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All Saints Now a “Green” and Plastic-Free Church

The Green Team of All Saints, Mobile recently submitted for vestry approval a new policy titled “Use of Eating and Drinking Utensils and Related Items at Gatherings in All Saints’ Buildings and Property.” The teams sees this as an opportunity for action toward environmental sustainability, a significant issue of our time. The goal is to provide reusable (washable) utensils at all gatherings, thus eliminating all plastic, styrofoam, and paper utensils. The policy applies to all meetings, meals, and gatherings, for church members and others using campus facilities, making All Saints an environmentally sustainable and ultimately plastic-free church.


While it is still too early to report on any specific results or impact, the Rev. Bob Donnell reports the congregation has been “all in” with the work of the green team and with adopting this new policy. He says, "We have had a successful re-cycling policy for several years, and have done some composting, but this new policy is a big step forward. The goal is to eliminate all plastic, styrofoam, and paper products at all gatherings. We have plenty of plates, cups, glasses, silverware, etc., and a dishwasher in our kitchen to clean them. There will be challenges, especially with eliminating paper products at gatherings, but we will see where this leads us."


To find out more about putting together a green team or implementing a similar environmental sustainability policy (as provided below) at your church, contact the Rev. Bob Donnell at drbobdonnell@gmail.com.


For anyone interested in learning more about creation care practices, visit the Commission on the Integrity of Creation webpage.


 

All Saints’ Policy for Use of Eating and Drinking Utensils and Related Items at Gatherings in All Saints’ Buildings and on Property

(Revised by Green Team April 29, 2024)


(Note: This is a revision of the previous policy adopted by the Vestry December 19, 2022. The goal is to make All Saints’ a more environmentally sustainable and ultimately plastic-free facility.)


  1. All cups, plates, bowls, and silverware used at or purchased by All Saints’ is to be reusable. No plastic or paper or styrofoam utensils are permitted. Fabric/cloth rather than paper tablecloths and napkins will be used. Drinks in aluminum cans are permissible if they are collected and recycled. Every effort should be made to compost waste as appropriate, reducing the amount of waste ultimately put into landfills.

  2. This policy applies to all meetings, meals, and gatherings held in All Saints’ buildings or on its campus, including functions of All Saints’ Episcopal Church, its individual members, guests, and other organizations or groups renting space.

  3. All Saints’ will provide reusable/washable plates, cups, glasses, silverware, bowls, etc. to be used at all gatherings, both for All Saints’ functions and for other parties using its facilities. Arrangements for washing these items must be made prior to the gatherings. If All Saints’ staff is utilized for such cleanup and dishwashing, a reasonable fee will be charged to the group renting the space.

  4. The rental agreement for gatherings by outside groups (for instance caterers and wedding planners) will include a statement that this is a “green” campus, that no paper, plastic, or styrofoam containers are to be used, and that reusable items will be provided by All Saints’.


(Note: It is understood that there will be occasional exceptions to this policy, for example with the purchase of tea or lemonade or other drinks typically purchased in large plastic or paper half gallon or gallon containers. The person or group purchasing such containers will be responsible for their recycling. Single-use plastic containers are not permissible.)


Prepared by Rev. Bob Donnell

Submitted by Green Team for Vestry approval.

April 29, 2024

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