When on your Bar/Bat Mitzvah tour Israel, one of the most interesting things you can do is to notice Israelis’ integration of sustainability principles into their everyday lifestyle. From solar water heating to mass-scale greywater recycling, once you key into Israel’s sustainable lifestyle, you’ll never see the world the same way again!
Resource Conservation as a National Value
When a country is as small as Israel, it must use its resources very carefully, choosing renewable resources instead of finite resources whenever possible. Israel must also protect its non-replaceable resources such as wildlife habitats and cropland and leverage its power and freshwater resources with care.
At Work and Home
When you come on your private tours in Israel with Dekel Tours, notice, if you will, the rooftops of the residential buildings all around you. You’ll see a vast multitude of cylindrical white water tanks with solar panels attached. These are the solar-powered water heaters that almost all Israeli apartments are equipped with as a matter of course. Even in winter, people use electricity to heat water for their showers only on-demand, and larger homes and commercial buildings are installed with on-demand gas-powered water heaters.
According to the Israel Standards Institute, commercial buildings are generally designed with solar movement patterns in mind to optimize the natural heating and cooling effect, and this effect is augmented by devices which measure and use algorithms to optimize use such as those designed by Elencon (http://elencon.com/).
In addition, private houses use “mazganim,” for heating and cooling, an air-exchange technology which is much more efficient than American-style gas or electric furnaces and air-conditioning units.
In addition, you are likely to notice on your bar mitzvah tour in Israel or your bat mitzvah tour in Israel that Israelis typically embrace more ecological modes of transportation. Here, people typically use trains, buses to travel to and from work and leisure activities, and many people simply rent a car or take a taxi in the atypical circumstance that they actually need a private vehicle.
It is true that the majority of households do in fact own a car – or have a rental provided to them by work. But the difference is that in many cases, Israelis own or lease one car per household, not per person. And statistically, for every 1000 people, there are only 250 passenger vehicles in use here in Israel – as opposed 797 in the US, 717 in Australia, 607 in Canada, or 519 in the United Kingdom.
Because the rain falls typically only in Winter in Israel, and mostly in the north, water conservation and water engineering have always been a vital part of Israel’s overall development process.
When on your Bar/Bat Mitzvah tour Israel, take the opportunity to ask an Israeli old-timer about the water rationing they experienced when the country was young – or ask their grandkids if they know! It used to be that each person in Israel was rationed only a few liters a day for all their drinking and household needs, and so, given the Israeli spirit of ingenuity, people found all sorts of ways to use and reuse water, starting with the cleanest uses and moving towards the dirtier ones…
Today, advances in desalination have made water scarcity all but a memory and 55% of Israel’s domestic water use is currently provided by desalination. But Israelis still keep a conservation mindset in their water usage, both domestically and commercially. Israeli domestic daily water use at 137 liters per capita, is still only about half of what is used per person in their daily domestic use in America – while an amazing 80% of Israel’s post-consumer greywater goes back to cropland.
In keeping with our pledge here at Dekel Tours to show you a side of Israel you wouldn’t get to see anywhere else, it has been my pleasure today to introduce you to just a few of the ways Israelis integrate sustainability principles into our everyday lifestyle. whether you are touring Israel on a Luxury day tours or just having family trips to Israel, be sure to look around you and notice the simple but significant lifestyle elements mentioned here in this blog – and if you want to know more, be sure to ask your knowledgeable and talented Dekel tour guide!