We try to practice what we preach. In addition to our own outreach ministries and those we support (see Serving Together), we have committed to caring about social and environmental justice issues within our own walls.
We are proud to serve Equal Exchange fairly traded coffee. Founded in 1986, Equal Exchange is the oldest and largest for-profit Fair Trade company in the United States. Their mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers, and to demonstrate, through their success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.
Each Eco-Palm is fairly traded and sustainably grown and harvested in Guatemala or Mexico.
Creation Care: Earthwise Stewardship
We have committed to living as more conscious stewards of God’s—and our—beautiful earth. Here are a few of the ways we’re doing that—we’re always looking for more!
We use glasses and mugs instead of earth-unfriendly single-use plastic and styrofoam, and wash reusable plates and cutlery to lessen the load on the landfill and Mother Earth.
The kitchen dishwasher is utilized by groups and ministries in efforts to reduce water and energy waste.
Coffee grounds are worked into a church member’s compost bin.
Several old thermostats were replaced by digital programmable ones (2009).
Dozens of single pane windows were replaced with new energy-wise windows (2011).
All interior and exterior light fixtures or bulbs were upgraded to energy efficient LED or CFL styles through Puget Sound Energy’s small business rebate program (2012-13).
Energy efficient front entry doors were installed (2015). [They also provide an automatic opener for ADA compliance and a more secure code system replacing the many keys distributed over the decades.]
During 2009’s A Week in Mission: Creation Care, volunteers repurposed discarded fence sections and garbage into a recycling center. Volunteers took items to their home curbside bins or local drop-off centers.
The in-house recycling program soon outgrew the home bins of volunteers. In 2012, FCC was accepted into a pilot commercial recycling program. All items previously taken to the home bins of volunteers are now picked up (except glass).
In 2014 an Environmental Stewardship Team was formed. Through commitments to Creation Care, the “Green Team” soon achieved Green Chalice Tier One Certification status through the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Green Chalice ministry. The team also enhanced and expanded recycling efforts in 2015 by adding a full recycling center.
These church-generated items are recycled at First Christian:
Mixed paper: Blue recycle bins are placed around the church for non-food-contaminated paper.
Cardboard: Flattened and stacked, may be recycled in the gray toter outside the kitchen.
Metal cans, plastic bottles: Church-generated recyclables are placed in bins in the building or outside the kitchen. The same guidelines apply as residential recycling: no foil, no glass. Many plastic containers are accepted. (For plastic lids, or lightweight or crinkly plastics – see below**).
Glass: Clean, unbroken, church-generated glass is collected outside the kitchen door, and delivered to local recycling centers by a volunteer.
**Non-curbside plastics: Plastics which are not accepted by the commercial recycling company (see above**) such as lids and caps, clamshell containers, and crinkly/lightweight plastics may all be brought to FCC’s back hall bins, where volunteers then transport them to nearby recycling centers.
Batteries: Batteries of all types may be recycled. Batteries with any evidence of corrosion should be thrown in the trash.
*Styrofoam: Put Styrofoam pieces in the bin; make sure packing peanuts are enclosed in a recyclable paper bag. Clean, unstained food containers such as cups, meat trays, and take-out containers are also accepted. Make sure they are washed and free of all food debris.
Method soap pouches: Method brand refill pouches are sent back to the manufacturer for recycling.
Burned out light bulbs: No longer accepting incandescent bulbs; please discard at home.
LED and fluorescent bulbs may be recycled at church.
We also recycle church-generated fluorescent tubes.
Used ink & toner cartridges and discarded cell phones:
Printer ink/toner cartridges and old cell phones are accepted.
Now recycling natural cork:
Corks can be recycled into new products by ReCork.