News from the Social Action/Social Justice Committee
REDUCE PLASTICS, REDUCE WASTE, DO MORE FOR OUR PLANET
The Capital Region Interfaith Creation Care Coalition (CRICCC) was formed in spring 2018 to bring together faith groups in the Capital Region of New York. Currently, there are representatives from 24 different faith communities (on their mailing list) with 22 of those communities regularly active in the meetings. Barry Pendergrass, B’nai Sholom’s representative, does a yeoman’s job of keeping us apprised, engaged and involved in the activities of this outstanding organization.
“Care of Creation” is a central moral priority for CRICCC, by working in solidarity to mitigate the climate emergency and preserve and restore natural resources and biodiversity for present and future generations; the education of the member faith communities as well as advocating for the environment; reducing our carbon and waste footprints; and adopting behaviors that will ensure the sustainability of life in all its diversity on Earth.
With this in mind, please see the following Resolutions to Reduce Plastics. We realize that not all of these suggestions are feasible for everyone at all times of the year. The more we can do, the better for our planet:
- Bring your own reusable shopping bags. There are so many great options. Some pack up teeny-tiny to allow you to easily carry one in your backpack or purse. Others are larger sturdy fold-up models that you can stash in your car. You can even make your own from a T-shirt.
- Bring your own reusable produce bags. They are sold online and in some grocery stores. There are tons of options out there – both cotton and plastic, although we’d recommend buying cotton because washing plastic adds micro-plastic particles to our water supply.
- Carry a reusable water bottle. We strongly suggest that you make it either glass or stainless steel to avoid the chemicals in plastic water bottles. There are a lot of options out there, but we look for plastic-free tops. Early research indicates that the plastic tops on plastic water bottles may be the primary source of micro-plastic particles in the water.
- Carry your own reusable cutlery. There are some really nice metal and bamboo kits available or, if you’re on a budget, just put a fork, spoon and knife from home in a little bag and you’re all set.
- Say no to plastic straws,or carry your own reusable metal or glass straw, or use your lips to drink.
- Buy in bulk. Did you realize you can buy things like oats, beans, grains, flour, sugar, salt, spices, pasta, granola, dried nuts, dried fruits and more foods in bulk using your own reusable bags and containers? See Honest Weight Coop and Whole Foods. It takes a touch more planning but feels great and will lighten your plastic and carbon footprints. Store these things in reusable containers at home. You can also buy cleaning and personal care products in bulk.
- Bring your own reusable mugto fill up with coffee or tea at the café or cafeteria instead of taking a disposable cup.
Stop buying certain problem items. Top offenders include anything packaged in a plastic clamshell — berries, greens, tomatoes, peppers, grapes and other fruits, sandwiches and more. This packaging will NOT ever be recycled. Avoid buying chips and bars packaged in non-recyclable foil and plastic-layered wrappers and bags.
- Pack your or your child’s lunch in reusable containers. We recommend metal or glass over plastic because metal is a lot lighter and less breakable than glass.
- Bring your own reusable take-out containers. If you’re dining out (or even if you’re just buying some coleslaw at the deli), bring your own reusable containers with you to avoid disposable foam, plastic or paper containers. If you forget, try wrapping up your leftovers in a paper napkin or placemat until you get home, as the restaurant is just going to throw those things away anyway.