Purim is a festival of joy and celebration but unfortunately one of a lot of waste too…
There are many ways that we can enjoy our holiday in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.
We at Leket Israel, Israel’s National Food Bank and leading food rescue network, would like to recommend the following tips for a more eco-friendly Purim:
Trash the Baskets
What can you do with so many straw baskets and gift bags? Package your Mishloach Manot in useful, reusable containers such as storage containers, glasses, mugs and pasta drainers for year-round usability.
Wrap it Up
Mishloach Manot food items can be wrapped up in a pretty hand-towel, apron or other useful fabric item.
Instead of padding your package with shredded cellophane or colored paper, use banana chips, sunflower seeds or popcorn (only for recipients over 3-years –old).
Give your gifts in eco-friendly cloth bags that your friends can reuse for shopping.
Replace the candy and chocolates with fresh and dried fruit or fruit leathers, unsweetened fruit juices and other healthier products.
Purim Swap Shop
Your son doesn’t want to wear last year’s cowboy outfit? Many costumes are perennial favorites. Create a neighborhood swap shop with everyone’s unwanted, worn-once Purim costumes.
Raid Mom’s/Dad’s Closet
Introduce your kids to the old Purim tradition of creating their own costumes from your (old) clothing, hats, shoes and jewelry. Encourage their imagination to run wild!
Recycling can be cool
Making a costume from cardboard boxes, kitchen roll tubes etc. needn’t be old-fashioned. Your child could become an ipod, cellphone or digital camera!
Join a Purim Co-op
Give Mishloach Manot as a community. Compile a list of all the members in the community (neighborhood, synagogue, seniors group etc.). People can check off the names of those they would like to send a gift to, contributing a set amount for each name. Volunteers prepare and deliver ONE nice-sized food gift to each person, with a note listing all of their friends who thought of them. The beauty of this idea is that is saves the time and excess food & packaging of multiple gift-giving, creates a strong sense of community fellowship and any profits can be given to charity.
Share the Spoils
Purim is over and you find yourself overloaded with unwanted food gifts? Bring (unopened) food items to a local food bank or organize a food drive at your child’s school for distribution to needy families.