Never since I became active in efforts to preserve the environment has being green been so hip. The most outrageous claims by massive polluters intent on being green mark the pages of newspapers, magazines and TV ads. Every company selling anything is showing it’s green streak – Clorox, Macy’s, Ford, Teva, and so on. It often appears that going green requires an entire new wardrobe, tons of exotic new cleaners, a new car, new this and new that, and as we consume more and more to become more and more green we start feeling better about ourselves. Let’s chuck that and get something re-usuable, and stylish, and green. And one could get really cynical really fast, and say that its all a fad, like those rubber bracelets we used to wear on our wrists. It too will fade into black. And it unleashes the anti-environmentalists too, like the guy who told me he now tries top pollute as much as possible to show everyone that there is no global warming.

Well no matter the hipness, those taking advantage of it, those in it for the money, those seeking to sell you more and more junk, but now its green junk, I still believe that ultimately it is a good thing that green is in. Because with green being in, there is a chance that people will start making real efforts to alter their lifestyles and consumer habits, their eating and their footprint, realize the fragility of life, and that there is something to protect. People will access real information, not the fluff on Oprah in Parade magazine, but the stuff that hits deep.

For so long the going slogan in America was “use the earth-its there for us to exploit” – and that mantra is still there, I am under no such green haze to think that it isn’t — but now there is a new slogan that is creeping into the mainstream. The earth is not disposable, there is no where else to live, and God doesn’t want us to trash it. In other words “we must try to live in harmony with earth” and that mantra is gaining momentum.

As long as this new slogan is making headway, and there to compete with the old paradigm, I believe that we are going to be able to begin to heal what we have broken, and preserve that which we have not broken, and create a tikkun between humanity and the home that God gave us.

Ok. Now you can trash me in the comments.

About the author

Rabbi Yonah


  • Genesis 2:15: “The Eternal placed the human being in the garden of Eden to till and tend it.”
    “In the hour when the Holy One, blessed be He created the first human being,
    He took him and let him pass before all the trees of the Garden of Eden and said to him:
    ‘See my works, how fine and excellent they are! Now all that I have created, for you have I created it. Think upon this and do not destroy and desolate My World, For if you corrupt it, there is no one to set it right after you.'”

    Midrash Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:28