Making the synagogue environmentally friendly

Congregation Agudath Israel in Caldwell, N.J., has reduced disposable waste by 30 to 50 percent. (Courtesy Congregation Agudath Israel)

Congregation Agudath Israel in Caldwell, N.J., has reduced disposable waste by 30 to 50 percent. (Courtesy Congregation Agudath Israel)

ENCINO, Calif., Jan. 29 (JTA) — Ten easy ways to begin greening your synagogue from Barbara Lerman-Golomb, associate executive director of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life: • Switch to cost-effective and energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. • Buy recycled paper products, use both sides of the paper, then recycle it again. • Pre-cycle; buy products that are in recycled packaging or that can be recycled, such as cans, glass, plastic, paper and cardboard. • Minimize use of disposable plates, cups, paper towels, napkins, plastic and silverware for synagogue functions. Avoid using Styrofoam products. • Turn thermostat down a few degrees in the winter and up a few degrees in the summer. • Encourage congregants to carpool to religious school and to turn off engines while waiting to pick up children. • Buy Energy Star (energy-efficient) appliances. Turn off lights and office equipment, such as copy machines, when not in use. • Buy flow restrictors for sinks and water-saving toilet tank dams. • Use non-toxic cleansers. • Don’t use pesticide on the lawn and use a non-toxic integrated pest management system.

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