Sustainability at BJ
In the late Spring of 2016, Hazon selected BJ to be part of its Seal of Sustainability Pilot Program. We are proud and excited to be part of this pilot cohort, which will support us in our ongoing work to become a more sustainable community. Prior to joining this cohort. members of the staff, including our Operations, Facilities, and Community Engagement teams, and lay leaders began working on more sustainable practices at Kiddush as well as around the building. Now we have the opportunity to expand those practices and to enhance what we are doing.
As part of the Seal of Sustainability Pilot Program, we have launched a Sustainability team made up of lay leaders and staff members with a commitment to this process. We also hosted our first ever Green Kiddush, complete with recyclable and compostable utensils, plates, and cups, organic and locally sourced food, and education on sustainable practices. Our goal is to complete three projects by December 2016 that fall into one of three audit categories:
- Food, Animal Welfare, & Food Justice (composting, CSAs, nutrition, meat reduction, fair trade, etc.)
- Facilities & Energy (lighting, energy efficiency, solar energy, heating and cooling, recycling, etc.)
- Healthy Ecosystems (green cleaning, biking, pest management, toxins, native landscaping, etc.)
We have chosen to focus on the first area while also selecting pieces from Facilities and Energy to work on specifically with our Operations and Facilities Team. Our three projects are outlined below:
- Community Composting Initiative
- Green Kiddush and continuing implementation of sustainable practices at our kiddushim (including volunteers starting in the fall to help people sort their food and utensils/plates)
- LED Lighting upgrade of both 88th and 89th Street buildings
Upon completion of our year in the pilot program, we will evaluate the process and our accomplishments and plan for next steps to continue our growth.
Check back here for continued updates throughout the year!
Ongoing Green Kiddush Initiatives
We need volunteers to encourage composting and recycling at Kiddush! We can all play our part by being mindful of how much food we take and placing all of our leftover items in the appropriate bins. Volunteers will be standing next to our recycling and composting stations to help guide you. In order to make this happen, we need you to join us. This is a great opportunity for individuals or families. All we ask is for you to commit to one Saturday through June. To find out more about what it entails, contact Larissa.
We are also in the process of meeting with Fairway to discuss alternative options for Kiddush. Don’t worry, we will make sure the quality and variety is still available. Our goal is to provide a rotation of Kiddushim, including the standard bagels, lox and cream cheese, which will start to reduce some of our waste and focus on items that are sustainably sourced.
Community Composting Initiative
This initiative is well under way and we are excited by the number of members who have picked up their bins and started to collect compost at home. We are working on creating a more streamlined and easily accessible composting station for you to use. Questions? Check out our Community Composting page about how you can get involved.
On Tuesday, November 29, BJ will join the national celebration of giving called Giving Tuesday. Established in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y, Giving Tuesday takes place the week following Thanksgiving and Black Friday as a way of uniting the nation through charitable giving, shifting the emphasis away from the intense consumerism of the holiday season and towards altruism.
At BJ, we strive to infuse our daily lives with Jewish values, and one way of doing this is by reducing our ecological footprint. You may not realize, but over the course of a year, we use and dispose of 26,000 paper plates, 48,000 napkins, 5,800 tablecloths and 24,000 pieces of plastic cutlery, creating waste that adds to our already over-filled landfills and costs us thousands of dollars.
Your one-time investment on Giving Tuesday will help us reduce our carbon footprint by funding the purchase of beautiful, reusable tablecloths, silverware, dishes and a dishwasher! Please click here to make your contribution now and help us meet our Green Goal!