3 Ways to Stay Green This Summer
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.
As Jews, taking care of our earth and working in partnership with God to be environmental stewards is central to our tradition. Luckily, conserving the environment becomes somewhat 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 momentous altitudes and depths of exploring. Check out these greening activity cards for environmental prayers and discussion that you can carry with you for both hiking and gardening.
There are other, more tangible ways, to reduce your carbon footprint over the summer, learn more about environmentalism, and mitigate climate change. Here are a few ideas:
- 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 make sure to turn it off when you leave the house. This simple habit will save lots of energy, which is good not only for the climate, but also your energy bill.
- Throughout the summer, try to minimize indoor heat and the need for additional air conditioning by lowering blinds and waiting to run the dishwasher, washer, and dryer until nighttime.
- In many parts of the world (including some parts of the United States), summer marks a season of extreme drought and scarcity. Take the summer as an opportunity to be mindful of your water use, by taking shorter showers, making sure to fully turn off taps and faucets, and reducing the amount of water you use to water your plants and wash your car.
If you’re interested in doing more and these small energy and water efficiency ideas excited you, talk to your congregation about completing the GreenFaith Certification program with an energy audit and environmental education and worship services.