Planning your newborn’s bris or naming ceremony? Try going green by sharing your environmentally conscious values with your children right from day eight. Rabbi Lev Baesh of Jewish Renewal congregation B’nai Or of Boston and director of the Resource Center for Jewish Studies at suggests the following ideas for making your ceremony green:

  • Use recycled paper or seeded invitations, or save your paper and send email invites
  • Have a potluck and asks friends and family to bring their favorite dishes
  • Use reusable plates and utensils
  • Try cloth tablecloths instead of plastic
  • Avoid conventional balloons and try Japanese-style paper balloons or pompoms
  • Ask guests to skip the wrapping paper on gifts they bring, or wrap them in newspaper or other eco-friendly materials
  • Decline gifts altogether and ask for donations to support children’s organizations instead
  • Plant a tree to represent new life and growth
  • Include a special blessing about the planet during your ceremony, such as this one created by Rabbi Baesh:

“With each step our new one takes into the world, may we remember to consider the green footprint we leave for her/his future. May we be blessed with the presence of mind to keep the water she/he drinks and the air she/he breathes fresh and pure. May we have the presence of body to inhabit only the space we need and use resources with sacred attention to quality and quantity. And may we have presence of heart to give freely and act justly as we set the example we wish our little one to know.”

For a guide to pregnancy and birth ceremonies, visit