Three Ways to Stay Green This Summer

Liya Rechtman

Summer is when we most often have a moment to examine the beauty of our natural surroundings. But remember when summers weren’t as hot? For many of us, summer is when we bemoan the extreme heat associated with rising global temperatures.

Taking care of our Earth and working in partnership with God to be environmental stewards is central to Jewish tradition. Luckily, conserving the environment becomes easier to focus on in summer. If you are gardening, you can take the time to say a prayer for the little joys of nature in your front yard. If hiking is more your style, you can appreciate the altitudes and depths of exploring.

There are other, more tangible, ways to reduce your carbon footprint over the summer. Here are a few ideas to help you learn more about environmentalism and mitigate climate change this summer:

  1. Just as you should set your thermostat on a timer in winter to ensure that you’re using as little energy as possible when you’re out of the house, set your air conditioner on a timer throughout the summer or turn it off when you leave the house. This simple habit will save lots of energy, which is good for both the climate and your energy bill.
  2. Minimize indoor heat and the need for air conditioning by lowering blinds and waiting to run the dishwasher, washer, and dryer until nighttime.
  3. In many parts of the world (including some parts of the United States), summer marks a season of extreme drought and scarcity. Be mindful of your water use this summer by taking shorter showers, fully turning off taps and faucets, and reducing the amount of water you use to water your plants and wash your car.

Learn more about Judaism and environmental issues.