A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

9 ways to celebrate an eco-friendly Sukkot

9+ways+to+celebrate+an+eco-friendly+Sukkot

Naama Barak , Israel21c

The festival of Sukkot is one of the easiest on the Jewish calendar: You’re not required to fast, repent or eat copious amounts of donuts for a whole week. Instead, (almost) all that’s required is to erect a simple structure in your garden or on your balcony and welcome guests, Covid permitting of course.

In the past few years, it’s also become somewhat of an eco-holiday, since it marks our ancestors’ wandering in the desert as well as the harvest season. And we have some suggestions on how to make your holiday as green as can be. This year, Sukkot begins the night of September 20.

  1. Use old sheets or discarded items for your Sukkah walls

The sukkah, or temporary dwelling, that gave the holiday its name is required to have a roof made of vegetation through which you can glimpse the stars. But when it comes to its walls, you can really go wild. We’d recommend opting for old bedsheets, discarded tablecloths or any other large swaths of fabric you have lying around instead of anything new or plasticky. Not only will these items flutter beautifully for social media, but also give your sukkah an appropriately relaxed, desert-y vibe.

via GIPHY

ADVERTISEMENT

  1. Decorate with recycled items

You can go down three ways here. The first would be to simply recycle your ancient sukkah decorations, including the pictures your now adult children drew back in kindergarten. The second is to take the heaps of cartons, bottles and – should you still have them – old CDsstored at the back of the house, give them a bit of a paint job and proudly hang them up. Lastly, you could gather fallen pinecones, green branches and decorative leaves (just don’t pick them specially!) and stylishly hang them from the ceiling or pin them to the wall.

via GIPHY

  1. Volunteer to do the dishes

We all know that paper plates and plastic cutlery are a big no-no, but somehow everyone allows themselves a bit of leeway when it comes to the holidays and endless entertaining. Biodegradable dinnerware is considered somewhat better, even though in many instances it doesn’t really get recycled. The simplest thing to do, friends, is to nobly volunteer ahead of time to do the dishes one night, especially when you’re the guest. Not only will you be keeping the world a little cleaner, but you’ll forever be looked upon kindly by your family and friends. Especially if you’re a guy, but that’s already another story.

via GIPHY

  1. Go vegetarian, or even vegan

After a month-long food fest, we can think of nothing better than a wonderfully fresh and light meal. In keeping with our eco-friendly theme, it’s also worthy to note that a meatless meal utilizes a fraction of the environmental resources a steak requires, so it’s really a win-win situation for both our waistlines and the planet.

via GIPHY

  1. Eat locally grown, seasonal produce

While we’re on the subject of food, it’s good to bear in mind the carbon footprint of our favorite fruit and vegetables. Luckily, since Sukkot celebrates harvest time, we can enjoy the bounty of the season without worry and feast on pomegranates, fresh dates and the last fruit of summer.

via GIPHY

  1. Invite your neighbors, they’ll come by foot

In Israel, it’s customary to travel up and down the country during the High Holidays to visit family and friends. Aside from leaving parents truly traumatized by their kids, these long car journeys aren’t particularly green, leading us to recommend that you keep things local and get to know your neighbors. At least for some of the holiday.

via GIPHY

  1. Live a little like our gadget-free forefathers

Since Sukkot is all about dwelling in tents like our ancestors, we suggest taking things just a tiny bit further and really committing to the ancient lifestyle by turning your sukkah into an electronics-free zone. This way, you can lounge back amid fluttering bedsheets and luxuriously contemplate whether you’d prefer to read, paint or even take a good old-fashioned Yom Tov nap.

via GIPHY

  1. Don’t throw everything away once the holiday ends!

It’s hard to break old habits, but after celebrating the greenest Sukkot ever, please make sure you don’t throw everything out. Keep the old bedsheets another year, stow away the homemade decorations and don’t be tempted to buy a new holiday dinner set. Planet Earth thanks you.

via GIPHY

  1. Get everyone involved, but don’t be annoying about it

Last but not least, it’s important to discuss how to convey your newfound holiday greenness. No one likes to be preached to, and a long lecture on the evils of the meat industry will likely put everyone off their dinner. Instead, lead by example, get the kids to do the dishes, casually mention the efforts you’re making (if only to explain the wonky decorations) and simply enjoy the holiday. Chag Sameach!

via GIPHY

Sign up for Your Morning Light

Navigate Left
  • Jurgen Krauss, who bakes challah for his familys synagogue, shows off his Passover-inspired pavlova in The Great British Baking Show tent. (Screenshot from Netflix)

    Arts + Entertainment

    Jürgen brings Passover to the ‘Great British Baking Show’ with charoset-and-matzah-topped pavlova

  • Scott Berzon, director of business operations at Congregation Shaare Emeth, constructed a sukkah at his home in Ballwin for the first time this year. The project started when his wife, Jamie, spotted a large pile of bamboo in a neighbors yard with a sign: Free. Jamie convinced us it was time to try and build our first Sukkah. The process was just as rewarding as the end result, and we laughed along the way that our structure may very well be a symbol of impermanence, Scott Berzon explained.

    Jewish Holidays

    PHOTO GALLERY: St. Louis Jews continue to celebrate Sukkot

  • If it’s Sukkot, it’s rollercoaster time all over America — a pulse-pounding thrill ride of a photo essay

    Jewish Holidays

    If it’s Sukkot, it’s rollercoaster time all over America — a pulse-pounding thrill ride of a photo essay

  • Childrens books for Sukkot from PJ Library

    Family + Parenting

    Children’s books for Sukkot from PJ Library

  • PHOTO GALLERY: St. Louisans share their sukkahs

    Jewish Holidays

    PHOTO GALLERY: St. Louisans share their sukkahs

  • The Machane Yehuda outdoor market in Jerusalem was bustling as Israelis prepared for the upcoming Sukkot holiday on Sept. 20, 2021.

    Jewish Holidays

    Snapshots of Sukkot

  • Rabbis Karen and Daniel Bogards three children were looking forward to sleeping under their sukkah in Creve Coeur. 
They usually make it until about 1 a.m., and  then come inside, Daniel Bogard said. Its my favorite holiday — being outside, being in nature. I love the construction project of building the sukkah each year.

    Jewish Holidays

    PHOTO GALLERY: Hut, hut, hike. St. Louis Jews ready to celebrate Sukkot.

  • (Eri Miura/Getty Images)

    Health

    For Jews with eating disorders, new traditions aim to make Yom Kippur a safer experience

  • Apple picking and sukkot building ideas for the whole family to enjoy

    Family + Parenting

    Apple picking and sukkot building ideas for the whole family to enjoy

  • This Weeks Jewish Trivia Quiz: Yom Kippur

    Arts + Entertainment

    This Week’s Jewish Trivia Quiz: Yom Kippur

Navigate Right
Activate Search
A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.