Green Barnert

Green Barnert Graphic Placeholder

At Barnert Temple, one of our core values is Tikun olam, repair of the world. The responsibility is ours to improve the condition of our world for both present and future generations.

We realize that as stewards of our planet, we have a daunting task in front of us, but in the words of the sage, Rabbi Tarfon, "it is not for you to complete the task but neither are you free to desist."

At Barnert, we will endeavor to pursue projects that have an immediate impact on our Temple as well as those that affect the personal lives and choices of our members and the larger community.

We strive to develop and sustain environmental responsibility for our families, our communities, and for generations to come – L'dor Vador.

Proud to be GreenFaith Certified at Barnert!
GreenFaith Certification Logo Small

What is GreenFaith Certification? 

(Reprinted from GreenFaith is an interfaith environmental coalition. Their mission is to inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership. Their work is based on beliefs shared by the world's great religions - the beliefs that protecting the earth is a religious value, and that environmental stewardship is a moral responsibility.
The certification process is a two-year program that is based upon three core values: spirit, stewardship and environmental justice. The program includes education as well as advocacy. Barnert was awarded a grant by the URJ in order to become a GreenFaith certified house of worship. We began the program in May, 2010 and became GreenFaith certified in May, 2012.
A few of the activities that Barnert has done as part of the process include:

  • Hosting an interfaith film screening of the movie Food, Inc 
  • Bringing in award-winning reporter Jan Barry to speak about the plight of the Ramapough Indian community at the hands of the Ford Motor Company. 
  • Hosting cooking classes by Midsummer Farm. 
  • Disseminating environmental information through a monthly Green Tips column and vegetarian food blogs
  • Encouraging congregants to perform a home energy audit
  • Switching to reusable dishes, silverware, glassware whenever possible

What Happens Once We are Certified? 

Becoming certified means that we will have the resources to take our "greening" to the next level. Once we are certified, the expectations are that:

  • We will continue to place a high priority on educating our congregants about environmental issues and adopting environmentally responsible practices in running our institution; and
  • We will then be environmental educators to other institutions undergoing the certification process.

Back to top 

Green TipsGreen Tips Logo

Don't know what to do with those old, frayed towels? Donate your old towels to a local animal shelter. I've dropped off towels at RBARI (the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge in Oakland) and they are always happy to receive them. Call your local animal shelter and ask if they can use your old towels, clear some clutter from your home and give a furry friend a soft place to rest!
Eco-tip provided by Harvard:

During the hottest days of summer, the electrical grid is overwhelmed with consumer demand. When this happens the grid is forced to use additional, less efficient power plants for electricity. Be a good steward of the Earth - use washers, dryers and dish washers in the evenings during off-peak times, close windows shades and blinds during the day to cool your house, raising your thermostat even one degree will go a long way to cut energy consumption.
Eco-tip provided by Harvard:

Now that summer is here, it's the perfect time to support your local farmers. Many towns including Oakland, Suffern, Ridgewood, Ramsey, and Ringwood have weekend farmer's markets where you can buy locally grown produce, meats, cheeses and other
delicious products.

Another great way to support local farmers is by joining a CSA, community supported agriculture. Become a member and each week you will receive a gorgeous basket of freshly picked fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. Go to to find farms in our area.

Buying locally is great way to reduce your carbon footprint while supporting what was once a thriving farming community — even better, ride your bike to your farmer's market and really feel good about helping the earth!

Fill reusable bottles with tap water rather than buying bottled water. Bottled water is 3400 times more expensive than tap water and 40% of bottled water in the U.S. is actually filtered municipal water. A plastic water bottle takes 1000 years to biodegrade in landfills and less than 20% of plastic water bottles are recycled in this country.
Eco-tip provided by Harvard:

3.5 million wire hangers end up in U.S. landfills ever year. That amounts to 195 million pounds of steel - or the equivalent of 60,000 cars! Your dry cleaners will thank you!
Eco-tip provided by Harvard:

Although it's still a bit early for area farmer's markets to get in full swing, there are still a lot of ways you can make conscientious choices about the foods you buy.

In our ever-expanding global economy, goods are often produced without the environment or workers in mind. Your dollar is your vote; vote for fair wages and a healthier environment by choosing products that are Fair Trade Certified.
This certification ensures that the workers making the products were given a fair wage, and that the item was crafted sustainably.

Look for Fair Trade coffee, chocolate, teas and other artisan products:
Eco-tip provided by GreenFaith:

Back to top