Time to start thinking Chanukah already??
This Sunday I am taking part in an inspired project- The Fair Chanukah Fayre. Some of you may remember my mini projects; 3 months with no shopping (except for food), 6 weeks making everything from scratch in the kitchen... Both of which helped me explore my relationship to consumption and affirmed and redefined my commitment to fair trade and ethically sourced items. So you won't be too surprised that I'm excited by a fair trade, ethically sourced Chanukah fair that is also exploring sustainability.
In fact, Chanukah is THE festival of sustainability. Yes I know Sukkot is all about agriculture and living outside, but at Chanukah, much more radically, we are asked to imagine what would be necessary to make one days resources last for eight days! In the days of the Hasmoneans this took a miracle. In our days, or in the days of our children or grandchildren, it will either take another miracle, great sacrifices from each of us, or some serious technological innovations.
What would you sacrifice if you needed to make 1 days worth of energy and light last for 8 days? How will we make what we have stretch further and do more? Or do we need to adjust our expectations of what is necessary and needed?
I was exploring some of these ideas last week as I wrote an article for a Synagogues magazine. And I found myself committing to making all my Chanukah presents myself this year. Do those around me really need more body lotion or desk furniture? Equally they may not need a hand beaded kippah or a home made cake,
As well as my next month spent in a flurry of creativity, I will be building up towards Chanukah with posts about sustainability and what it might look like. Our resources are not infinite, and (as Ghandi said) we need to be the change we wish to see in the world. Asking people to make 1 day of energy last 8 days isn't very realistic in November in the UK. But there may come a time when we don't have a choice in the matter, and our behaviour at seasons like these,, and as we make our day to day purchases, may define how far away such a time is.