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October 6, 2015 | 23rd Tishrei 5776

URJ Camp Coleman

Cleveland, GA

News from Camp!

Recipes from the Campscape Garden: Read how Coleman campers learned to make limonana and pesto from their own garden produce and at the same time created and explored their connection to the environment. More


Operations and programming are greener than ever at Camp Coleman after years of dedicated work to reduce energy, water use and landfill waste. Staff and campers continue to develop a more effective recycling program, recently adding collection bins in each cabin. They "close the loop" and reduce landfill waste by making Shabbat table decorations from recycled materials and composting some food waste through campscaping, a gardening and craft activity that includes recycled materials. Camp Coleman is increasing kitchen waste composting this summer to include cardboard, and is considering working with campers and staff to compost more food waste. Campers regularly visit a local organic farm to learn about sustainable lifestyles and take part in nature and camping programs, all of which emphasize protecting our natural environment.

Camp Coleman continues its efforts to maximize effectiveness and efficiency in all things, including energy use and environmental stewardship. Coleman has moved to high-efficiency lighting wherever possible and aims to have all exterior lights on timers soon. They have worked for years to upgrade to low-flow shower heads, high efficiency toilets and aerated sink valves, and this spring and summer will be replacing an aging collection of yard hydrants to reduce water loss due to leakage. Coleman also collects condensate water from their HVAC system to utilize for landscaping - a clever twist on rainwater harvesting, which they are also planning to explore this summer to visibly demonstrate collection, storage and distribution of recycled water at a larger scale!

Coleman is always seeking new ways to incorporate sustainability into programs and operations. Coleman is considering hosting environmental Shabbat programs to increase awareness, as well as a "solar Shabbat" wherein hot water heaters are turned off over the weekend to reduce water and energy use. They have also proposed "Walking Wednesdays," which would involve avoiding use of non-emergency vehicles on camp one day each week, cutting the camp's transportation carbon footprint - and fuel expenses - by 15%.

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