Environmentalism may be trendy, but expensive hybrid cars and solar paneling aren't the only ways of being fashionably green.
Two years ago, Camp Ramah in California embarked upon a major solar energy project, effectively becoming the first Jewish overnight camp west of the Mississippi to adopt greener energy options. With the installation of a solar energy system atop the dining hall of our 75-acre Ojai campgrounds, Ramah has become a leader in the Jewish community when it comes to reducing environmental pollution and dependence on foreign oil. The system purchased by Ramah is designed to reduce toxic emissions by approximately 4.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide, 11,000 pounds of nitrous oxide and 35,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide over the life of the system.
The problem of plastic grocery bags is explored.
Gil Yaakov and Sagit Rogenstein arrived in Los Angeles on March 2 to address an awakening among American Jews to the environmental threats to Israel. The two were among a group of 18 academics, environmentalists and politicians participating in the Friends of Israel's Environment exchange program. The goal of the exchange, which is sponsored by the Tel Aviv-Los Angeles Partnership of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, is to share solutions for environmental problems that plague both cities, such as air pollution, wastewater treatment, recycling and planning green spaces.
While some of the projects veer off course into areas that are not strictly environmental, the main thrust of EcoOcean, an Israeli nonprofit organization that built and funds a unique seafaring vessel, is to offer its ship, equipped with wet and dry laboratories, to those fighting to improve the marine and coastal environment.
Kids can influence how their families handle the growing global warming issue, at least according to Laurie David and Cambria Gordon, co-authors of "The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming"
Thanks to nonprofits like Zalul Association for Environmental Protection, Israel's environmental awareness has awakened, and, during the first week of March, a delegation of about a dozen academics, environmentalists and politicians will spend five days in Los Angeles working with their local counterparts.
The Arava Institute has about 40 students, including three Palestinians from the West Bank and 10 Jordanians. They all live and study at the kibbutz center on Kibbutz Ketura, about 25 miles north of Eilat. The institute is under construction to house up to 100 students in the near future. The 10-year-old institute has graduated more than 400 students from its yearlong program. It receives funding from the Jewish National Fund and other American Jewish groups and donors. Among the graduates is the son of Jordanian Prime Minister Ma'roof Al-Bakeet.
Surf's up in Israel! More and more Israelis are taking to the water in wetsuits and board shorts to catch those gnarly waves. And as the sport grows in popularity, so does the need to keep Israel's water clean and safe. Billabong, one of the most recognizable names in surfing gear, has joined forces with Zalul, an environmental organization dedicated to cleaning up Israel's seas and rivers.
For those who love the experience of shopping for real estate, "Open House: Architecture and Technology for Intelligent Living," on display in Pasadena at Art Center College of Design's south campus, is not the usual collection of modish conceits by residential architects.
When Moses sent his spies into the Promised Land, they famously reported back that "it does indeed flow with milk and honey." If the spies were to take a gander at the pollution in some of Israel's rivers today, though, it's anyone's guess what they would tell their boss.