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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.

Sustainable Stuffing

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).

Bag It

Give your gifts in eco-friendly cloth bags that your friends can reuse for shopping.

Naturally Sweet

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.

Leket Israel works to alleviate the problem of nutritional insecurity and waste.  Each year, with the help of 40,000 volunteers, Leket Israel rescues over 700,000 meals and 13 million lbs of produce and perishable goods, and supplies over 1 million (7,000/day) volunteer prepared sandwiches to underprivileged children.  Food, that would have otherwise gone to waste, is redistributed to nearly 300 nonprofit partners caring for the needy.  Leket Israel offers cooperative purchasing, nutrition education, and food safety projects to further assist our partners.