Submitted by Dawn Givens, MSC Creation Justice Task Force
The Creation Justice Committee of the Mountain Sky Conference has been busy for the past several months working towards making a difference in our Conference. The Annual Conference Working Group has come up with some ways to bring environmental consciousness to our Annual Conference this year, and hopefully planting the seeds to make it a permanent part of our AC culture.
Due to the pandemic, the AC moved online for the past two years. This year’s “Hybrid” conference will be a combination of on-site delegation as well as online. Obviously, attending the conference online decreases your own carbon footprint, but if you are attending Annual Conference in person there are things you can do personally that will reduce waste, such as:
- Bring Your Own Re-Usable Water Bottle – Millions of barrels of oil are used to produce and ship plastic water bottles, and 75% of them end up in landfills or waterways rather than recycle bins. Tap water is as safe as bottled water, and bottled water is expensive.
- Bring Your Own Coffee Cup – It takes a huge amount of energy to produce, distribute and dispose of paper/disposable coffee cups, most of which end up in a landfill, producing methane gas. Only 1% of disposable cups are recycled, and Styrofoam cups don’t decompose. The loss of the millions of trees that are cut down to produce disposable cups also contributes to deforestation and less carbon dioxide being absorbed from our atmosphere. Bringing your own coffee cup that can be re-used during the event is another way to do your part!
- Don’t Rely on Paper – PDF files of the conference schedule, petitions, and conference information will be provided to you. Viewing these items on your laptop or other electronic device saves the conference the expense of having to print them out and saves the trees that are used to provide paper.
- Carpool – If you are driving to Annual Conference, find others that you can commute with. Offer to take others in your vehicle to the Mission sites.
- Re-Use Your Towels at Your Hotel – Most hotels will accommodate your request to re-use your towels and linens, if you hang them up after using instead of leaving them on the floor, conserving the energy required to produce as much hot water.
These are easy things that you can do to make a difference at Annual Conference 2022 and moving forward. In fact, these are things that you can do at your own Local Churches, places of business, and homes! Changing the mindset to creating less waste and environmental consciousness starts one step at a time. Every little bit helps!