Atonement Creation Care
Single Use Plastics — The Not-So-Good News—The Good News - Actions
The Not-So-Good News: Single use plastics (SUP) are a convenience for that very moment, but collectively, the impact of that convenience comes at a steep price and at a debt we will be paying for years to come. Plastic products are cheap to make, but they take centuries or more to break down in nature. Impacts of plastic pollution on the environment and our health are global and can be drastic. Even when plastics do break down, they create microplastics, the effects of which are still unknown and unstudied.
Here are the top single use plastics: plastic straws, plates, cups and cutlery; food containers and fast food packaging; plastic bags; and plastic bottles and lids.
The Good News: Over the last decade, there has been a growing awareness of the extent of plastic pollution and its devastating impacts on animals and the environment. We are more concerned about the impact of SUP. Manufacturers and individuals are making changes and good eco-swaps. More of us are refusing single use products.
Actions: One more word has been added to the recycling triangle to remind us to pay attention to what we buy, how we use it, and what we do with it when its purpose is over...refuse!! What if we never even take the plastic bags from the store or the plastic utensils with our take out food? Bring your own re-usable water bottle and shopping bags. Choose shampoo bars, laundry, cleaning and beauty supplies without plastic packaging. Refuse plastic straws and ask for no cutlery when ordering take out.
Going One Step Further: a special creation care challenge:: Take the 2023 Plastic Free July® challenge. It’s about learning to make small changes by choosing to refuse. Choose one single use plastic to avoid and refuse for the month. It’s a personal choice that is part of a global movement. The website https://www.plasticfreejuly.org provides resources and ideas to help you (and millions of others around the world) reduce SUP everyday at home, work, school and more.
Describe your image.
Creation Care Testimonial
I joined the Atonement Creation Care team because I felt compelled to demonstrate my stewardship of
God’s most beautiful gifts to us. I thought it would be work without reward, work given in humble service
to my Lord. As it turns out, God keeps on giving....
Our Creation Care team received a lengthy report from the engineering firm which performed an energy
audit for Atonement. The report indicated that most of our campus is great on energy efficiency. Our most
glaring weak spots are the primary wing of the school (the old part) and the sanctuary (the oldest structure).
The engineer did give us come recommendations on what we could do to improve: quick and relatively
inexpensive fixes to get “the low-hanging fruit.” It was fulfilling to hear that we are in decent shape,
energy-wise. Even more fulfillment came when the engineer pointed out that we had taken the time even
to find out where we sit. We are the exception to the rule, as most churches just “bury their head in the
We have arranged an opportunity to be on the St. Louis Cardinals Green Team. We get to see a game for
free, and can get half price concessions. Our “job” will be to collect recyclables between innings and during
pitching changes. We will be recruiting “volunteers” to join us in the fun. We have reserved 20 spots - so
make your commitment early for our Tuesday, June 5, night game. Beyond 20, there is a waiting list, and
the potential that we may do this again (and again, and again).
Central to all our planning is a family-wide participation - both school and church families. Single stream
recycling is now in place. The Creation Care team did the initial research and planning, but we offer thanks
to the church council for budget approval, to Thrivent Action Grant and to Men’s Club for funding for
recycling bins, to the Atonement School Green Team for their enthusiasm and for educating students on
what can be recycled, and to the teachers and office staff for their help in implementing the change.
Watching our ideas take blossom and develop is fantastic.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. Why not give it a try yourself? – Steven Rosenfeld