Dear Members & Friends,
Sadly, it is now evident that human activity in this modern era has become detrimental to the earth and its creatures. Though humans have made efforts and overtures toward environmentalism in the past, it has not been sufficient to curb some of the worst consequences of our actions. A growing body of research shows us that unabated, our way of life – and perhaps life itself – is simply unsustainable.
But as our awareness of the problems grows, so to do our efforts to do something meaningful about it. As good stewards of the environment, and especially as Swedenborgians who understand nature to be an experience of and pathway to the Divine, we are sensitive to the impact our activities as a church have on the planet. I would like to advance this consciousness through thoughtful changes in our day-to-day operations and request participation from our friends and members.
Single-use items, especially plastic or other non-compostable items, pose a major disposal and recycling problem and significantly contribute to pollutants in our environment. As operations manager of the church, I feel reducing our dependence on such items is an important next step. In the immediate future, I propose the following actions:
- A major reduction if not elimination of our use of plastic wrap. While handy absent better containers, plastic wrap is not recyclable and will not breakdown in a landfill. Instead, might we invest in a variety of tupperware and commit to using this for our coffee hour leftovers? In that vein, when we must use plastic bags for food storage, please be sure to wash them for reuse.
- Let’s ditch the single-use coffee stirrers for good. We recently acquired many more teaspoons to remedy this problem and ask that our wonderful coffee hour volunteers set these out on Sunday rather than disposable stirrers.
Where are other areas around the church that could use improvement? What are your solutions? Could some of these efforts be implemented in your personal life? By working together, we can and will have an impact to better the environment for future generations.
If you would like to read more about the impact plastic has on our environment, and why recycling alone is no longer a viable solution, please refer to the following articles:
- KQED Forum: “Recycling Piles Up in The Bay Area,” June 18, 2019
- Vice News: “The Giant Lie About Plastic Recycling”, May 30, 2019
- NPR: “Microplastics in the Deep Ocean”, June 6, 2019
- National Geographic: “Planet or Plastic?”, on-going series
-Dana Owens, Operations Manager