By now, it will be no news to you that the earth is facing a major plastic epidemic.
With the increased ambiguity surrounding what happens to our ‘recycled’ plastic there has been a louder movement to reduce plastic use rather than depending on recycling it.
In Genesis 2:15 it says “The Lord God placed man in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it”. God has entrusted us as stewards of His creation. In this modern culture of “doing what’s best for me”, the reality of being given dominion over earth is not often considered. God has given us the earth and we are to use it's resources, however, He is the owner.
“The earth is the Lords and everything in it, the world and all who live in it” – Psalm 24: 1
As a church, we truly see the importance in taking God’s call to preserve and look after the earth seriously.
For a while we have recognised the need for change in our plastic use during our Sunday services but have not found suitable alternatives. This has been made more difficult with us not having our own building. Bearing this in mind, we do not want this fact to be an excuse to not take action and so the main change we will be implementing at this stage is the use of our current coffee cups. An easy assumption to make about them is that they are recyclable- the reality is that they are not due to the plastic lining inside which acts as a water proofing sealant. A lot of one-use recyclable cups that we have tested in the past have been a burn hazard.
We are glad to say that we have found a compostable one-use cup that we will be using starting this month.
Alternatively, do one better and bring your own reusable cup to church. It has been wonderful to see more and more of you bringing your own cups for coffee and tea. This certainly unburdens the landfills and has helped create a habit of reusing what we have as well as reducing the carbon foot print created by the production of one-use cups.
Besides the coffee cups, there is the coffee itself. We serve fairly sourced, ethical coffee- New Ground. As well as this, New Ground have recently announced that their packaging is now completely recyclable. We are delighted to serve socially impactful and ethically sourced coffee in environmentally friendly bags. The next step is to ensure that we are disposing of coffee grounds better. This is very easy to solve. We will be bringing food recycling bags to put tea bags and used coffee in and putting them into the food recycling to be converted into biofuel/fertiliser by the council.
We know that Emmanuel still has a long way to go before we can call ourselves truly eco-friendly and sustainable, but this new initiative is definitely a step in the right direction. We hope to do more to create a sustainable church lifestyle and encourage you all to be more aware your own waste.