~ Lon Dickerson, Sacred Earth Matters
UCUCC is getting one or two new drinking fountains to provide cold instead of lukewarm water plus hot water for tea. More importantly, they can be used to refill the fabulous green-colored water bottles being sold by our youth group, or other reusable containers. Sacred Earth Matters is providing $2,600 received as donations from people recycling electronics to pay for one of the new fountains.
This is a part of its efforts to reduce the trashing of God’s creation with plastic waste, 90% of which the World Economic Forum estimates ends up in our oceans. That includes: disposable water bottles, plastic bags, single-use plastic straws, plates, cutlery, fast-food packaging, supermarket meat trays, prepared food containers, etc.
Enormous quantities of plastic litter are visible on our beaches, and most of us have seen photos of sea turtles eating plastic bags in the ocean, seals wrapped in plastic fish nets, etc. It’s harder to see the tiny specks of degraded plastic known as microplastic found in the soil, water, and air throughout the world. This plastic waste can be the size of a grain of rice or microscopic, and it’s being ingested by plankton in the marine food chain to humans. That includes all forms of life. It’s in the water we drink, the fish and terrestrial animals we eat, and the air we breathe.
Humans are susceptible to health effects such as liver and lung damage. Sewer treatment plants can’t eliminate the microscopic plastic we ingest and flush down our toilets. It is being released into the Salish Sea.
Our new fountains won’t resolve Seattle’s problems with plastic waste. But, they will help wean us away from using those single-use plastic bottles. As a church, we also need to tackle the use of plastic straws, plates, and utensils in our environment.
Once we’re able to review them, Sacred Earth Matters will likely solicit support for bills being introduced in our state legislature for a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags (California and Hawaii already ban them).
The earth is the Lord’s – not ours to wreck
UCC National Synod Resolution, 2017