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Greening the URJ Camps
Jul. 15, 2010
Discover how our camps and Israel programs are learning about Jewish environmentalism, and what we're doing to reduce our impact on the planet.

We're proud that our thirteen camps are already so deeply engaged in environmental education and programming, and we're delighted to highlight a number of the environmental projects that are taking place around our camps and in our Israel programs this summer.




Camps Greening Initiative
In conjunction with the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, we've developed a Camps Greening Initiative that includes simple guidelines to help our camps gain publicity for their efforts to build a more sustainable world, one camp experience at a time. Keep an eye on The Clipboard, and on our Facebook page for highlights, photos, and video from this initiative in the coming weeks!

Check out RAC Legislative Assistant Sophie Golimb's blog,
URJ Crane Lake Came Acts on Climate.

NFTY in Israel Travels Justly with Carbon Offsets
As an intensive international travel program, NFTY in Israel has taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint by offering participants the ability to offset their carbon emissions. Each of the more than six hundred participants have received a new green NFTY in Israel luggage tag that includes a link to our Travel Justly initiative. There, they can make a donation to the URJ's Environmental Sustainability Fund, which supports emission-free energy production in North America and Israel.

Update from Greene Family Camp
By Brian Hertz, Sustainability Coordinator

One of our first projects was establishing a recycling program. We were lucky enough to find a company in Waco that was able to provide us with 10 96-Gallon containers, and will pick them up every two weeks. The program has been amazing. The kids and staff are very into recycling and things are filling up so fast, we've asked them to deliver a few more containers. We are also looking into recycling things like computers, lightbulbs and batteries in the proper way.

On the "Opening Bunk Day," our Kibbutz unit had a program about building a Sustainable Community. We talked about how Kibbutz is a sustainable community and how GFC, in some ways, is a sustainable community. They were able to calculate their eco footprint at home and compare it to their eco footprint while at camp. Very interesting stuff.

Our pride and joy, at this point, is our Garden. We've expanded our garden into an educational tool. All of the units come and do different activities about what vegetables represent different parts of a plant, where their food comes from, how the food web works, about animal dependence on resources, and what we eat for breakfast. Each group also gets something to take back to their cabin, such as a terrarium or a sprout jar. We are creating a sense of environmental awareness that we haven't had in many years at camp.

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