Environmental Justice & Sustainability
Climate change is the most catastrophic crisis facing our planet. As Jews, we must organize around our climate crisis in solidarity with frontline communities in New York City, across the U.S., and around the world. BJ is taking action through community organizing, political engagement, education, sustainability initiatives, the BJ Environmental Advocates, and our Hazorim CSA.
This committee of volunteers is dedicated to fighting climate change through education, advocacy, and action. Our work is rooted in Jewish tradition of caring for the Earth. We recognize that our shared responsibility to one another and the planet extends beyond the walls of our Sanctuary and our Community.To join an upcoming meeting or get involved, please email Les Judd or Kiana Davis.
Community Composting Initiative
Compost drop-off is available at the Community House every Monday to Thursday from 7:00AM-7:00PM.
Want to minimize your food waste? Looking for ways reduce your ecological footprint? Start today by taking advantage of our composting initiative! New York City launched a pilot composting program in 2014. Since then, it has expanded to all five boroughs. We have been part of the program since the summer of 2015, composting food scraps from our Lunch Program and our CSA, and are excited to be able to offer the opportunity to the whole community. Our goal is to provide a convenient location to bring household compost and we hope those who are nearby and frequent the building will take advantage of the program.
Step 1: Separate your food scraps, like dinner leftovers, excess food from cooking, or rotten foods. This includes meats, bones, and cheeses: basically anything that used to be alive.
Step 2: Place your scraps into a container. You can keep the container on your counter top, in the refrigerator, or in your freezer to alleviate smells between drop offs.
Step 3: Work it into your routine! Bring your food scraps to the BJ Community House, 270 West 89th Street, on the designated days and times. Bins will be available in front of the building.
- BioBag compostable bag
- Paper bag
- Resealable plastic zipper storage bags or plastic containers with lids (in the freezer, for transporting purposes only, not compostable)
• Food scraps (anything that used to be alive)
• Bread, grains, and pasta
• Coffee grounds with paper filter
• Cheese and all dairy
• Eggshells and eggs
• Fruit (pits, seeds, and shells)
• Meat (including bones)
• Vegetables and peels
• Nuts and nutshells
• Flowers and floral trimmings
• Leftovers and spoiled food
• Tea and tea bags
• Food-soiled paper
• Paper napkins, paper towels, paper bags, and tissues
Benefits of Composting
- Composting recycles food scraps by adding important nutrients back to the soil and completing the food cycle
- Roughly 29% of household waste is organic and can be composted
- When you compost you are recycling, diverting waste from overcrowded landfills and reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere
Achieving Zero Waste for NYC
New York City has set a goal of contributing zero waste to landfills by 2030. There’s no “away” when we throw garbage into a can or litter basket. Trash goes into landfills, where it decomposes—sending methane, carbon dioxide, and toxins into our air, soil, and water. New Yorkers will be protecting our environment more than ever before.
We are suspending the BJ Hazorim CSA in 2024. Sign up to be notified of future CSA opportunities. For those who are looking for another CSA option on the Upper West Side, we encourage you to check out Roxbury Farm or Cream of the Crop, which both have pick-ups at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew on 86th Street and West End Avenue.
Sustainability at BJ
BJ is constantly upgrading our campus to be more efficient with our food, water, and energy consumption. Some of our recent environmental advocacy initiatives include:
- Greening of the Terrace: Working with amazing outside contractors, the walls of our 6th floor terrace have been transformed into a lush oasis, providing a peaceful retreat for our community members and reinforcing our dedication to creating sustainable and eco-friendly spaces.
- Community Composting: Composting helps lessen our carbon footprint and reduce waste. Our community composting initiative has gained momentum, diverting our community’s food from landfills, and offering a convenient compost location to the whole neighborhood.
- Food Rescue Efforts: In partnership with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine and other local partners, surplus food from BJ events is redirected to those in need, combating food waste and addressing issues of hunger in our community.