Going Green(er)

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Last summer, when Camp Ramah and Wolfoods partnered, an opportunity to make important sustainability decisions became realized. Michael Wolf brought with him the experience and direction Camp Ramah needed to make Ramah Berkshires’ kitchen and Hadar (dining hall) one of the most sustainable in the world of camping. Michael’s passion for delicious and nutritious camp cuisine goes hand in hand with his goal in making Wolfoods an environmentally conscious organization, using summer camp meals as a classroom for campers to learn about green initiatives. Michael’s commitment to sustainability dates back to his time spent during college in Ithaca, New York, learning about environmental sustainability. Michael took that education with him along his career. During his tenure at Caesars Palace, two of Michael’s greatest accomplishments as the Chair of the Caesars Green Team was planting a strip side herb and vegetable garden and successfully rolling out a property wide composting program. Hearing Michael speak about environmental initiatives inspired Rabbi Resnick who wholeheartedly embraced Michael’s vision for Camp Ramah’s Hadar going green.

Recycle-sign-FinalDuring the summer of 2014, Camp Ramah made big operational changes in the Hadar. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner not only offered Wolfoods delicious and nutritious meals, but they also taught campers about sustainability. Initiatives emphasizing waste reduction, recycling, and composting were a theme throughout.  You may have noticed the beautiful and reusable vinyl table covers instead of the disposable white plastic covers. How could you miss the composting program. Each session, campers were taught about the procedure and importance of separating their waste into three areas; Compost, Recycling, and Landfill. The results of these efforts are admirable and astounding!

As a community during the 2014 summer, Camp Ramah reduced its landfill waste by 25 tons! All of our staff and campers deserve an applause for their participation and commitment to Camp Ramah’s Green Initiative. In addition, in the kitchen, all grease waste was saved and picked up by a Dutchess County local who was able to convert the waste into Bio-Diesel fuel for his vehicle. How cool!

sfe_compost_signs_food-WasteCamp Ramah’s continued commitment to making decisions about waste with environmental sustainability in mind has brought many new ideas for Summer 2015. Say goodbye to Styrofoam. Instead, we will be using compostable, biodegradable disposables. Thank you to an anonymous donor for making this possible. Hadar bathrooms will now be equipped with hand blowers for hand drying instead of wasteful paper towels. A proposed purchase of reusable cups and dish racks is being discussed in place of disposables for each meal. Wolfoods has also been pursuing the opportunity to source produce locally from Dutchess County farms in an effort to reduce our biological footprint and support the local community.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost, Repurpose…. It feels good to be a part of the Ramah community committed to green initiatives.