How to Have a Green Hanukkah
We take winter festivities very seriously here at the Junkluggers and with December in full swing, we’re in the spirit of sharing our tips for a healthier, safer and more eco-friendly holiday season. With Hanukkah starting this Sunday December 6th at sundown, we’re sharing five tips to help you get a head start on the Festival of Lights:
1. The Menorah
Menorahs are incredibly environmentally friendly – they get passed down from generation to generation and will last a lifetime. However, if you don’t have one and are currently in the market, there are a few eco-friendly options. Consider getting an antique or secondhand menorah (from your local thrift store or on eBay). There are countless designs and options to choose from that can be suitable to your taste. If you’re not comfortable with buying secondhand or are looking for something more modern, consider creating your own! Websites such as Etsy or Pinterest are great sources of inspiration and will provide step by step options to help you create a menorah perfect for you and your family.
Lighting the menorah is only part of the fun of celebrating – however, consider using candles made of beeswax or use vegetable oil instead of your traditional wax candle. Make the most of your candlelight but turning off all your electricity while the candles are burning.
You can’t celebrate Hanukkah empty handed, but if buying presents for eight days will break the bank, then these alternatives might just do the trick!
Buy local – by doing so, you’re helping the local economy and lessening the environmental impact of shipping items in from online retailers.
Regift – whether your closet is full of things you’ve been meaning to regift or you’re already at the secondhand store buying that menorah, if you’re looking to be more budget friendly, consider vintage, antique or pre-loved gifts.
Make your own – If you’ve been meaning to get in touch with your creative side, now is the perfect time! Finally turn that ball of yarn you’ve been staring at for months into a scarf or get the kids involved with arts and crafts and help them make their own dreidel. You can even make your own recyclable decorations from materials you find around the house. Hang a string of gelt to make a golden banner, use baby jars filled with olive oil as a DIY menorah or use paper bags to make cut out dreidel paper dolls and hang them on a wall.
4. Local Latkes
One of the most delicious aspects of Hanukkah are homemade latkes. With potatoes and other root vegetables in abundance during the winter, stop by your local farmer’s market and stock up. Since nearly every aspect of Hanukkah uses oil, consider buying organic oil in addition to your vegetables. You can reuse the oil when you fry up that second (or third or fourth) batch of latkes!
5. Give Back to the Community
In addition to celebrating, use the next eight days to give back to your community. Before you light your menorah each night, dedicate yourself to a good cause by volunteering at a community center or donating gently used coats to a coat drive.