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“I speak for the trees!” said the Lorax.  I believe it’s time for a Lorax revival, because nowadays, despite recycling bins everywhere and a supposed pro-recycling movement in America, we’re wasting natural resources in epic proportions.

And last night I realized that I am part of the problem.

I was in the middle of hosting a Tu B’Shevat seder.  Without going into great detail (you can feel free to google it if you want the whole story) Tu B’Shevat is the official birthday of all planted trees, much like January 1st is the official birthday of race horses.  It’s also a time when we sample different fruits and nuts, perhaps plant some parsley for Passover, and contemplate our relationship with the earth.  Many people donate to JNF (the Jewish National Fund) to plant trees in Israel.

Halfway through the evening, I realized that everything I’d used was disposable — paper plates and napkins, plastic cups and spoons.  I will admit that at the end of the evening it was much easier to bundle it all into the trash rather than wash dishes.  But the irony of such wastefulness in celebration of this particular holiday was not lost on me.

And therefore, I am making a New Year of the Trees resolution: I resolve to make a concerted effort to reduce, reuse and recycle this year.  I’ll start by purchasing cloth napkins…. but not new ones.  Nope, I’m heading to the Habitat for Humanity Restore, where I saw lots of gently used cloth napkins and dish towels.

P.S. When I was in Israel last week (I love being able to say that!) I bought a copy of the Lorax in Hebrew.  Here’s what the cover looks like: