Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Too Much

Am I not as green as any Oregonian? I compost. I purchase Blue Sky renewable power. I recycle everything I can. I try to buy organic as much as possible. I donate to environmental charities. I capture my rain water in rain barrels. I try to support small local businesses. I haven't traveled by air in the last ten years. True, I have yet to give up my car (or earn enough to afford a hybrid) but I group my trips and try not to drive more than necessary.

But what I am not willing to do is give up lighting Chanukah candles. Honestly. When I look around me at all the hoo ha over The Big December Holiday, the gift boxes, the inflatable Santas, the electric lights all over everything, the millions of trees cut down each year, the traffic jams at retail locations, the tossed away wrappings, the unsolicited mail order catalogs, the piles and piles and piles of cheap plastic holiday junk shipped from China....and these folks are worried about my Chanukah candles? Maybe I don't have to light every single menorah we own (at least 8, maybe more) every single night but I simply cannot see giving up a tradition that has a good deal more history and spiritual depth behind it than glowing inflatable yard decorations.


Elizabeth said...

That seems a very small effect on the environment compared with all of us who cut down trees every year in December (which we are off to do today). Plus we burn candles year round. Yeah, this eco-mama is agreeing with you--some things are worth it.

Tammy said...

I think you are doing more environmentally than many around us. Yes, we try to recycle and group our trips, but you can't give up a holiday like yours. To me, your Menorah means more than my Christmas. Just random thoughts as I read your post.

Sarah said...

Oh, my. Okay, I get it. Really, I do. Small collective actions add up to a big difference. But even without comparisons to the holiday practices of other religions, I think this is asking too much. Encourage us to get LED menorahs or use the least harming candles or something, if you have to do something so centrally symbolic. But don't diminish my opportunity to add much-needed light to this dark season.

hippydippymommy said...

Carbon Offset, anyone?

I'm sure that a reasonable alternative to not lighting candles would be to figure out how to make up for the carbon dioxide released. Plant a tree, handwash dishes for a few days, do something to offset the clouds of carbon dioxide from candles, though I seriously question whether CO2 from candles contributes to global warming. Sounds almost like an Onion article.