Happy Greenukkah


We already did Hanukkah this year, since we celebrate it over Thanksgiving when we see my family (that’s right, I get Hanukkah AND Christmas – one of the many benefits of interfaith marriage!). But in honor of trying to have a”Greenukkah,” here are some green(ish) gift ideas from the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL):

Green Gifts

Help cut down on waste and try some of these environmentally friendly gift ideas this Hanukkah:

  1. Save paper and send an e-card. You can design it yourself! There are dozens of on-line sites to do this. You could also make your own card with recycled paper if you’re feeling artistic!

  2. Make your own gifts! Especially from children, homemade gifts are often more special than anything you can buy. Take a photo and design a frame for it, knit a scarf for the winter, or make a set of beeswax candles for someone to burn in their Hanukkah. In your crafts, you can use empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls, plastic bottles, etc. There are lots of great books about homemade gifts in your library; check one out today!

  3. Give Hanukkah gelt in the form of Tzedakah to a Jewish or environmental organization of your choice in honor of a friend or relative. “Adopt” an animal, plant a tree or buy an acre of rain forest in someone’s honor.

  4. Food! Edible gifts are always great for holidays. Bake someone a batch of cookies in Hanukkah shapes, cook soofganiot (jelly doughnuts- a traditional Hanukkah treat), or be more creative.

  5. Get something that’s both useful and reusable: a travel mug, cloth bag, linen napkins, reusable lunchbox, etc.

  6. Make your own gift certificate or coupon. You could give someone “a night at the movies,” “one week of walking the dog,” etc. This is a great way to give somebody exactly what they want!

  7. Buy someone an environmental book, subscription to an environmental magazine or a membership to a museum or zoo- a gift they can enjoy all year.

  8. Instead of regular gift-wrap, use recycled or reusable packaging or a piece of cloth tied with ribbon.

Tikkun Olam Bonus: A different kind of Hanukkah gift – Go through your closets and find old items you can donate to those less fortunate as an act of reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Planning on throwing a holiday party? The Nature Conservancy’s blog has a post up right now called Hosting the Perfect Green Holiday Bash (as well as a few other green gift ideas…) – check it out!

Illustration from The Healthy Voyager, who also has some Greenukkah suggestions…although I don’t agree with the non-fried latkes or lightened matzo balls – oil is kinda important to the whole Hanukkah story (not to mention, tastes better)!

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