle on top and gently press to adhere.
  7. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add enough vegan butter or oil to coat and add 3-4 patties spice side down, being careful not to crowd the pan. Sprinkle the tops with salt, pepper, curry powder and panko crumbs. Press gently again to adhere.
  8. Brown for 4-5 minutes, turning down heat if they brown too quickly. Gently flip (being careful as they can be fragile), and brown for 4-5 more minutes, or until deep golden brown.
  9. Remove from pan and repeat until all patties are cooked, adding more vegan butter or oil as needed.
  10. Serve with chutney. These work as finger food but are most ideal when plated and eaten with a fork. Leftovers keep well (separated) covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe originally from The Minimalist Baker

Sweet Potato Kale Latke

  • 4 cups shredded or grated sweet potato, squeezed completely dry in a dish towel
  • 1/2 cup shredded or grated yellow onion, squeezed completely dry in a dish towel
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups potato starch
  • 1 cup finely chopped kale
  • 1 1/4 tablespoon curry powder (recipe follows)

When you finish squeezing the sweet potatoes and onions, throw them into a large mixing bowl and fluff them with your hands and spread them out. Sprinkle the potato starch, curry, and kale evenly over all of the potato mixture and gently fold together. The idea here is to get each little thread coated in the potato starch, if you need to use more, use more. Add the egg and mix well.

Heat a non-stick pan with your frying fat of choice (We use a 50/50 blend of chicken fat and clarified butter, but kosher options work as well), enough to coat the entire surface of the pan. Form your latkes, season both sides with salt, and fry to a crispy and beautiful golden brown.

For the curry powder:

  • 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 5 star anise pods
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 4 tablespoons ground turmeric

Toast all the spices in a dry pan over medium heat for about a minute, then grind together in a spice grinder.

Recipe originally from The Jew and the Carrot

* Nut-free Vegan Sour Cream

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2 to 3 limes)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (preferably kosher)
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • Optional flavorings: roughly chopped garlic clove, ground cumin or other spices, finely chopped cilantro

Place tahini, water, lime juice, garlic and spices (if using), and salt in a blender or food processor (don’t fill food processors above the liquids line). Blend or process until smooth, then drizzle in oil while continuing to blend. Sauce will thicken when oil is added. Taste and season with more salt if needed, quickly pulsing to combine. Stir in cilantro, if using.

Chill in refrigerator for an hour or two, or use immediately if you don’t mind room temperature cream. “Sour” cream will keep at least a few days in the refrigerator.

Recipe originally from Natural Comfort Kitchen

* Raw Cashew Sour Cream

  • 2 cups raw cashew pieces, soaked for at least 8-12 hours
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
Soak the cashew pieces in the refrigerator for a minimum of 8-12 hours, up to 24, then rinse well under cold running water.
Throw them in the bowl of your food processor, along with the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth and creamy, which should take about 5 to 8 minutes. You might have to stop and scrape the sides 2 or 3 times.
You can use this sour cream immediately or keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container, for up to a week.

Recipe originally from The Healthy Foodie

Grandma Weiner’s Potato Latkes with House-Smoked Bluefish, Goat Yogurt, and Dill

For the Bluefish

  • 2 pounds skin-on Bluefish Boneless Filet
  • 3 Red Onions (sliced thin)
  • 1 bunch dill (rough chopped)
  • 1 bunch parsley (rough chopped)
  • 5 crushed bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup brined green peppercorns (rinsed and crushed)
  • 1 bunch thyme (rough chopped)

Place the bluefish, skin side down on top of the curing mix. Now scatter the second half of the mix on top of the bluefish. Keep refrigerated for 24 hours

Rinse the cure off the fish. Refrigerate uncovered for another 24 hours to dry the fish.

Smoke the bluefish with the apple wood chips for 2 hours at 150 degrees.

The fish should have a pleasing firmness and amber color. If it doesn’t keep smoking ‘till it does.

Refrigerate the fish immediately. After an hour coat the fish with canola oil and wrap in plastic film until ready to serve.

For the Latkes

  • 1 Small Yellow Onion (finely minced)
  • 1 ounce Duck or Chicken Fat
  • 3 Russet Potatoes (peeled)
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Potato Starch
  • Salt and White Pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces organic coconut oil, RSPO sustainable palm oil, or locally sourced cooking oil

Making the Latkes

On low heat, gently sauté the onion in the duck fat until the onions are translucent. Then set aside to cool. Don’t drain the fat! Meanwhile, shred the potatoes either by hand or mechanically (depending on the look you want to achieve).

In a kitchen towel or apron, thoroughly squeeze out the potatoes until they yield no water. In a mixing bowl combine the onions, potatoes, starch, eggs, salt and pepper with your hands. After all the ingredients are well incorporated, fluff up the mixture with your hands.

Heat a heavy bottomed non-reactive skillet. Add the canola oil, when it starts to shimmer, add piles of the latke mixture to the pan. When they begin to brown, flip with a spatula and gently press them down. When the other side is ready, drain them on a cookie sheet outfitted with a multiple layers of paper towels.

For the Dill Yogurt

  • 1 cup Fage Brand full fat yogurt
  • 1 cup Goat Yogurt (I use Lynnhaven — at Union Square on Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • Pinch sugar
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 oz. Tepid water

In a bowl, mix all ingredients

Assembly

On 8 warm plates lay 2 pancakes on each plate.

On top of the pancakes place a few chunks of bluefish. Make sure to discard the bloodline, it can be overly fishy.

Drizzle the yogurt sauce around the plate and on the bluefish.

Garnish with some dressed frisee, microgreens, or chives.

Recipe originally from The Jew and the Carrot

* Cauliflower Leek Kugel

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 1/2 matzoh crackers
  • 6 ounces silken tofu
  • 1 medium leek, both white and green parts chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dill, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.
  2. Steam the cauliflower until very tender. Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Mash coarsely with a fork or a potato masher.
  3. Crumble 1 sheet of matzoh into a food processor and process to crumbs. Set them aside.
  4. Blend the tofu until smooth.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan, add the leeks, onions, and garlic and sauté till the leeks they are tender and the onions are translucent. This will take about 6-8 minutes.
  6. Add the leek mixture to the cauliflower. Mix in the matzoh crumbs and the puréed tofu, along with 1 tablespoon each of parsley and dill. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Spread the cauliflower mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.
  8. Mix the remaining herbs with the chopped almonds. Mix well.
  9. Crumble the remaining 1/2 matzoh into large crumbs and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, mix well.
  10. Sprinkle the almond-herbs mixture and the crumbled matzoh mixture evenly over the cauliflower mixture.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  12. Remove the dish from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe from onegreenplanet.org

Cured Salmon Remoulade

  • 2 oz cured or lightly smoked Wild salmon slices-diced small
  • 2 T. capers
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 2 T. prepared horseradish
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 T. flat leaf parsley-chopped
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise dash of hot sauce (optional)

Mix all of the above ingredients in a small bowl. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Store covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Tapenade

  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 T. capers
  • 1 clove garlic-chopped
  • 2 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 T. Extra Virgin organic olive oil
  • 2 anchovy filets (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper

Place all of the above ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is combined but still chunky. Adjust seasoning.

* Muhummarah

This delicious Middle Eastern condiment makes a great dip, crust for fish or poultry and perfect topper for the latkes.

  • 2 red peppers-roasted
  • 1 cup walnuts-toasted
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs-left over challah is perfect
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin organic olive oil
  • ¼ t. chili flakes
  • 1 t. ground allspice
  • ½ t. ground cumin seed
  • Salt and pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is fairly smooth. You may need to add more Extra Virgin olive oil to adjust the consistency.

Place in a container and cover the surface of the muhummarah with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. The muhummarah can be kept covered for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

* Sfejn (Moroccan Donuts)

  • 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup ground pistachios
  1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in a medium-sized bowl with the 4 tablespoons of warm water. Let the yeast starter stand for approximately 15 minutes until it is frothy and blooming so the yeast starter doubles in size.
  2. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, then add the orange zest and salt. Make a small well in the middle of the flour and pour the yeast starter into the well. Incorporate the yeast mixture by making a swirling motion with your fingers in the middle of the well, while slowly streaming in the remaining ¾ cup of warm water. Knead the mixture inside of the bowl with palm of your hands for approximately 15 minutes until the dough is very smooth. Cover with a clean towel and set aside in a warm place to rise until it’s roughly double in size, approximately 1 hour.
  3. When the dough has almost finished rising, fill a large pot with the canola oil and heat until it reaches 350ºF on a thermometer. With wet hands, lightly punch down the dough to deflate. Pull off a piece of donut batter that is approximately the size of a small egg. Use your thumb to make a hole in the center of the piece of batter. Open the hole with your fingers to form a donut that is approximately 4 inches in diameter. Drop the donut away from you into the pot. Be careful not to crowd the pot (three donuts at a time is about right). Fry the donuts for 2 minutes on one side, then flip and finish cooking on the other side for 1 ½ minutes.
  4. Remove the donuts to a cooling rack lined with paper towels to drain. Cool for approximately 4 minutes and then drizzle each donut with honey, sprinkle with pistachios. Serve immediately, preferably with hot mint tea.

Recipe from Michael Solomonov on food52.com

* Apple-raisin Chutney

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds tart green apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • 1 2-ounce piece fresh ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (packed) golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

Place all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until the apples are tender and the liquid has evaporated – about 45 minutes.

* Zengoula with Lemon Syrup (Iraqi Funnel Cakes)

For the syrup:

  • 2 to 3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. Using a five-hole zester, remove the zest from 1 of the lemons in long strands. Halve and squeeze enough lemons to yield 1/3 cup juice.
  2. In a small pot, stir together the lemon juice and zest, water, and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved and clear, about 1 minute. Pour into a pie pan and let cool.
  3. The syrup can be made 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

For the dough and for frying:

  • 1 1/8teaspoons (1/2 package) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (100° F to 110° F), divided
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 quarts mild oil with medium-high smoke point, such as grapeseed, sunflower, or avocado, for deep-frying
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the yeast and 1/4 cup of the warm water and let stand in a warm place until the mixture bubbles, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, using a fork, stir together the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in 1/2 cup of the warm water and the yeast mixture. Then slowly stir in enough of the remaining 1/2 cup warm water until the dough is lump-free and the consistency of thick pancake batter. You should have 1 1/2 to 2 cups batter.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until doubled in bulk, at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours. The dough will be loose and spongy and have a yeasty aroma.
  4. To make the fritters: Scrape the dough into a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag or large pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain pastry tip and set the bag in a bowl for support. Let the dough stand for about 30 minutes before frying. Line a large plate with paper towels. Place the prepared plate, tongs, a small spider or slotted spoon, the syrup, and a tray to hold the finished fitters near the stove.
  5. Pour the oil to a depth of 3 1/2 inches into a 4- or 5-quart pot, wok, or electric fryer and heat to 375° F. If using a plastic bag for the dough, snip 1/4 inch off one of the bottom corners, cutting on the diagonal, to create a piping tip. Roll the top of the pastry bag closed to move the batter toward the opening. Don’t worry about air pockets.
  6. Pipe a bit of the batter into the hot oil. The oil should bubble around the batter immediately. If it does not, continue heating the oil and try again.
  7. Pipe the dough into the hot oil, creating 3- to 4-inch coils or squiggles, letting gravity help push the batter out. Be careful not to crowd the pan. Fry the dough, turning over at the halfway point, until bubbled, golden, and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes total.
  8. Use a spider or slotted spoon to fish the fritters out of the oil, drain them briefly on the towel-lined plate, and then drop them into the syrup for a moment or two, turning them to coat evenly. Lift them out of the syrup and transfer them to the tray in a single layer to cool.
  9. Repeat with the remaining batter, skimming any loose bits of dough from the hot oil between batches to prevent burning. Scrape any batter that escaped into the bowl back into the pastry bag to make more pastries.
  10. The cooled pastries can be piled on a platter. Pour any remaining syrup over the top.
  11. The fritters taste best served the same day they are made, although they will hold their crispness overnight. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Recipe from food52.com

Sustainability Tips

Buy Fair Trade chocolate. If you still want chocolate gelt, opt for Fair Trade choices. Our partners at T’ruah offer wonderful educational resources to explore guilt-free gelt. We recommend Equal Exchange, Divine Chocolate, or any bar with the Equal Exchange logo at your grocery store. Or try making your own gelt using sustainably sourced ingredients with this great Jew & the Carrot recipe!

Use local potatoes and onions. Potatoes and other root vegetables are in abundance during the winter. Stop by your local farmers market and stock up prior to making your Chanukah latkes.

Buy organic oil. Since Chanukah frequently involves oil in some form for every meal, buying organic oil or using RSPO sustainable palm oil ensures a more sustainable celebration.

Change up your latke. Toppings: Rather than buying a traditional brand of sour cream, stock up on an all-natural or organic sourcream. More of an applesauce fan? Make your own from apples purchased locally or buy an organic brand. Latke: You can use sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes, or carrots as an added healthy bonus to give your latkes a different taste!

Eat less meat. Use the festive opportunity to cut down on meat consumption and eat some of the wonderful produce that is available during the winter months.

Use environmentally sustainable candles. Beeswax, soy, and palm oil provide more natural alternatives to the traditional paraffin Chanukah candles. Check out Big Dipper Wax Works or your local candle maker for environmentally sustainable Chanukah candles.

Reuse the Wrap. Reusable gift bags are a great way to be environmentally conscious as well as a great supplementary gift, a beautiful gift bag that the next individual can reuse! Check out Etsy for some awesome Chanukah themed reusable gift bags and wrap!

Green your Chanukah decorations. Try crafting a dreidel out of recyclable materials. Also, as a family or community activity, make your own hanukkiah using recycled materials you find around your house. Remember making an alphabet block hanukkiah as a child? Recreate the experience with your family or community, and see how creative you can make your hanukkiah! Here are some great suggestions from the Huffington Post about how to green your very own hanukkiah!

Make your Menorah more sustainable. Help reduce CO2 emissions and environmental damage through this covenant that attempts to heal the planet of the climate crisis of global scorching. Learn more about the Green Menorah Covenant Coalition. Or Ten Thousand Villages for recycled and sustainable menorah options.

Save paper. Send environmentally-friendly e-cards as opposed to the traditional paper cards. Or, buy cards made from recycled paper. In addition, recycled or recyclable paper when wrapping gifts. (Newspaper is always a cool idea that is especially fun for kids!)

Cut down on waste! If you’re hosting a Chanukah party or large communal meal, use recyclable, reusable, or compostable plates and flatware. Additionally, try to use reusable table cloths and napkins. For tips on cutting back on waste, check out Chapter 3 of the Hazon Food Guide.

Dig In

Hazon Resources

Food for Thought– A 130-page sourcebook that draws on a range of texts from within and beyond Jewish traditions to explore a range of topics relating to Jews and food.

Greening Chanukah Guide–  The Hazon Greening Chanukah Guide is a great way to practically plan your celebration with environmental ethics in mind.

Decomposition & Chanukah – This post discusses the link between Chanukah and the lessons we can learn on longevity for the products we consume.