This December, approximately 1million Jewish people around the world will celebrate Hannukah. During this holiday, commemorating dedication and the triumph of light over darkness (just a days supply of oil remained lit for eight days – a miracle!), families will light a total of 44 candles over the course of eight nights. They will also eat doughnuts and latkes and spin the dreidel 

To keep joy at maximum and waste to a minimum, here are a few tips on how to have a lit and green Hannukah.

1) Get crafty with the miracle of upcycling 

Instead of getting an expensive Hannukia (the traditional candle holder used over the eight nights of Hannukah) why not make your own from stuff you already have? Rinsed and dried beer bottles, left over chunks of wood from that DIY project, or small glass jars! All of these and more can be turned into beautiful candle holders with a personal touch. 

2) Make your own dreidel 

Everyone loves spinning the dreidel, the classic Hannukah toy, and it’s even more fun to make your own. There are two ways to do it. The simple way, or the super simple way! All you need is left over thin carboard (like an old cereal box) for both. For the simple way follow these dimensions and fold your carboard into a spinning sensation. For the super simple version, cut a three inch square of thin cardboardthen draw three equal triangles and poke a short pencil through the middle. Write the following Hebrew letters on each of the four parts to determine the outcomes of the game:  
נ = Nit (Nothing), play passes to next player. 
ג = Gants (all), the player takes all of the pot. 
ה = Half, the player takes half of the pot. 
ש = Put, the player puts all of his coins into the pot. 

3) Handle your candles

The main event of the Hannukah celebration is lighting the candles each night. The best Hanukkah candles are the ones you already have (check the cabinets for leftover candles from last year). Still need to stock up on more? try opting for candles that are made of natural beeswax, soy or palm oil as they are less harmful to the environment than the traditional, paraffin ones. Cracking a window can also help keep a good quality air flow in your house, when you have candles lit for long periods of time.

4) Experiment with your latkes! 

Potato latkes (a sort of a flat Jewish hash brown) are as classic as they are delicious. This year, why not take your latke game up a notch and throw some other vegetables in the mix? Look for vegetables that are in season like sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, beetroots and cabbage to make extra healthy, highly photographable latkes. Don’t forget to use all the offcuts for a zero waste approach. 

5) Deep frying the lit way 

What makes Latkes (and doughnuts for that matter) so good is, of course, the deep frying, but did you know pouring frying oil down the drain is extremely harmful for your pipes and our sewage systems? When oil is poured down the drain it clots up with other materials and fats and creates huge ‘fatbergs’ (yep) that could clog the sewage system in your area and even lead to flooding. So the next time you’re whipping  up some Hannukah delicacies, dispose of the cooking oil by pouring it into a jar and putting it in the bin. 

Hungry for more? 

Check out some of our other recipes, from ways to love your leftovers to new flavours and seasonal vegetables.