Passover matzah ball soup. There are ways to make this holiday greener. Image via DavidMarcel.
Jews in Israel and around the world are preparing for the week-long Passover holiday beginning Monday evening, March 29, 2010. Passover, more than any other Jewish holiday, is all about the food. We get rid of the chametz (leavened food), buy matzah (unleavened bread), and cook up the dishes that make the holiday special. But Passover doesn’t have to mean throwing out food. Here are tips to make the most of your food this Passover, so you don’t waste, and therefore make the holiday more “green.”
- Use up your chametz (leavened food) before Passover instead of throwing it out. If you have extra, sell it or give it to a non-Jew. You can even sell chametz online. Many charitable organizations collect unopened packages for distribution to the poor after the holiday.
- Make a detailed menu and shopping list, then buy only what you need. Keep your list from year to year, noting how much you actually used. If your family eats matzah at every meal, a kilogram (two pounds) per person is a fair estimate.
- Avoid buying Kosher for Passover specialty items like cake mixes. They often aren’t as tasty as the year-round variety, and tend to get thrown out later. Making simple food from scratch is better for the environment and healthier too.
- Plan an easy menu. The more items you make, the more likely leftovers will get thrown out. You’ll save on cooking gas, water and electricity too.
- Don’t overeat. Food that ends up on your waist is also a “waste.”
- Turn your refrigerator to the coldest setting in advance of cooking. Put cooked foods away while they are still hot, to protect them from spoiling. Don’t forget to switch the refrigerator setting back once the food has chilled.
- Stagger cooking so that your refrigerator can cool food efficiently.
- Return leftovers to the refrigerator quickly. Save food containers with covers for storing leftovers.
- Share extra food with neighbors and friends.
- Donate the money you’ve saved for the mitzva (commandment) of kimcha de-Pischa (Passover flour), to help those in need enjoy their holiday.
For more green saving tips by Hannah Katsman:
Five Edible Wild Plants You Can Pick Yourself
Save Water and Energy in Your Washing Machine with Top Tips
Ten Common Misconceptions about Breastfeeding Your Baby
Passover Recipes and Cooking Tips at CookingManager.Com