Happy Tu B’ Shevat: some resources from Hazon

Hazon’s Healthy, Sustainable Tu B’Shvat Resources – 2012 Edition

Tu B’Shvat, which has become known as the Jewish New Year of the Trees, provides the perfect opportunity to host a sustainable and healthy celebration. Below are tips for hosting a sustainable seder, finding sustainable seven species options, and partaking in environmentally-friendly Tu B’Shvat themed activities.
SUSTAINABLE SEDER

Host a sustainable Tu B’Shvat Seder. Joining family and friends, host a seder using the Hazon Tu B’Shvat haggadah
and sourcebook
! Below are some suggestions on how to create an environmentally sustainable celebration.

Bake Sustainable Tu B’Shvat Challah. Get creative with your challah by adding one, or many, of the seven species.

Serve local, organic wine.  The Tu B’Shvat seder emphasizes the use of both red and white wines. Find out ahead of time what your local wine store has in stock—especially if you plan to buy a lot of bottles.  There aren’t many kosher organic wines available, but for options see our list of kosher organic wines. Consider paying a little more at a locally-owned store—sustainable means supporting local businesses, too.

Go Vegetarian! Tu B’Shvat is a great time to celebrate the environment and all of its natural offerings.  What a better way to do that by eating vegetarian!

Eat Local. If you live in an area with a variety of seasonal, winter offerings, use this to your advantage by eating local.

Reuse and Recycle. In modern times, Tu B’shvat has been transformed into a holiday embracing nature, which allows us to focus our intentions on many environmental areas. In addition to supporting sustainable eating, try to cut down waste by using reusable, or compostable, dishes and recycle when possible.  For resources and suggestions, visit the Hazon Food Guide.

Compost! Collect leftover fruit and vegetable scraps from your Tu B’Shvat seder and add them to your compost pile (or bring them to a composting facility). You’re kicking off the new year of the trees by contributing to soil fertility and the cycles of life!

SUSTAINABLE SEVEN SPECIES

For many people in the US, the seven species are not in season locally. If possible, buy organic varieties of the dried versions, and use some of the suggestions below to make your Tu B’Shvat more sustainable.

Wheat and Barley. To feature sustainable grains during your Tu B’Shvat seder, look to your local grain coop.

Grapes. Though grapes are not available seasonally in the winter, grapes come in many forms! Try serving an organic wine at your seder, in addition to grape jellies and raisins.

Figs, Pomegranates, and Dates. For most people in the United States, figs and pomegranates aren’t available locally in the winter. Instead of offering fresh varieties of figs and pomegranates, opt for jam, jellied, or dried forms.

Olives. Believe it or not, the peak of the olive season in the United States is during the winter! Olives are harvested from November to January in California.

TU B’SHVAT THEMED ACTIVITIES

Celebrate the trees! Tu B’Shvat is often viewed as the New Year of the trees, so take this opportunity to celebrate the nature that surrounds you! For a fun family or community activity, take pictures of trees in the winter and see if you can identify the trees without their leaves. Since Tu B’Shvat can be viewed as a “birthday” of trees, find the age of trees in your yard or neighborhood by using this calculation tool.

Happy Tu B’Shevat.

 

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