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Greening Resources

We are committed to helping Jewish organizations integrate environmental sustainability into their mission, programs, and operations. Here are some resources for getting started on your own greening initiatives*:

*To access even more resources on Hazon’s rich Resource Bank, apply to join the Hazon Seal of Sustainability program today!

Hazon’s resource bank has been a phenomenal resource through the seal process. The sheer depth of information is only matched by its clarity and variety.
—Colorado State University Hillel, Fort Collins, CO
 

Start Greening

Getting started on greening your institution can feel overwhelming. When there is so much to be done, it can be difficult to navigate which steps to take and which projects to prioritize. Look for tangible, realistic goals and target “low-hanging fruit” -projects that are cost-effective and easily executed. Check out these Ten Tips for Greening your institution!

 

Sample Projects

Participating organizations complete sustainability projects throughout the year in order to receive seal certification. The goal is to achieve deep institutional change in your community. Want to see what some of our seal sites are up to? Check out some awesome projects that our seal sites have completed in the three main categories of Food, Facilities and Ecosystems!

Case Studies & Spotlights

How did they do it? Greening is a process of constant learning and growth. The rewards can be immense: saving money, helping the climate, and energizing your community. However, the task can seem daunting.

Thankfully, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Staff, volunteers, and activists at Jewish organizations have already put countless successful greening projects into place. We invite you learn from these organizations’ experiences as you green your own institution.

Dive into our in depth Case Studies and Hazon Seal Spotlights to get inspired! Learn about the different initiatives stewarded by our participating sites, from shuls to schools. Read about their challenges, creative initiatives and successes as they progress on their journeys towards a healthier and more sustainable community!

Helpful Links

Making Greening Jewish

Hazon’s Guides to Healthy and Sustainable Holidays: Hazon’s guides to Shabbat, Kiddush, Tu B’Shevat, Hanukkah, Passover, Sukkot, Rosh Hashanah, Shavuot, and Purim will show you how to green your Jewish celebration.

Jewish Energy Guide: The Jewish Energy Guide presents a Jewish approach to the challenges of tackling climate change, greening our institutions, and advocating for cleaner energy.

Heschel-Inspired Pesach Haggadah Supplement: The Heschel Center for Sustainability created this seder supplement which focuses on social, environmental, and economic issues in Israel.

Holy Use: Relating to Resources Sustainably: Article by Yonatan Neril that discusses Jewish sources about reuse.

Tu B’Shevat Seder and Haggadah: Canfei Nesharim provides many resources for facilitating Tu B’Shevat programming.

Hazon’s Sourcebooks and Curricula: Sourcebooks and guides on everything from Tu B’Shevat to Shabbat Dinner.

Canfei Nesharim Purim Guide: Ten tips for celebrating an environmentally-friendly Purim.

Riverdale Y Green Kiddush Guide: Tips and tricks to have sustainable kiddush

Temple Beth Shalom Greening your Simcha: An in depth resource that helps you make every part of your event more

Sustainable Shabbat Dinner Guide: This guide will help you make a sustainable Shabbat dinner. From the food you choose to serve to the utensils you use to eat, this guide will help you every step of the way.

Institutional Change

Institutionalizing Greening Checklist: Use this tool to make greening a part of your institution’s regular operations.

Hazon Seal Green Team Evaluation Report: Key findings and recommendations for how to successfully institutionalize a green team.

A Brief Introduction to Change Management”:  Learn how to facilitate transformative change in your institution.

Sustainability Posters: Yale’s Office of Sustainability offers useful informational posters about environmental issues, which can be used to promote greening in your institution.

Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in The United States: Jewish organizations, like governments, are prone to “short termism.” The Risky Business Project warns that it is time for businesses and institutions to factor climate change into long-term decisions and create a plan to mitigate exposure to risk.

Jewish Energy Guide: The Jewish Energy Guide presents a Jewish approach to the challenges of tackling climate change, greening our institutions, and advocating for cleaner energy.

Simcha Guide and New York City Simcha Guide: These guides give a brief intro into how you can make your events more sustainable. The New York City guide has a list of food donation organization in the NYC.

Tips and Resources for Hosting a Sustainable Event: Are you looking to make your events more sustainable? This guide from Yale will help you start.

Green Event Planning Checklist: Use this checklist before the start of every event to make sure you are making it as sustainable as it can be.cl

Books & Movies about Climate Change

Books

This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein – Exposes capitalism as the ultimate barrier to addressing the climate crisis and calls for a restructuring of our economic system.

Carbon Shock: A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy by Mark Schapiro – Explores the various financial impacts of global climate change.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert – Uses the field work of scientists in a range of disciplines to describe the sixth mass extinction in recorded history and to illustrate the connection between human activity and the disappearances of thousands of species.

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver – Novel about a woman living on a farm in rural Tennessee and an experience that lands her at the center of a heated environmental conflict.

Don’t Even Think About It by George Marshall – Investigates which aspects of human nature prevent us from adequately responding to climate change.

What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming by Per Epsen Stoknes – Identifies psychological barriers to climate action and suggests effective methods for communicating about climate change.

Requiem for a Species by Clive Hamilton – Digs deep into the shortcomings of the human species and why humans have, for the most part, ignored constant warnings about the climate crisis.

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond – Traces the rise and fall of different societies throughout history and discusses key factors that lead to societal collapse, like environmental damage, population rise, and poor political decisions.

The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or the End of the World?  by Joel Kovel – Argues that capitalism is the root of most social and environmental ills and suggests a new kind of “ecosocialism.”

Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben – Calls for significant societal change to adapt to the changed planet humans have already created.

The Flooded Earth: Our Future in a World Without Ice Caps by Peter D. Ward – Describes and predicts what the world will look like in the future after sea levels have risen.

Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction by Gerry Canavan (Editor), Kim Stanley Robinson (Editor) – A collection of essays that consider how science fiction authors interpret our environmental crisis, connecting futuristic, technology-based science fiction with “ecological” science fiction.

A Buddhist Response to The Climate Emergency by John Stanley (Editor), David R. Loy (Editor), Gyurme Dorje (Editor) – Commentary on the climate crisis from multiple prominent Buddhist leaders, including the Dalai Lama.

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv – Explains how decreased exposure to nature is harmful to childhood development.

Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity by James Hansen – Urges society to take action against climate change and the use of fossil fuels, written by one of the nation’s leading climate scientists.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Foods by Michael Pollan – Analyzes food chains and comments on modern challenges in the food system.

The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble Over Earth’s Future by Paul Sabin – An environmental history of partisan politics and American debates over earth’s future prosperity from the ‘60s – ‘90s.

Green Intelligence: Creating Environments that Protect Human Health by John Wargo – Calls attention to the many chemical hazards in everyday life that threaten human health.

A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There by Aldo Leopold – Observations and musings about humans’ relationship to the natural world, written by one of the most famous conservationists of all time.

Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution by Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins, and Paul Hawken – Presents a vision for how to transform a capitalist economy into an economy that enriches, and even mimics, the natural environment.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson – A controversial environmentalist manifesto, published in 1962, that exposes the dangers of indiscriminate pesticide use.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau – A transcendentalist novel about Thoreau’s experience living secluded in the woods.

Torah of the Earth: Exploring 4,000 Years of Ecology in Jewish Thought (Volumes 1 and 2) by Rabbi Arthur O. Waskow – Uses Jewish texts and wisdom to frame the environmental crisis.

The Way into Judaism and the Environment by Jeremy Benstein – Introduces the key concepts in the Jewish approach to environmentalism.

Kabbalah and Ecology: God’s Image in the More-Than-Human World by David Mevorach Seidenberg – Proposes a new understanding of God’s image and a non-anthropocentric interpretation of the Torah.

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safron Foer – Looks at our industrial livestock industry and analyzes the many problems associated with it.

Movies

The Lorax (1972) – Short film based on Dr. Seuss book about a fictional creature who defends trees in the wake of industrialization. Communicates a conservation message to a younger audience.

An Inconvenient Truth (2006) – Al Gore’s groundbreaking documentary explains the devastating impacts of climate change and what we can do about to stop them.

King Corn (2007) – Documents two friends’ stint as corn farmers in Iowa and the troubling things they learn about the food system.

Food, Inc. (2008) – Exposes factory farming and the industrial food complex.

WALL-E (2008) – Pixar film about the world after earth has been destroyed by human destructiveness. Conveys important environmental messages about being active outdoors, eating healthy, and reducing waste and consumption.

Disruption: Climate. Change. (2014) – Offers a behind-the-scenes look at the organizing of the People’s Climate March as well as interviews with key scientists and activists about why our actions thus far have been insufficient to tackle the magnitude of climate change.

Cowspiracy (2014): This documentary gives an in depth look at where our meat comes from. It is an eye opening documentary into our modern industrial livestock industry.

Kids & Education

Bash the Trash: A fun troupe of musicians that offers workshops about how to make musical instruments out of waste materials.

Earth Guardians: A youth environmental movement. Sign up with a crew of young adults to take environmental action.

NRDC Get Involved: Educational resources for teaching kids about the environment, from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Tu B’Shevat Seder and Haggadah: Canfei Nesharim provides many resources for facilitating Tu B’Shevat programming.

Hazon’s Sourcebooks and Curricula: Sourcebooks and guides on everything from Tu B’Shevat to Shabbat dinner.

CABE Green School Day: A helpful, in-depth guide with over 100 lesson plans for a Green Day at school to teach young children about climate change and the built environment.

Hazon’s Teva Program

A Zeek article: An article about the importance of Jewish environmental education

Nature Explore: This website provides resources to help you connect children with the outdoors 

The Asheville JCC’s early childhood garden curriculum 

Seeds of Opportunity Report: An overview of Hazon’s Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education (JOFEE) curriculum

Advocacy

Interfaith Power and Light: A national coalition that provides a religious response to climate change and supports congregations taking action to address global warming.

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism: The RAC, the Reform movement’s advocacy arm, promotes social justice, including action on climate change.

Citizen’s Climate Lobby: A grassroots network of climate activists that trains citizens to lobby their lawmakers for climate action.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW): The CIW fights for farm workers rights through and is run by the farm workers themselves.

By Topic:

Food & Gardening

Hazon’s Guides to Healthy and Sustainable Holidays: Hazon’s guides to Shabbat, Kiddush, Tu B’Shevat, Hanukkah, Passover, Sukkot, Rosh Hashanah, Shavuot, and Purim will show you how to make the right food choices for your holiday meal.

Jewish Farm School: The Jewish Farm School offers programs that connect farming and Judaism.

Alumot Garden Curriculum: A manual created by the Jewish Farm School to help educators create gardens within a framework of Jewish texts, holidays and rituals.

Hazon’s Food for Thought: Hazon’s sourcebook on Jews, food, and contemporary life.

Hazon’s Produce Guide: Hazon’s guide to kosher sustainable produce purchases.

EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce: Environmental Working Group offers lists of the safest and most dangerous fruits and vegetables, as measured by pesticide content.

Food Waste Weekend: Learn how to speak to your congregation about food waste in America from available speeches and materials.

Save the Food: Check out these tips to learn how to reduce food waste in your home and community.

Jewish Children’s Garden Curriculum: Structured environmental activities and learning programs for Jewish early childhood programs.

Beyond Pesticides: A wealth of information about sustainable pest and weed management.

Ample Harvest: This organization connects people who have food to donate to food pantries through out the country.

Hazon CSA Bible 2014: Although HAzon doesn’t currently have a CSA anymore, this guide will still be helpful if you are looking to start one in your community.

Energy Efficiency & Solar

Cool Climate Calculator: Use this calculator to estimate your organization’s carbon footprint in an easy to manage, simple manner that will help you track your progress as you take steps to become more energy efficient.

Jewish Energy Guide: The Jewish Energy Guide presents a Jewish approach to the challenges of tackling climate change, greening our institutions, and advocating for cleaner energy.

Energy Star: Energy Star provides useful tips and information about procuring energy efficient products.

DSIRE: The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency provides funding opportunities for clean energy and energy efficiency upgrades across the US, listed by state.

Project SO(u)L – Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light: This website provides great resources for those institutions in the greater DC areas to learn about energy usage.

Canfei Nesharim’s Hanukkah Reshttp://canfeinesharim.org/hanukkah/ources: Curriculum that connects Hanukkah to energy use and alternative energy sources.

Exploring Solar Energy Student Guide: Curriculum for students in grades 5-8 that discusses solar energy. It uses experiments to explore what solar energy is and how it works.

Green Products & Purchasing

Grassroots Environmental Education: Home recipes for cleaning products and a list of suggested product providers.

Sustainable Supplies: Eco-Products, Seventh Generation, Ecover, Susty Party and many other companies offer green products for food service or cleaning.

EBP Supply Solutions: A family-owned distribution partner that provides a broad range of socially responsible supplies & services for progressive commercial organizations.

EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning: The Environmental Working Group provides safety ratings on more than 2,000 products.

Canfei Nesharim Green Cleaning Guide: An easy-to-use list of home recipes for green cleaning products.

Waste Reduction

Story of Stuff: Videos and educational resources about consumerism that explore how our everyday choices are connected to global environmental, economic, and social challenges – and how we can work together to create a more healthy and just world.

EPA’s Guide to Learning and Teaching about the Environment: The EPA provides a wide variety of environmental educational resources, from homework activities to lesson plans and grants for teachers, information about children’s health in educational spaces, and more.

GrowNYC Stop & Swap: GrowNYC can help plan a Stop & Swap at your organization or give you resources for you to plan one yourself.

Neshamah Project: Start a Gemach, which is a lending library where people can share items they don’t necessarily need to own, like power tools and party supplies.

Repair Cafe: Start a Repair Cafe, where people can help each other fix items they would have discarded.

Big Reuse: Donate old or unused building materials to Build It Green; pick up the items you still need from their extensive collections.

SIMS Municipal Recycling: SIMS provides curbside recycling services in New York City and multiple types of recycling services around the world.

Jewcology on Waste: Twelve tips for reducing food waste.

NRDC Greening Advisor for Paper Products

Forest Ethics Business Guide To Paper Reduction 

TerraCycle can recycle or re-purpose items like candy bar wrappers that can’t be recycled in conventional systems

The Better Paper Project of Green America provides resource and tools for evaluating the environmental impact of your paper use