Shavuot is a celebration of the giving of the Torah and of the summer harvest. To commemorate the flowering of Mount Sinai and to connect us to the summer season, Jews have traditionally decorated their tables and synagogues with flowers and plants.
In recent years, people have become more aware of the damage human consumption causes to our natural resources, and sustainability has become popular. Here are 5 sustainable decorations for your Shavuot table, to ensure you don’t deplete our natural resources while you make your home beautiful.
Who says flowers only look pretty once they’re cut? Potted plants make for interesting and attractive centerpieces. If you’re already growing plants and flowers, just move them to the table for the day. Or you can go to a local nursery and pick up some potted plants to keep after the holiday or to give to your guests as souvenirs.
Tablecloths come in lots of colors and with many different designs. What about a round gray polka dot stain resistant one, a rectangular navy grid vinyl one, or a 100% cotton floral one? A beautiful tablecloth can replace fresh flowers to get your guests into the Shavuot mood. All you have to do at the end of the meal is wipe it down and put it away for next Shavuot (or use it every day for a cheerful kitchen decoration).
If you’re into DIY, you’ll love this idea: make your own flowers out of paper and decorate your home with them all year long. There are many tutorials online for you to learn how to make paper flowers to grace your table or sideboard. If your kids are into crafts, this is a great way to get them involved in holiday prep. If you want to buy a paper flower kit, look at this pink and yellow flower kit here, or if you want a lighted Pink Camellia garland, I found you one right here.
Seasonal Fruit Bowl
Decorations that do double-duty as dessert are both healthy and sustainable! Celebrate the beginning of summer with a bowl of delicious local fruit. All you need is a big bowl and different colored fruits to give your table a festive look.
It can be stressful to think about washing lots of dishes at the end of a big holiday meal, so many of us opt for disposable table settings to make cleanup easier. Think creatively how you can reduce waste: Ask guests to bring their meal contribution in a sustainable container they take home with them, use tree-free natural disposable plates but real silverware, or replace plasticware cutlery with eco-friendly biodegradable compostable utensils.
Now it’s your turn. Are you hosting a Shavuot meal? How are you decorating your table?