THE KOL NEFESH ECO-SYNAGOGUE INITIATIVE

NEW: The KNM Green Token – a way to offset our shul-related carbon emissions. For more details, click here.

Kol Nefesh is proud to be one of the first members of the EcoSynagogue initiative – a movement, based on the blueprint of EcoChurch, that encourages environmental awareness and change in religious organisations within the UK. The aim of EcoSynagogue is to help shuls assess and improve their behaviour in broad domains of activity: how we use any buildings or land we own or care for; how we eat and consume; how we use the opportunities of the liturgical year; how we teach and preach; and how we change the behaviours of our congregations. Masorti Judaism in the UK, under the leadership of Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, launched the EcoSynagogue movement in January 2018.

Kol Nefesh officially launched our own EcoSynagogue activities in April 2018. With the help of our new Green Team, we are actively engaged in or planning the following: 

 

  • Using reusable or biodegradable cutlery and crockery;

  • Recycling the containers and bottles we can't avoid using;

  • Buying local, seasonal food to avoid air miles;

  • Running informational programs and activities for all ages;

  • Getting involved in local clean-up;

  • Working with Jewish Care (who own and manage our building) to improve our energy use.

If you'd like to join our Green Team or have ideas as to how we might collectively reduce our environmental impact, please get in touch through the shul office, admin@kolnefesh.org.uk.

Thanks to Shmu Glantz for this original design for our Green Team logo!

Did You Know...?

The principle on which Jewish environmental ethics is based is Bal Tashchit, "Do not destroy". The term comes from Deuteronomy 20:19–20, which forbids cutting down fruit trees when laying a siege during wartime. The rabbis later expanded the concept to prohibit any needless destruction. Today, it is the foundation of any discussion of environmental issues in the context of Jewish law and practice.

READY TO GO GREEN?

It's easy to become discouraged about how ordinary people can help fix problems that are global in nature.
But every individual can help make a difference. Here are some simple things you can try at home:

  • Avoid plastic packaging and other plastic items. As an example, many cotton buds are made from plastic sticks, which easily pass through sewerage systems and into the oceans. If you do want to use cotton buds, buy those with card or paper sticks (apparently Boots have switched over to them already).

  • Buy glass containers with lids for storing leftovers, rather than covering them with aluminium foil or wrap. You can also buy recycled aluminium foil or wrapping materials such as Bees Wrap as alternatives.

  • Buy local and seasonal food, ideally organic. This is not only better for you, but the food growing standards are higher and the impact on the soil and wider environment is smaller.

  • Use soap bars rather than plastic pump dispensers, to avoid yet more plastic waste.

  • Recycle all that’s recyclable.

  • Walk or cycle; leave the car at home. If you need to take the car, try to group your errands.

  • Save energy by switching off lights, computers and other items on standby when not needed.

  • Switch to a green energy supplier using renewable energy sources, such as Ecotricity.

  • Compost your food waste (no animal products or fat). This reduces waste and produces great compost for your garden.

  • Have a reusable coffee cup on you to avoid another one going in the bin (of the 2.5 billion [!] that are thrown away every year in the UK alone!).

  • Turn off taps when they're not needed - e.g., until you're ready to rinse when brushing your teeth, or while you're stacking dishes in the dishwasher. Consider boiling a kettle for hot water to use in hand-washing. If you do run the tap to get hot water, consider collecting some of the colder water in containers, to use for rinsing, for plants, and for other household chores.

  • Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need at that time.

  • When the heat's on, consider turning off the radiators in rooms not being used.

  • Get involved in a local conservation group. It helps the local flora and fauna, is a great way of socialising, and keeps you fit!

It's All About the Birds and the Bees...

We recently enjoyed a talk from Mathew Frith of the London Wildlife Trust  on creating a home for wildlife in your garden. Click below to watch a recording  of this talk.

Follow Us:

  • c-facebook
  • Twitter Classic

Registered Charity No. 1081444