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Paper is the number one material we dispose of. Each day, American businesses generate enough paper to circle the globe at least 40 times!  Commercial and residential paper waste accounts for more than 40% of waste going to the landfill. Eliminating this paper from our waste would nearly double the lives of current landfills. Recycling one ton of paper typically saves about 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, 17 trees and 60,000 gallons of water and recycling is easy to do.  Paper mills use 40% less energy producing recycled paper as they do printing brand new paper.  Buying recycled paper is just as important as recycling used paper. 
Here are some recycling tips: 
Quick Tips
Keep recycling bins near trash cans to remind people to recycle.
Keep a box of scrap paper in the office to use for notes, etc.
Print double sided.
Purchasing Recycled Paper
Extensive listing of companies that produce recycled papers.  Includes listings of retail stores, online stores, and paper distributors that sell recycled papers. 
Green Seal
What to consider when buying paper with suggestions for purchasing specific products
Choose Green Reports:
Copy Paper
Choose Green Reports: Printing, Writing, and Copy Paper
Choose Green Reports: Alternative Fiber Papers
Retail stores
Most national office supply chains sell recycled papers, including copy paper, envelopes, sticky notes, folders, etc.
Paper products (tableware, napkins, paper towels):
Green Seal
Choose Green Reports: Bathroom Tissue and Paper Towels
What to consider when buying paper towels and toilet paper with suggestions for purchasing specific products
Here is a partial listing of companies that sell recycled paper products; COEJL does not endorse any products listed below.

Shop Basics           

paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, cups, paper plates and bowls


disposable plates, cups and utensils

The Green Office

disposable plates, bowls and utensils,com_virtuemart/page,shop.browse/category_id,20558/Itemid,10/                               disposable plates, bowls and utensils


disposable plates, cups and utensils, toilet paper, paper towels and napkins                              


disposable plates, bowls and cups


Biodegradable tableware made from bagasee (sugarcane fiber that is left over from processing sugar)Biodegradable plastics; utensils, bags, straws, cups


Seventh Generation

Non-toxic 100% recycled paper; hypo-allergenic; whitened without chlorine bleach

paper towels, napkins, facial tissues, plates, toilet paper.

Available at most Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s
Green Seal
Choose Green Reports: Office SuppliesWhat to consider when buying offices supplies with suggestions for purchasing specific products
Environmental  Protection Agency’s Reuse in New England Directory
Listings of non-profit organizations that accept donations of used but reusable goods and materials in New England, including computers, consumer goods, building materials, etc.
a nationwide project for communities to share with each other what they don’t want any more).
WasteCap of Massachusetts
68 Hopkinton Road, Westboro, MA 01581 
Phone: 781-679-2176  Fax: 978-703-1285 “WasteCap of Massachusetts is the statewide, non-profit, public/private partnership working with the business community to develop and implement cost-effective programs for recycling, buying recycled, reuse, and waste reduction.”  The WasteCap website offers extensive information on recycling in Massachusetts, including:
Recycling Services Directory for Massachusetts
A listing of over 400 companies that collect recyclable materials, searchable by county and by material – everything from paper, cans, and batteries to electronic equipment, construction debris, carpets, furniture and more.
The Massachusetts Buy Recycled Business Alliance publishes 
“Buy Recycled: A Guide for Massachusetts Businesses”
Environmental Protection Agency WasteWise Program
WasteWise is a federal program designed to help organizations of all sizes reduce the amount of waste they produce.  Registered participants receive free, individualized support and information from the EPA to assist them in the development of waste reduction and recycling programs.
Co-op America: 21 Things You Didn't Know You Can Recycle
Includes information on how to recycle appliances, batteries, cardboard boxes, ink/toner cartridges, electronics and computers, etc.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection: Recycling in Massachusetts
Information on what and how to recycle in Massachusetts for homes and businesses.  Includes information on hazardous waste disposal, electronics recycling, bottle and can recycling, construction waste, and buying recycled products.  
Print only when necessary and print only parts of a document you need
Print double sided; set the default settings on printers and copiers to be doubled sided
Keep a box of scrap paper in the office to use for notes
Print out fewer copies than you need and have participants share copies 
“Every ton of paper recycled saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space”
Abitibi Paper Retriever
Abitibi provides a free paper drop-off bin, removes paper at no cost, and pays for the paper collected.  Temple Aliyah in Needham has an Abitibi bin in their parking lot.  Request to join this free service, by going to
Mass Recycles Paper
Extensive information on how, why, and where to recycle paper in Massachusetts, including suggestions for starting a recycling program and how to encourage participants to recycle. No need to remove staples, paper clips, tape, windows, or spirals from paper when recycling it.  See your municipal recycling serve or recycling contractor for a list of specific paper goods that can be recycled in your town.

Paper Industry Association Council: Paper Recycles

PIAC represents major paper manufacturers and associations.  Its website provides information on how to set up a recycling program.


Choose reusable plates, bowls, utensils, napkins, tablecloths and containers when feasible.  See list of recycled and biodegradable disposable paper products above.
Take back/recycling programs for old computers
Some companies do this for their own products, especially printer cartridges.
Some organizations accept donations of older computers.
Computer waste: contact your town, and check this resource:


From the National Resources Defense Council's "Health Facts" section "Food Miles: How far your food travels has serious consequences for your health and the climate":

People are rediscovering the benefits of buying local food. It is good for your local economy because buying directly from family farmers in your area helps them stay in business. And by buying local, it means that your food isn’t traveling long distances by planes, trains, trucks, and ships, which all consume energy and spew pollution that contributes to global warming and unhealthy air quality. Plus you get the added benefit of what many chefs are saying is fresher, better tasting food on your table!

How your food is grown, stored, transported, processed and cooked can all influence how it impacts climate change and the environment. Transportation-related impacts are particularly important for imported foods. NRDC calculated the transportation impacts of importing fresh produce and wine widely consumed in California, directly comparing the climate and air quality emissions from importing these foods instead of growing and consuming them in California. We did not attempt a full lifecycle assessment of all climate and air impacts. The results of our analysis show that—all else being equal—locally grown foods are a better choice.

Food Equity and Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) History of CSAs  (taken from

Community Supported Agriculture is a way for people living apart from a farm to have an on-farm experience.  Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) began initially in rural communities: farmers would arrange with their neighbors or people who lived nearby to sell them a portion of their crops for the whole season in exchange for the money up front. This enabled farmers to cover the initial start up costs of a season, which can be very high, as well as guarantee a market for their produce throughout the season. More recently, CSA has been developed as an arrangement between rural farmers and city folk who otherwise have very little access to fresh produce. Not all CSAs are organic, but many are, reflecting the members' commitment economic success of their particular farm, as well as to broader issues of sustainable agriculture, farmland preservation and small-farm preservation.

As Barbara Kingsolver commented in her book Small Wonder, “Americans have a taste for food that's been seeded, fertilized, harvested, processed, and packaged in grossly energy-expensive ways and then shipped, often refrigerated, for so many miles it might as well be green cheese from the moon.” A CSA is an opportunity to challenge all of this - to buy and eat food that's locally-produced, minimally-packaged, and is grown in ways that support the health of the planet.

What’s Jewish about a CSA?

The Jewish tradition has a long history of defining what is Kosher—literally “fit”—for us to eat.  A CSA offers us, as Jews, an opportunity to re-examine and possibly redefine what it means for food to be “fit,” not only for our bodies, but for our community, and for the earth. 

To know that we’re eating lettuce free of toxic pesticides and herbicides, and to know that our turnips are grown in organic (not chemical!) fertilizer, is an important part of food “fitness.”  While these distinctions are not identified in traditional Jewish dietary laws, they can serve to elevate the ethical intention and fundamental “fitness” of our food consumption in responsible, compelling ways.
Renovations Advanced Buildings
Advanced Buildings, a locally sponsored national program, is a tool for the design teams wishing to create high performance commercial buildings that stand out for their energy efficiency and healthy environments.  The Advanced Buildings program offers extensive training and support materials covering best practices centered around; cost effective, off-the-shelf, building technology.

Advanced Buildings–More Sustainability with Less Effort (pdf)

Fidelity Bank–Corporate Office and Branch Case Study (pdf)

Fidelity Bank–Corporate Office and Branch Case Study (Poster) (pdf)

For more information on Advanced Buildings visit their website at:*.


Paint can contain a lot of VOC (volatile organic compounds) which are a variety of chemicals that off gas and can adversely affect a person’s health.  When choosing paints ask for Low VOC paint and allow the room to air out before using.


Floor finishes contain VOC as well especially in the adhesives and finishes. ▪Carpet – choose a carpet that has high recycled content and can easily be recycled.  Using carpet that can stand up to high traffic areas will reduce the wear and tear on the carpet and increase the life span.                     

▪TileVCT (vinyl compound tile) biggest advantage is cost but rates poorly in terms of a green product.  VCT has a short life span and produces a lot of VOCs.Linoleum is similar to VCT but lasts longer and more environmentally friendly.  Linoleum can come in sheets or as tiles.  Linoleum is made from raw materials primarily from Linseed oil which is from the flax plant.  A linoleum floor has to be polished to help protect the material (a couple times a year) and can not be cleaned with products containing high pH levels such as ammonia.  Linoleum can be damaged if exposed to too much water. Ceramic tile is made of clay and shale and then baked.  These tiles are highly durable and have a long life expectancy.  Ceramic tiles are great for uses in wet areas such as the bathroom. 

Sustainable Hardwood floors (cherry, maple, oak) are very durable but expensive.  Look for wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Bamboo is a highly sustainable wood with a unique look.  Bamboo is a type of grass and grows much faster then the typical hardwood which makes it a more sustainable product.  Unfortunately most of the bamboo is located in Asia and a lot of energy is used in transporting the bamboo to the Northeast.

▪ Cork – Cork is also highly sustainable coming from the bark of mediteranean trees (with out injuring the tree) found mostly in Portugal, Algeria and Spain. The bark from the tree can be harvestd every 9-10 years.  Cork is durable, moisture resistant, good acoustical and thermal instullation and  easy to clean.



Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life

SEEDS Program Bank  Source for Environmental Education, Discourses and Study   The national COEJL website has extensive and in depth listings of Jewish-environmental programming ideas.  The program bank includes curricula written for each Jewish holiday with programs alternatively aimed at families, children, and adult learners.  The database is searchable by environmental topic, holiday, program type, target audience, and facility type.

 The Teva Learning Center        The Teva Learning Center’s mission is to renew the ecological wisdom inherent in Judaism and to renew the Jewish community through connection with God’s Creation. Teva is the leading Jewish environmental education program in the country.  It is the only full-time year-round program dedicated to innovative, experiential Jewish education taught through the lens of the natural world.  Teva reaches three thousand participants annually.  It works with all denominations, ages, and constituent groups, including Jewish day schools, congregational schools, community centers, synagogues, youth groups, and camps.  Teva’s programs are inspirational and consistently receive outstanding evaluations from participants.  Below are two programs that synagogues or community centers might be interested in:        1)      Teva Educator in Residence: Explore the connection between Judaism, nature, and environmental stewardship. Programs can be one hour through an entire day.       2)      Shabbat with Teva: Through immersion in the natural world and structured activities that sensitize participants to nature’s rhythms, a Teva shabbaton will help participants develop a more meaningful relationship with Creation and one’s own Jewish identity.  As one 10-year-old participant put it: “I never knew G-d made so many great things without motors!”  This process also strengthens family relationships and fosters a genuine commitment to tikkun olam, healing the world.  Shabbat with the Teva Learning Center is also a truly restful and joyous experience.  Shabbat filled with great food, song and activities, provides an amazing opportunity to celebrate and experience the beauty of the world.         All Teva programs can be tailored to the needs of children, teen, adult, or intergenerational families from any religious denomination and of any size.  Though the specifics of the program will vary, Teva’s programs can include Hiking and Outdoor Activities,  Arts & Crafts, Tfillah B’Teva, Prayer in Nature, and Jewish Eco-drama. Teva’s programs are available year round; contact us to arrange dates. Teva educators can come to your facility, local or state park, or join us at one of our beautiful retreat centers.  To reach Teva go to or contact Laura Bellows, Congregational Education Coordinator, at 212-807-6376 or, to create a program for your group.

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center  Adamah FellowshipTeva Learning CenterElat Chayyim Retreat Center      The Adamah Fellowship is a residential leadership training program for young adults that integrates Jewish living and learning, organic agriculture and sustainable living skills, leadership development, and community building.  The Teva Learning Center provides Innovative programs for youth that teach Jewish ethics, ecology, and environmental stewardship.  Elat Chayyim provides Weekend, weeklong and ongoing spiritual retreats and training institutes integrating Jewish learning, spirituality and culture through prayer, meditation, music, and embodied practice.  113 Johnson Road, Falls Village, CT 06031  Phone (860) 824-5991; Fax (860) 824-7228;

Torah Trek: Spiritual Wilderness Adventures  Led by Rabbi Mike Comins, TorahTrek explores the connection between inner and outer geography, between the journey into the wilderness and the path of the soul. With laughter and song, through learning and discussion, our programs dance between the practice of Judaism, the written word of tradition and the exhilarating embrace of the natural world. Hiking, kayaking or skiing, making new friends or walking in silence, TorahTrek offers participants a unique adventure in wilderness and spirit.  For more information:

Our mission is to use two vital program areas to accomplish our mission.   ·The first of these is outdoor physical challenge; the best-known part of our work in this area is a series of Jewish Environmental Bike Rides, in the US and Israel. · · ·The second is looking at food through the double prism of Jewish tradition and contemporary life. Our work in this area includes the first CSAs (Community-Supported Agriculture programs) in the American Jewish community, as well as educational curricula, work in schools, an annual conference, and an award-winning blog. · · 829 Third Avenue, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212 644 2332
Fax:     212 644 7993

Maayan Tikvah - A Wellspring of Hope     Maayan Tikvah is a place of hope and trust for those seeking a meaningful connection to Judaism through study, prayer, care of the environment, and social justice. Founded and guided by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen, Maayan Tikvah provides a place to explore Judaism in an informal and inclusive setting.    Wayland, MA;      

Robin's Nest Environmental Education, LLC  1 Pinewood Ave., Billerica, MA 01821 - 978-667-4340 - email:  website:     Provides educational and fun hands-on environmental programs and live animal presentations.  Programs are suitable for Schools, Scouting, Birthday Parties, and Special Events. Robin’s programs also include a Judaic Environmental Education Program.  All programs can be customized for content and duration according to age, location, area of study, or interest.  Robin Reiner is a biologist who has been in the environmental education field for over 10 years.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Herpetological Society.

David Arfa, Storyteller/ Environmental Educator  David is a specialist in Jewish environmental education and provides environmental programming for the Jewish community by leading Tu B’Shvat Seders and sharing Judaism’s ancient environmental teachings in fields, forest, and classrooms throughout New England     David is also a professional storyteller and Maggid (Mah-geed; storyteller) for Temple Israel in Greenfield. He brings storytelling to Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, family services, and community programs throughout the year.      David Arfa 16 Wilde Road, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370  Phone (413) 625-2164; email 

Interfaith Programs
The Sacred Food Project  The Sacred Foods Project is a interfaith effort to promote greater understanding about how to grow, process and market food according to religions teachings and ethics.    We are a forum for religious, civic and business leaders to bring a faith perspective to modern concerns about health, society, sustainability and animal welfare. We help develop new markets for new and better products among communities of faith and religious institutions.;

Interreligous Eco-Justice Network  Our Mission: To engage people from diverse faith traditions in prayer, dialogue, education, advocacy and celebration of the sacredness of creation.  The network encourages faithful living that reflects a right relationship between humankind and the environment.  Our Vision: to help religious communities reclaim their ancient traditions, to live as faithful stewards of life, 'transforming' to an ethic of environmental responsibility.   For more information:

The National Religious Partnership for the Environment is an association of independent faith groups across a broad spectrum: the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches U.S.A., the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and the Evangelical Environmental Network. Each partner - in commom biblical faith but drawing upon its distinctive traditions - is undertaking scholarship, leadership training, congregational and agency inititive, and public policy education in service to environmental sustainability and justice. Together, they seek to offer resources of religious life and moral vision to a universal effort to protect humankind's common home and well-being on Earth.

49 South Pleasant St., Suite 301, Amherst, MA 01002 (413) 253-1515, (413) 253-1414 (fax);

Forum on Religion and Ecology
The remarkable interest generated by the three year series on “Religions of the World and Ecology” has called for some further thought on how to build on the concerns and commitments sparked by participants of these conferences. A strong sense that religions need to play a role in helping to solve the environmental crisis has emerged from these conferences. Yet religious voices need to be thoughtfully nuanced and morally persuasive so as to be effective in further discussions with both religious adherents and policymakers. The issues facing us in this environmental crisis are too pressing and complex for mere rhetorical appeals or simplistic answers. Here we suggest some ways to build on the energies and ideas of the conference series and to bring this emerging alliance to its next stage, a Forum on Religion and Ecology. The Forum will focus on three strategic objectives:

To ground a field of study in religion and ecology within the academic context.

To publish and disseminate curricular materials for classroom use and to make available information that will be useful to religious communities, seminaries, and other related institutions.
For more information:
To foster the religious voice in policy issues concerning the environment. The Forum hopes to encourage the intersection of religion with key sectors such as science, education, economics, and public policy.
     For more information:  Detailed Bibliography of Jewish source material by Mark X. Jacobs:

The Regeneration Project and Interfaith Power and Light  We are an interfaith ministry devoted to deepening the connection between ecology and faith. Our goal is to help people of faith recognize and fulfill their responsibility for the stewardship of creation. Specifically, the Interfaith Power and Light campaign is mobilizing a national religious response to global warming while promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation. People of faith have an opportunity to put their faith into action and help reduce the devastating effects of global warming.Inerfaith power and light     For more information:

The National Religious Partnership for the Environment - Established in 1993, the NRPE is an alliance of major American denominations serving over 100 million Americans: the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; the National Council of Churches; the Evangelical Environmental Network; and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life.

Jean Elizabeth Shockley
Executive and Program Assistant
National Religious Partnership for the Environment
49 South Pleasant Street, Suite 301
Amherst, Massachusetts 01002
(413) 253-1515
(413) 253-1414 fax

The Center for Ecological Technology  The Center for Ecological Technology is a nonprofit organization that provides residents, businesses and communities with the tools to make it easy and affordable to carry out daily life in a more environmentally sound manner.

Pittsfield Office
112 Elm Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
tel: (413) 445-4556
fax: (413) 443-8123

Northampton Office
26 Market Street
Northampton, MA 01060
tel: (413) 586-7350
fax: (413) 586-7351

ReStore- Good, used building supplies

250 Albany St.-Rear
Springfield, MA 01105
tel:  (413) 788-6900

Hitchcock Center for the Environment  Statement of Purpose
The Hitchcock Center for the Environment's mission is to foster a greater awareness and understanding of our natural world and to develop environmentally literate citizens.  We offer natural history programs for people of all ages and backgrounds. We are committed to excellence in science education and work extensively in school systems throughout western Massachusetts training educators to be more effective science teachers.  
Amherst, MA 01002
(413) 256-6006
fax (413) 253-2809

Green Faith - 


1.  Ariel, Matt Biers, Deborah Newbrun, and Smart, Michal.  Spirit in Nature.   Springfield, NJ: Behrman House Publishing, 2000.

2.  Benstein, Jeremy.  The Way Into Judaism and the Environment. Woodstock, VT:  Jewish Lights Publishing, 2006.

3.  Bernstein Ellen, Fink, Dan.  Let the Earth Teach You Torah.  Shomrei Adamah, 1992.

4.  Bernstein Ellen.  The Splendor of Creation:  A Biblical Ecology. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2005.

5. Bernstein Ellen Ecology and the Jewish Spirit.  Gretna, LA:  Pelican Publishing Co., 2000.

6.  Comins, Mike.  A Wild Faith:  Jewish Ways into Wilderness; Wilderness Ways into Judaism. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2007.

7.  Cone, Molly.  Listen to the Trees: Jews and the Earth. New York, NY:  URJ press, 1995.

8.  Blanchard, Tzvi (editor). Judaism and Ecology: Created World and Revealed Word. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions, 2003

9.  Buxbaum, Yitzhak.  A Person is Like a Tree:  A Sourcebook for Tu BeShevat. Northvale, NJ:  Jason Aaronson, 2000. 10.  Buxbaum, Yitzhak.  A Tu BeShevat Seder:  The Feast of Fruits from the Tree of Life.  Flushing, NY:  Jewish Spirit Booklet Series, 1998.

11.  Coalition on Environment and Jewish Life.  To Till and to Tend:  A Guide to Jewish Environmental Study and Action.  1994.

12.  Elon, Ari; Hyman, Myra; and Waskow, Arthur.  Trees, Earth, and Torah:  A Tu- BeShevat Anthology.  Philadelphia, PA:  Jewish Publication Society, 1999.

13.  Green, Arthur.  Ehyeh:  A Kabbalah for Tomorrow.  Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2003.

14.  Hadassah, Shomrei Adamah, and World Zionist Organization.  Judaism and Ecology.   New York, NY: Hadassah Department of Education, 1993.

15.  Kaufman, Elisheva.  Ancient Jewish Earthways.  Self Published, 1991.

16.  Matt, Daniel.  The Essential Kabbalah:  The Heart of Jewish Mysticism.  San Francisco, CA:  Harper Collins, 1995.

17.  Steinsaltz, Adin.  The Talmud:  Tractate Ta’anit, part II.  New York, NY:  Random House, 1995.

18.  Schwartz, Richard H., Ph.D.  Judaism and Global Survival.  New York, NY:  Lantern Books, 2002.

19.  Schwartz, Richard H., Ph.D.  Judaism and Vegetarianism.   New York, NY:  Lantern Books, 2001.

20.  Waskow, Arthur.  Torah of the Earth.  Woodstock, VT:  Jewish Lights Publishing, 2001.

21.  Waskow, Arthur.  Seasons of Our Joy. Boston, MA:  Beacon Press,1982.

22.  Yaffe, Martin.  Judaism and Environmental Ethics.  Lanham, MD:  Lexington Books, 2001.

Other green guides

Pennsylvania Governor's Green Government Council: 
City of Portland:
Australian Government:
EPA Green Home Guide
Though residential-focused, it has a lot of resources that apply across building types.  
Operations and Maintenance / Tenant Improvement Guide
City of Portland:
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE: - a more technical, but good resource. 
Building Technologies Program, Department of Energy: 
Municipal Resources:
City of Boston:
City of Seattle:
Episcopal Green Church Initiative:
Building Green: