April 2021
Environmental Justice Team
Earth Day Newsletter

“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it.
For he has founded it upon the seas and
established it upon the rivers.”
-Psalm 24
Addressing the Plastic Problem
Of all the threats to the Earth’s environment, plastic is one of the worst. Plastics (more than 360,000,000 tons produced each year) pose a huge threat to the health of our oceans. We all unwittingly eat thousands of plastic bits every year. One plastic bottle can take 450 years to decompose. The problem is only getting worse.

It is clear to our Environmental Justice Team that stopping plastic pollution has a high priority, not only in what we do as individuals but in the common life of our church. But what can be done?
As individuals here are some steps we all can take:

  • Don’t buy single-use plastic water bottles. There are excellent reusable alternatives.

  • Don’t use plastic drinking straws. Ask the server, “No straws, please.”

  • If given the choice between a glass bottle and a plastic bottle, choose glass, and recycle it. (Sometimes this choice is not possible.)
Our church uses a lot of plastic, and the Environmental Justice Team is committed to finding ways to reduce or eliminate this. Because the government of First Congregational Church is vested exclusively in its members, who exercise the right of control in all its affairs, it is important to have congregational conversations about this issue.
Can’t We Just Recycle?
 
All of us, both individually and as a church, should recycle as much as we can – understanding that in lots of ways, recycling is terribly inadequate. For example, if a barrel full of “recyclables” is contaminated (let’s say, by food waste), the whole thing may just be dumped into the trash. “It’s really a complete myth when people say that we’re recycling our plastics,” says Jim Puckett, the executive director of the Seattle-based Basel Action Network. Or as British author Will McCallum puts it, “We aren’t going to recycle our way out of this one.”
Will My Actions Make a Difference?
 
Individually, perhaps not much. But dozens in our church, thousands in the state, millions across the country – yes, we can make a difference … a big one. Don’t underestimate the power of small things: “Little drops of water / Little grains of sand / Make the mighty ocean / And the pleasant land.”
Contact your state or national legislative representatives, and ask them to support environment-friendly laws:

State Senators representing parts of Cheshire:
860-240-0584
860-240-8800
State Representatives representing parts of Cheshire: 
860-240-8700
860-240-8710
860-240-8700
US Senators:
202-224-2823
202-224-4041
US Representative, 5th Congressional District:
202-225-4476
Join Us!
We welcome all who want to work, through our church, for environmental stewardship that will preserve and restore Creation for our descendants and for all living things.

For more information on the Environmental Justice Task Team, email