Sustainability is at the core of Pearlstone’s Operations and Community Engagement Program.
Our Community Sustainability Department embodies the Jewish value of preserving the earth’s resources for future generations, thereby enhancing community vibrancy and our quality of life. Our mission is to foster a culture where sustainability and environmental health are integral to Baltimore’s Jewish community. By reducing our environmental impact and by increasing environmental-behaviors in the operations of Pearlstone, The Associated, its agencies and Jewish Baltimore, we strive forward with the spirit of collaboration and leading by example.
Here are some of our efforts to run a greener and more sustainable operation:
- Upgrading the Pearlstone Conference Center to LED lights, saving 65,000 Kwh/year
- Installing a Building Automation System to allow for more efficient heating and cooling
- Placing occupancy sensors in main rooms and hallways throughout the Pearlstone Conference Center
- Installing a solar hot water heater for the kitchen, saving 30% in propane usage
- Using drip irrigation for efficient watering of plants
- Installing aerators on faucets in conference and lodge rooms to reduce water flow from faucets
- Cultivating vegetables, herbs, and fruit with a high tunnel, greenhouse and garden beds
- Serving 70% plant-based meals to guests
- Purchasing Fair Trade coffee from Zeke’s, a Baltimore-based company
- Composting food scraps on site
- Maintaining 180 acres of land with walking trails that traverse woods, streams, a pine forest, and restored meadows
- Using green-certified cleaning products and recycled paper products
Pearlstone is proud to partner with community members through facilitation of the Pearlstone Sustainability Coalition.
VISION: A culture where sustainability and environmental health are integral to Baltimore’s Jewish community.
MISSION: Through education, action, and advocacy catalyze deep and lasting culture change toward greater sustainability throughout Baltimore’s Jewish community.
VALUES: Inclusive Community — Local Stewardship — Living Judaism — Connection — Collaboration — Partnership
- Highlights of the Pearlstone Sustainability Coalition Efforts in 2017 include: Collaborating with the Associated to begin efforts on an Associated-wide solar project to serve the demand of 50% of the Associated’s electrical needs
- Collaborating with the Baltimore Jewish Council in support of the Ban on Fracking, the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act, and the Override of the Governor’s veto on the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard
We are proud to offer the Green Loan Fund for the community. In 2010, the Associated secured a stipend from an anonymous donor, to launch the Green Loan Fund.
The fund provides a $300,000 line of credit, of which a portion can be borrowed by any Jewish organization to carry out a greening project at its facility. Projects are generally utilized for energy conservation such as lighting upgrades and renovation to heating and cooling systems, though organizations can discuss other options. The money is for a loan, it’s interest free, with a minimal administrative fee, and organizations are required to pay it back within three years. The projects generally pay for themselves in less than that time and the greening results in substantial money savings. To date, there have been 13 loans from the fund totaling $489,338. The cumulative projected savings for the 11 institutions is more than $186,000 per year.
If you’re interested in joining the Pearlstone Sustainability Coalition as an individual, congregation or school, or business contact Joan Plisko, Community Sustainability Director.
How We Make An Impact
We are proud that many of green initiatives have been recognized by several leading environmental institutions.
Planning a celebration? Wedding? Bar/bat Mitzvah?
Throughout Jewish Baltimore, dozens of organizations have come together to create the local version of what has been coined in other communities as “a little book with a big mission,” The Baltimore Green & Just Celebrations Guide.
The Baltimore Green & Just Celebrations Guide helps families in our area celebrate weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and other simchas in ways that reflect Jewish values about environmental stewardship and social justice.
Through the Guide, you learn how to make purchasing choices in ways that are mindful of social and environmental impact, delve into Jewish teachings about justice and sustainability and read the stories of others who have made creative green and just choices for their own celebrations.