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Celebrate TuB’Shvat: Go Green



As indicated in President Obama’s recent inauguration speech, climate change is a top priority in our country’s agenda.

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” he said.

“That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure — our forests and waterways, our croplands and snow-capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”

The timing couldn’t be better for the upcoming holiday Tu B’Shvat, which occurs on “Day 15 of the Hebrew month of Shvat” or January 26 this year. Also known as “birthday of the trees,” Tu B’Shvat has roots in ancient Judaism, but has everything to do with today’s natural environment.

With greater attention to the dangers of global warming, Tu b’Shevat serves as a tangible way for families to be more aware of how they can make the world a healthier place to live, one tree at a time.

The Torah is called a “tree of life” (Proverbs 3:18), showing how trees connect to the highest Jewish values. Trees take a long time to grow and bear fruit, so our actions today will impact future generations.

Whether you donate money to plant a tree in Israel, organize a recycling drive at your school, carpool with neighbors to reduce pollution, or participate in a seder that features the “7 species” of fruits and grains, Jews are planting the seeds for tomorrow’s healthy, sustainable environment.

Easy ways to GO GREEN and save trees and rain forests include:

  • buy products in bulk and use less packaging
  • pay bills electronically instead of using paper
  • reuse a cloth bag instead of paper or plastic
  • plant a tree in your yard or local park
  • start a community garden
  • use natural instead of artificial lights
  • ride your bike instead of driving a car
  • fill up a reusable bottle with tap water
  • unplug your computer and electronic stuff when not using it
  • buy vintage clothing and reduce manufacturing costs to the environment
  • eat less meat and more veggies
  • turn off dripping faucet
  • raise money for your favorite environmental cause
  • encourage your family and friends to Go Green

So as you sample the delicious array of pomegranates, dates, figs, almonds, and other symbolic foods at your upcoming TuB’Shvat seder, make a commitment to be a steward of Mother Earth and carry on a Jewish tradition. Just try not to get too tipsy drinking all that wine.