There is no official recycling in the building where our Presbytery Office works. And so three of us cheerfully schlep clear recycling bags full of paper and soda cans home to recycle from there on a regular basis.
The issue is that our address doesn’t include regular recycling pick-up and/or it’s available but nobody wants to pay for it. Not sure.
Congregations are known for eating and drinking and – more time than not – I sip coffee in styrofoam cups while standing in church social halls picturing this in my mind. Styrofoam is not only not biodegradable, but it breaks into little bits and is really hard to clean up. (Once a refridgerator box full of styrofoam popcorn used for packing blew open before the sanitation crew could pick it on my street and – believe me – it was a huge mess trying to pick up countless beads of Polystyrene blowing in windy Chicagoland.) Single use plastics – whether they are clamshell containers or plastic straws are a problem for the environment and have been for a long, long time. Surely we could find lots of real mugs and wash them for the love of God – literally.
Since environmental issues are only going to become more prevalent, congregations need to be on the forefront of being green. Most denominations will help your church become more responsible: Presbyterians. Roman Catholics. United Methodists. Lutherans. United Church of Christian. Reformed Church in America, Episcopalians, Unitarians, and free range Christians all have resources.
If we have any interest in serving the needs and interests of our youngest generations, this is one way we can make a statement that we are concerned about their future. Or we can continue to use styrofoam cups (and toxic fertilizers and environmentally damaging building materials and more fossil fuels than we need.)
And this isn’t about getting popular with the young people. This is about listening to the Creator.
Note: This would be a helpful and holy summer project for someone to take on in your congregation. It starts with recycling bins.