Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights. When we light the menorah, it is a celebration and a reminder that just one day’s worth of oil burned for eight days (and the victory of the Jews of course). This tiny bit of energy went such a long way. I like to think about this each year and remember that we can and should try to use the smallest amount of energy and resources to get the greatest gain from them.
If you are lighting a menorah this year, maybe think about moving toward choices that will allow our limited sources of energy to last for as long as they are needed, and with minimal impact on our planet. Here are some great ways to promote this state of mind:
Wind-Powered Electricity – Call your power company and ask to switch to wind-powered electricity. 100% wind-power reduces CO2 emissions, the same as not driving 20,000 miles in one year. Call your Synagogue, Hillel, or JCC and ask them to switch to wind-power as well.
Driving – If you can, choose one or more days during Hanukkah not to drive at all, and lessen driving as much as you can during this time. And of course, see if you can add this sort of thing to your life more often. Could be a nice time to take a walk or ride a bike (depending on where you are and how cold it is)!!
Workplace – Urge your bosses, (or maybe you are the boss) to arrange an energy audit. Your utility company can tell you how to get one for free or at low-cost.
And for fun, here are some crazy eco menorahs.
An Electric Menorah (which yes, uses electricity, but doesn’t use paraben candles or other not so great candles)
And this might be a little nerdy, but I had to include it here… the eco friendly dreidle. You can find it at the Baltimore Jewish Environmental Network’s website. Click here, and look under “Bar/Bat Mitzvah Suggestions”, and click on the “Green Dreidle Project.” You fold it and make it and it lands on cute eco suggestions.
Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays!