Summary of our visit to Kipod Center

On a chilly Winter evening in late January, 27 members of Hod Ve-Hadar received a warm welcome at the Kipod Center – our neighbor just down the street from the synagogue in Kfar Saba. We learned about the Kipod Center, its mission and activities, and about sustainability and environmental issues in Kfar Saba in particular and in Israel in general.

Keren, the manager of Kipod, described the center as one of Israel’s leading hubs for environmental education and activities.  Groups of all ages and from all parts of the country come to Kipod to learn about and also create sustainable art and usable objects for the home.

Keren also shared with us the challenges that we continue to face as a nation with regards to the dependability of municipal recycling programs. Items that we throw into the recycling receptacles are not necessarily being recycled – either properly or even at all.  Furthermore, the slow rate of decomposition of the recyclable materials can still be a source of environmental damage.  Therefore a greater emphasis must be placed on reusable products.

Keren expanded our thinking and awareness regarding the “R’s” of sustainability:

  • Refuse (reduce overall consumerism)
  • Repair (Kipod has a monthly volunteer Café & Repair workshop for all kinds of items)
  • Reduce (generate less waste)
  • Reuse (not only in our own homes, but by passing on/handing down to others)
  • Recycle

The concept that Kipod is trying to instill in the public is for all of us to rethink consumerism.  It all starts with consumption.  We can refuse to buy more by thinking about what we’re buying, how and from where it came to be, and if we really need it. With more consumer consciousness we might consume less, which in turn means that less will be created.  By repairing items we can throw less away by fixing things instead or turning them into something else useful.  Reduce-again encourages us to ask the questions: “Do I really need that?” ”Do I really want that?” By buying in bulk or buying refills for existing product containers we can also reduce the garbage we generate. Reuse – what is the life span of the items we buy? Can we reuse them more than once? Can we repurpose something not bought, like a plastic bag at the grocery store, inorder to reuse it instead of throwing it away after itsinitial use?  Lastly, we can recycle the items when we have exhausted all of its possible uses.

Keren was very honest and told us that new scientific information is emerging daily and that we are really just scratching the surface.  Overall we had a very informative and enjoyable evening.  We’re looking forward to more educational events with Kipod in the near future.