Feel-Good Ways to Celebrate Tu B’Shevat‎

Tu B’Shevat is coming up, but I haven’t really celebrated this holiday since I was little.  So I did a lot of Googling to learn more about traditional customs and new ideas on how to incorporate the spirit of the holiday with my super busy, what do I actually have time for, life.

Honestly, I’m a bit disappointed at what I found. In terms of craft projects, everyone seems to be encouraging their kids to create paper trees, tree hand-printed signs, tree-stamped stationary, etc. but using paper in this way seems contrary to the spirit of honoring and celebrating trees.

So here are some other ideas on how you can celebrate Tu B’Shevat while appreciating trees and all they have to offer.

Hiking

There is nothing like a hike through the woods to really make you appreciate nature. You can check out the most recommended forests to visit in the National Forest Foundation’s Ten “Best Of” National Forests or just explore your backyard if you’re so lucky.

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Buy Indoor Plants

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, one large tree can provide an entire day’s supply of oxygen for up to four people. Meaning – even in the tiniest of apartments, a potted plant will help purify your air and improve your health and happiness (as long as you remember to water it!).

Some of their other facts you might find interesting:

  • A study of 10 cities found community forests save an average of one life each year. In New York City, trees save an average of eight lives every year.
  • Carefully positioned trees can reduce a household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling by up to 25%. Computer models devised by the U.S. Department of Energy predict that the proper placement of only three trees can save an average household between $100 and $250 in energy costs annually.
  • The mature street trees in Beverly Hills, California, are worth $450 million. (what?!?)

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Image via

Donate to tree-planting organizations and deforestation projects

The National Forest Foundation will plant a tree for every $1 you give to their tree-planting programs, helping restore National Forests damaged by wildfire, insects, disease and other impacts. Seems like a great deal to me if you are looking to incorporate some tzedakah into your Tu B’Shevat‎ celebrations. The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees program also aims to use donations to plant one billion trees by 2025.

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