‘Tithing with Trash’ cuts waste, turns hard-to-recycle rubbish into riches

first_img The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Rector Bath, NC Press Release Service AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis Environment & Climate Change October 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm Hello to all the green folks down in the Diocese of Atlanta! I can testify from personal experience about the amazing impact of Capt. Lane’s evangelism. (And it is truly that – part of the Good News: there is enough to go around, we are all inter-connected, the world in which we’re placed to live is a good gift from God, and on and on.) Keep it up, St. Gregory’s! You inspire the rest of us. And Holy Trinity – way to go on the No Styrofoam Zone! You all just keep on digger deeper into faithfulness around these issues. Up here at St. Luke’s, New Haven, we are about to start our stewardship season. I would love to add “Tithing With Trash” into the mix of our conversations! (I hadn’t thought I’d be here into the fall, so if I’m staying longer, they will be hearing more of Mother Debbie’s passion around caring for creation! Stay tuned!) (And will post this to the parish Facebook page so they know I’m saying this!Peace from this (at least temporary) Connecticut Yankee,Debbie Shew+P.S. And thanks to Alexis and episcopaldigitalnetwork for getting this out into cyberspace where many more people can be inspired and take action. Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ An Evening with Aliya Cycon Playing the Oud Lancaster, PA (and streaming online) July 3 @ 7 p.m. ET Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 October 22, 2012 at 11:52 am Debbie – it is so good to hear from you. If you ever need any help with any eco-stewardship resources, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Even though you don’t live in Atlanta anymore that doesn’t mean I can’t still be helpful.Alexis ChaseGeorgia Interfaith Power & Light, gipl.org Comments are closed. Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Tags Director of Music Morristown, NJ Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Hopkinsville, KY Rector Collierville, TN Submit a Job Listing Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Virtual Episcopal Latino Ministry Competency Course Online Course Aug. 9-13 Featured Events Rector Smithfield, NC Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Rector Shreveport, LA Associate Rector Columbus, GA Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Alexis Chase says: Rector Washington, DC Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Curate Diocese of Nebraska New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Andrew Lane aka Captain PLaneT says: Rector Knoxville, TN Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI Rector Pittsburgh, PA Kathy Stege of St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church contributes to Tithing with Trash by placing a Solo Cup inside a TerraCycle collection bin at the Athens, Ga., church. Photo/Andrew Lane[Episcopal News Service] Georgia Army National Guard Capt. Andrew Lane is a man on a mission. If it’s recyclable, “Captain PLaneT” aims to keep it out of the local landfill – and earn cash for his parish while he’s at it.Lane launched a Tithing with Trash program at St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church in Athens, Georgia, when he returned home from a deployment in Afghanistan in 2010. Since then, the congregation has earned nearly $4,800 collecting hard-to-recycle items such as empty toothpaste tubes and Solo Cups and sending them to TerraCycle in Trenton, New Jersey, to earn 2 cents per item. TerraCycle, in turn, recycles or “upcycles” the trash – turning it into “green” products such as backpacks fashioned from Lay’s potato chip bags.“They’re not just doing it to hug trees or sing ‘Kumbaya.’ They’re turning it into artwork or consumer products,” Lane said.The nonprofit TerraCycle partners with some of the world’s largest companies, who sponsor collection programs for particular waste streams – say, spent writing utensils or empty tape dispensers, explained Lauren Taylor, U.S. public relations director. Some sponsor only collection of their brands’ trash, while others accept any related items. Kraft’s “dairy tub brigade,” for example, takes all manner of dairy-product tubs, lids, foil tops and other packaging.Individuals such as Lane sign up to join a sponsored trash “brigade,” collecting and shipping specified items via United Parcel Service for free to TerraCycle and receiving “points” they turn into cash. “The money earned needs to go to a charity,” Taylor said. “Somebody can’t just decide this could be a great side job for them.”TerraCycle “upcycles” some trash into useable products such as this backpack created from Lay’s potato chip bags. Photo/TerraCycletoday“The majority of the people who collect for us are schools,” she said. They set up lunchroom collection points – juice-drink pouches here, candy wrappers there – often after a parent or teacher realizes how much trash is being pitched and thinks, “We’re throwing money away.”It’s hard to quantify, but churches also participate, and St. Gregory is one of a handful of Episcopal churches signed up to benefit from TerraCycle trash, Taylor said. “We definitely know Andrew because he is just so energetic and just loves our programs and really motivates people to collect. … He is definitely among the most highly motivated.”Lane is a sustainability evangelist.“It’s really powerful, because we’re the only creatures in existence that we know of that generate trash that we have to pay someone to haul off,” he said. Without addressing sustainability issues, he said, “for our grandkids it could be deep, deep, deep trouble.”“We might actually trash this planet and poison its water or run out of water … without an epidemic or a war.”Lane has given diocesan council presentations about TerraCycle and met Diocese of Atlanta Bishop-elect Robert Wright while separating food waste at the Mikell Camp and Conference Center. “He actually came and shook my hand. He said, ‘I see you’re not actually just speaking; you’re a man of action.’”In Athens, Lane is lobbying a Kroger grocery store to let the church maintain a collection container for TerraCycle trash. At St. Gregory, parishioners place items in assorted labeled bins.“I see people carrying in their containers and standing out there and sorting stuff out in Andrew’s elaborate bins,” said parishioner Lois Alworth, a member of the church’s Green Guild/Creation Keepers committee that Lane chairs. “There’s not a whole lot that the church itself uses that TerraCycle takes. What we get is what people bring from home.”“We all laugh and say because we’re Episcopalians everybody has lots of wine corks,” she said. “TerraCycle takes really odd things, [like] toothpaste containers, when they’re empty, and old toothbrushes.”Every four to six weeks, committee members gather after church for a “box-up event” to package the TerraCycle items for shipping, she said.Empty drink pouches were used to make this lunch box. Photo/TerraCycleEven here, recycling comes into play. Lane sometimes uses economy-size cat-food, dog-food or chicken-feed bags as shipping envelopes for TerraCycle trash. UPS doesn’t mind as long as the packages aren’t leaking liquid, he said. “You could mail a sweater in there if you didn’t care if your sweater smelled like dog food.”TerraCycle collects waste in 20 countries, with almost 32 million trash collectors and nearly 2.5 billion units of waste collected in the United States since 2007, Taylor said.Lane has his eye on a program started in Canada and expected to launch in the United States this month: a “cigarette butt brigade” that will take all cigarette waste, including the plastic wrap and aluminum board from packaging. This tackles “one of the dirtiest, one of the most prolific forms of waste,” said Lane, who is in his second semester studying for an Army graduate certificate of sustainability through Arizona State University. Look at any paved road in America, and you’ll see cigarette butts, he said. “They’re thrown out, and they sit there until eternity, until they’re washed into a stream or a river.”A discussion with Lane ranges to environmental topics far beyond TerraCycle, from his battle to promote recycling at the Army’s Fort Stewart to the near-extinction of white rhinos to the role of black soldier flies in composting to Germany’s renewable-energy goals. He describes listening to his son read how Native Americans taught the Pilgrims to bury dead fish with corn plants as fertilizer and noting, “That’s composting.”At St. Gregory, green initiatives likewise move beyond TerraCycle. The congregation assiduously composts food and paper waste. A church webpage provides current and cumulative data for energy generated by the parish’s months-old solar panels (2.99 megawatt hours so far, enough to power 99 houses for a day and offset 2.07 tons of carbon or the equivalent of 53 trees). Next up: a 450-gallon rain cistern.“We just need to hook the gutters to it, and we’ll be in business,” Lane said, noting that an inch of rain on a 1,000-square-foot roofline translates to 500 to 600 gallons of water. Installing the gravity-fed cistern to water plans is “taking what the good Lord has given us and not squandering it.”“Our church,” he said, “may be the greenest church in Georgia.”Georgia Interfaith Power and Light has supported St. Gregory in its green efforts and awarded the church a Trailblazer Award for its TerraCycle program.“We encourage all of our congregations to get involved in more intelligent ways of thinking about their waste and … where they throw things,” Executive Director Alexis Chase said. “Other churches are considering doing TerraCycle. Everyone is sort of trying to figure out a way they can be involved.”Some “brigades” are full, based on the funds partner companies provide, but Lane offers a solution for churches that still want to participate. By request, he’ll send shipping labels for them to send trash to Trenton. He keeps track of the resulting cash and sends 80 percent to the participating church, with 20 percent going to St. Gregory.“It has two positives: You get paid for it, and you know you’re doing a good thing for the planet,” Alworth said.But eliminating waste does create a headache or two at church. It took awhile to convince Lane – who says he believes in “zero waste” – that they still needed a trash container despite the TerraCycle, recycling and compost bins, Alworth said.Once, a mass of fruit flies flew out of an unemptied compost bin while they were setting up a funeral repast; they spent the whole time trying to “swoosh flies away” inconspicuously, she recalled. “That was the one time we came close to not composting anymore.”“It’s not something you take real lightly, and not every parish has an Andrew,” she said.But overall, she sees participating in composting and TerraCycle as good stewardship of God’s creation.“Anything that we do like this helps us to feel like we’re being better stewards than we would be if we sent all this stuff to the landfill to just sit there and pile up,” she said. “I think that’s why people do it. They love the church, they love each other, and they’re willing to do this for the betterment of everything.”Sharon Sheridan is an ENS correspondent. Rector Tampa, FL Featured Jobs & Calls Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Advocacy Peace & Justice, Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Martinsville, VA Course Director Jerusalem, Israel An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Rector Albany, NY This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Submit an Event Listing October 11, 2012 at 11:59 pm Greetings R. Biidwell,Amen. I am working on a No Styrofoam Zone following in the footsteps of our Sister Church, Holy Trinity, in Decatur, Georgia. Styrofoam use for a 20 minute beverage or meal should be made illegal. Its high R-Value should be reserved for buildings and structures that will be around for half a century at the minimum! write me if I can help you get going on Tithing with Trash. [email protected] Submit a Press Release Rector Belleville, IL ‘Tithing with Trash’ cuts waste, turns hard-to-recycle rubbish into riches Debbie Shew says: Youth Minister Lorton, VA By Sharon SheridanPosted Oct 10, 2012 Episcopal Church releases new prayer book translations into Spanish and French, solicits feedback Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs Comments (3) last_img read more