The Knesset Visitors Center launched on Sunday a green tour of the parliament building. As part of the tour, visitors will be able to witness the progress in the ”Green Knesset” project, which will see the Israeli legislature become one of the greenest in the world. The project, an initiative of Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel-Edelstein, is being spearheaded by Knesset Director-General-Ronen Plot.

The initial phase of ”Green Knesset,” which was launched in January, will be characterized mainly by 13 ventures focusing on energy and water. Some NIS 7 million ($2 million) will be invested in these initiatives, and the average return from saving energy and water is estimated at NIS 1.5 million ($430,000) a year, on average, after about five years.

The Visitors Center said it ”attaches great importance to exposing those who visit the Knesset to the parliament`s efforts related to environmental protection and sustainability, – including legislation and the `Green Knesset` project – as an example of the implementation of the values of sustainability.”

The tour will highlight the green construction of the Knesset`s new wing, as well as other environmental initiatives in the parliament building, such as the replacement of hundreds of light bulbs with more environmentally friendly LED bulbs and the installation of a recycling system. Tour guides will also put an emphasis on environmental legislation that is being advanced in the Knesset and the Israeli lawmakers` involvement in environmental campaigns (such as the campaign to preserve Lake Hachula).

Liat Konitzky-Shimoni, director of the Knesset Visitors Center, said one of the goals of the ”Green Knesset” project is to contribute to environmental education in Israel and encourage Israelis to become involved in environmental issues. She expressed hope that many other institutions in Israel will follow the Knesset`s lead and assist in the effort to raise environmental awareness in Israel.