What are Green Tips and how they can be used? Green Tips are timely and informative messages about environmental stewardship. Offering sound science, they range from practical tips for your own daily practices to needed policy s
Green Tips are a simple, effective educational ministry for informing and inspiring your congregation. Use them in your church’s weekly bulletin, monthly newsletter, on Facebook, or at Creation Care Team meetings. Some Green Tips could form the basis for adult forums.
Green Tips are researched and written by members of two congregations in our synod. They are published monthly in the Synod Announcements.
Americans use more than 100 million plastic utensils every day, all of which take a thousand years to decompose and leach toxins into the environment in the process. But the phase-out of single-use plastic is picking up steam: The European Union voted to abandon single-use plastics by 2021, while New York will join California and Hawaii in plastic bag bans by 2020. At least 127 countries have adopted some degree of regulation, with Canada being the latest country to announce banning all single-use plastics by 2021. Also on the single-use chopping block is polystyrene (Styrofoam), already banned in cities such as New York, Seattle, and Miami, with Maryland moving to ban it state-wide. YOU CAN HELP by lowering your consumption of plastics, not buying to begin with and by choosing reusable packaging such as stainless steel lunch boxes, glass containers, organic sacks, second-hand metal utensils, or renewables such as bamboo.
If you have drinkable tap water (you can find out at the Environmental Working Group's Tap Water Database ewg.org/tapwater) but have some filterable pollutants, there are three options to buying single-use water bottles: 1) The Brita filter makes pitchers and tap attachments, but with a plastic cartridge that must be tossed out every few months; 2) Kishu Charcoal skips the plastic cartridge when you simply drop the compostable charcoal stick into a pitcher or water bottle; 3) Ceramic filtration systems, used around the world to filter bacteria from water, last a full year, while charcoal lasts a few months. ALL THESE OPTIONS reduce the need for purchasing bottled water. A ceramic filter works best as a large filter (it is a slow drip filter), but does not remove chemicals unless it comes with a charcoal insert, while the Kishu Charcoal does remove chemicals and is small enough to add to a water bottle on the go.
The anti-plastic movement has grown so much that "single-use" was named the word of the year by Collins Dictionary. Seattle became the first U.S. city to ban single-use cutlery, while Starbucks plans to eliminate plastic straws by 2020, and several airlines are phasing out single-use plastic straws and stirrers. Plastic is derived from crude oil, so banning plastic puts pressure on its producer, the fossil fuel industry. Plastic bans also bring attention to climate change, push customers to reuse, and encourage businesses to create reusable options. YOU CAN SUPPORT THE MOVEMENT with your purchases, voting with your dollars for sustainable businesses like the ones found in the Green Business Network on GreenPages.org. Our collective purchasing power can help us to put planet health and human welfare first.
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Non-recyclable and non-reusable plastics, such as abandoned fishing gear, plastic bags, cigarette butts, plastic straws and food packaging (including water bottles) are the more commonly found debris in the ocean. Plastic is coded with numbers 1 - 7, with each number designating a different polymer design. This means, for example, that a #1 can't be recycled with a #5 because they melt at different temperatures. Unlike metals, such as aluminum, that can be recycled indefinitely, plastics degrade each time they're processed. If your municipality is no longer taking certain plastics, try to avoid those in the store as much as you can. You can also inquire about local drop off facilities for those types of plastic. REFER TO YOUR LOCAL RECYCLING CENTER'S guidelines of what numbers are accepted at search.earth911.com. MUNICIPAL FUNDING LEVELS, COMMUNITY PRESSURE, AND DEMAND FOR RECYCLED PLASTICS determine what gets recycled.