My son’s school has been emphasizing the importance of the environment. He insists on bringing his sandwich in a reusable container and refuses a recycled bread bag. And a few months ago the school hosted an event on environmental topics, including making crafts with recycled items and a discussion of water in Judaism. Cardboard boxes, prepared by the municipality, were provided for each household to collect old paper. The box reads: “You recycled? You helped! In Petach Tikva we take responsibility for the environment.” Petach Tikva, refreshingly, is first in the country for percentage of trash recycled.
Yet the school exhibits some cognitive dissonance when it comes to the environment. I’ve already written about the ridiculous amount of school supplies and multicolored folders required for each child. After the environmental event kids were asked to bring in yet another plastic folder–this time green, along with writing paper and nylonim (clear plastic page covers)–for a unit about the environment. I recently noticed the unused folder in my son’s backpack. He thinks the teacher forgot about it.