Becoming a GreenFaith Sanctuary
How “green” has your synagogue gone? Here’s a checklist – what can you find and where can you improve?
___ Our light fixtures have been switched from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent (CFL) (HINT: Don’t forget to check the Ner Tamid!)
___ Copies for our meetings, classes and religious school are always double-sided.
___ Lights in our bathrooms, hallways and classrooms are on motion sensors.
___ Thermostats in our building are programmed to heat or cool only when the building is in use. (HINT: For the greatest savings, cool rooms to only 78 degrees in the summer!)
___ Recycling bins are in all offices and classrooms and are clearly labeled.
___ We use only reusable or compostable plastic dishware for events.
___ Leftover food from our events is donated and/or composted.
___ Our janitorial supplies are environmentally friendly.
No matter how you answered these questions, GreenFaith’s Certification Program can help your congregation move to the next level with its environmental impact assessments, policy, education and advocacy. After completing the program and experiencing a 20% overall energy savings as a result of changes made, Phil Hoch, Green Team co-chair at Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel in South Orange, NJ, said, “We are proud to have been certified a GreenFaith Sanctuary. Environmental awareness is now woven into all of our programs and activities. We will continue to expand our environmental efforts as a result of the education and guidance that GreenFaith provided.” Does your synagogue have what it takes to become a GreenFaith Sanctuary? We’re looking for four congregations to join the URJ’s second cohort this December. Join us on a GreenFaith-led webinar on June 18 at 8 p.m. ET to learn about the Certification Program and how to apply for this limited-time opportunity. Register here.
Photo courtesy of GreenFaith.