Everybody loves Hanukkah, the festival of lights that comes but once a year! Every December, we look forward to this joy-filled excuse to stuff our faces with fried potatoes, sour cream and apple sauce, but eight days of burning candles, gift giving and frying pancakes could lead to some seriously wasteful behavior. Not to worry, all you eco Hanukkah lovers – there are plenty of ways that you can green up this year’s holiday celebration, and here are five smart tips to get you started!
1. Use Earth Friendly Menorahs, Dreidels and other Hanukkah Goodies
Since Hanukkah is all about tradition, the most eco way to celebrate is to use things that have been passed down from family or friends. If you still find yourself without the necessary Hanukkah gear, start your own tradition and buy something. From menorahs made from old pipes to fair trade wooden dreidels that will save the rain forest, there are some great eco alternatives out there.
2. Keep a Green Kitchen
Dispose of Cooking Grease Properly
Potato pancakes, also known as latkes, are a special treat for all of us to enjoy. The only problem with these delicious morsels is the recipe calls for large amounts of oil for frying. Disposing used cooking oil in an eco friendly way can be a little tricky. This year put used cooking oil in an old container and find out about disposal services in your local area. For those of you who compost, you can combine the oil with some sawdust or lawn clippings, throw in some fertilizer and lime, and put it in the compost bin. All household oils are biodegradable.
Cook a meal with locally sourced food
Instead of picking up groceries from chain stores, visit your local farmers market instead. Get to know the people working there and find out what is in season. This is a great way to explore new recipes for you holiday table while supporting local farming and learning more about food and where it comes from. Check out localharvest.org for sustainable food sources in your area.
Compost scraps and leftovers
One of the easiest ways to reduce garbage and excessive waste is to start composting. There several ways to compost, from backyard and indoor composting systems to neighborhood compost drop off sites. With all of the extra drinking and eating going on, the holiday season is a great time to start.