One of the areas of Jewish environmentalism that doesn’t often get spoken of is Shabbat. We most often think of Shabbat as a spiritual time. This is a time for rest but not typical physical rest, rather spiritual engagement, discussion, family time etc.
All of that is true but there is another component that touches on environmentalism. One of the ideas behind Shabbat is the concept of self-discipline and withholding myself from imposing onto the world around me. For one day a week I am reminded that I am ‘part of’ and not ‘owner of’ the world.
On Shabbat I must respect the natural world around me and refrain from interfering in its natural process. I should not be pulling grass our or killing bugs or chopping wood or any of the other ways in which I assert myself onto nature and dictate what should happen.
Take a moment on Shabbat to notice how you can restrain yourself in this way and create yet another level of meaning to the Jewish Sabbath.