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.
Fair Trade as Social Justice
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. They offer organic, gourmet coffee, tea, sugar, cocoa, and chocolate bars produced by democratically run farmer co-ops in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Equal Exchange’s 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, so contact us with your ‘greening’ ideas!
We use glasses or mugs instead of earth-unfriendly plastic, Styrofoam*, or single-use drinkware, and wash reusable plates and cutlery to lessen the load on the landfill and Mother Earth.
The kitchen dishwasher is utilized more frequently by small groups and ministries in efforts to reduce water and energy waste.
Coffee grounds are worked into a church member’s compost bin.
Several very old dial thermostats were replaced by more accurate digital programmable ones in 2009.
165 single pane windows were replaced with new energy-wise windows in 2011.
In 2012/13, every interior and exterior lighting fixture or bulb was replaced or upgraded to energy efficient LED or CFL styles, through Puget Sound Energy’s small business rebate program.
In 2015, new energy efficient front entry doors were installed. [These doors also provide an automatic opener for those in need of ADA compliance, and a more secure entry code system, replacing the many keys that had been distributed over the decades.]
During 2009’s A Week in Mission: Creation Care, volunteers gave new life to discarded fence sections and retired garbage cans by creating a recycling center. After items were placed in appropriate bins, volunteers took them to their home curbside bins or local drop centers.
The in-house recycling program became so successful, it outgrew the home bins of our volunteers. In 2012, FCC Puyallup was accepted to participate in a pilot commercial recycling program. All items previously taken to the home bins of volunteers are now being picked up by DM Recycling (except glass). Glass is still taken by volunteers to the local drop-off.
In 2014 an Environmental Stewardship Team was officially formed. Because of FCC’s previous commitments to Creation Care, the “Green Team” soon pursued and achieved Green Chalice Tier One Certification status through the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Green Chalice program. The team also enhanced and expanded recycling efforts in 2015 by adding a full recycling center near the kitchen entrance. These church-generated items are recycled at First Christian:
Mixed paper: Blue recycle bins are placed around the church for recycling clean, non-food-contaminated paper.
Cardboard: Flattened and stacked, may be recycled in the gray toter outside the kitchen.
Metal cans, plastic bottles: Church-generated recyclable waste is placed in bins in the building or outside the kitchen. The same guidelines apply as residential recycling: no aluminum foil, no broken glass, plastic containers (bottles, tubs, yogurt cups, buckets) are accepted. (For plastic lids, or lightweight or crinkly plastics – see below**).
The expanded in-house recycle program allows friends of FCC to drop off items that can’t be recycled in the home pickup system. Marked bins for these items may be found in the kitchen hallway.
Glass: Clean, unbroken, church-generated glass is collected outside the kitchen door, and delivered to local recycling centers by volunteers.
**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 bin, 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: Place Styrofoam pieces large and small in the bin; making sure packing peanuts are enclosed in a recyclable bag or container. Clean, unstained Styrofoam food containers such as cups, meat trays, and take-out containers are also accepted. Make sure they are washed, with all food debris removed.
Method soap pouches: Method brand refill pouches are sent back to the manufacturer for recycling.
Burned out light bulbs:
A church member transforms old light bulbs of all shapes and sizes into handpainted ornaments.
We also recycle church-generated fluorescent tubes.
Used ink & toner cartridges and discarded cell phones:
Empty printer ink/toner cartridges and old cell phones are collected for recycling.