Judaism has a rich body of teachings that guide us to protecting the environment. Har HaShem supports these teachings with practical solutions within our facilities.
We divert as much trash as possible from going to a landfill and instead direct it to recycling and composting programs. By utilizing compostable plates, cups, napkins, and utensils, and by diverting all food waste from a garbage bin into a compost bin, we are now successfully keeping tons of organic material out of the landfill. This is a significant achievement, not only because we are contributing to the production of nutrient-rich soil amendment, but also because we are helping prevent methane formation, a potent greenhouse gas that is formed when organics are in landfill conditions. Our large multi-purpose rooms have attractive bins for sorting compostables, recyclables and landfill trash. We also have positioned comparable bins in our kitchens. Our offices and classrooms have separate landfill and recycling containers. We are sensitive to the packaging materials that surround purchases we make and buy in bulk when practical to reduce the volume.
We have reduced water consumption inside our buildings by installing low flow devices. We have reduced our landscape watering by choosing xeriscape plantings, installing root watering systems, and extending our use of well water.
Electricity and Gas Consumption
We have reduced our lighting energy consumption by installing LED lighting, energy-efficient ballasts, occupancy sensors, and lighting timers. In 2017, we installed solar photovoltaic systems to generate roughly 75% of our electricity needs. As a result, our buildings qualify for the EPA's ENERGY STAR building certification.