submitted by Rev. Janet Mulroy, Mission Engagement and Resource Strategist
The Creation Justice Task Force: Annual Conference Team is pleased to provide this summary from AC2022 in Helena! Early in the planning of the event, and in cooperation with the AC Planning Committee, and the host city, the Team requested and encouraged a greener annual conference. This was a first for the Mountain Sky Conference and the plan is to build and expand energy saving going forward.
Here are just a few of the things that were implemented.
COMPOST CONTAINERS AND RECYCLING
406 Compost of Helena
provided containers and collected compost at both St. Paul’s and Covenant UMC. 406 Compost also had a display table.
RECYCLING CONTAINERS at St. Paul’s were provided by United Women in Faith. Recycling containers were available at Covenant by Covenant UMC. Plastic water bottles were not purchased by the host churches, and participants were encouraged to bring their own water bottles.
CREATION JUSTICE DISPLAY is pictured here with Pastor J.R. Atkins sharing information.
CARPOOLING AND GROUP TRANSPORTATION were provided options for those who chose to participate in person. Buses transported groups of participants between churches and sessions, and to mission locations.
To see the full list of items implemented, read on:
The CJTF Annual Conference Team met with Conference Event Coordinator Jared O’Kegley-Gibson and proposed three tiers of involvement, Plan Good, Plan Better, and Plan Best. As a result of their guidance and encouragement, here is a list of ALL that was able to be accomplished.
- Facilities provide opportunities for recycling and composting
- Meals offer vegetarian options
- No plastic water bottles on front/head table or on-screen
- No plastic water bottles were purchased by the host churches and water containers were provided on site for refills
- Use of hybrid option and "zoom " meetings to encourage meetings that do not require gasoline travel
- Reduce the use of paper handouts and training (if needed) for using phone and computer (QR codes and online options)
- Encourage carpooling
Beyond Plan Best!
- Work with sponsors and partners to provide reusable water bottles and canvas bags for all resource materials
- Maximize use of QR Codes and online options with to minimize paper products
- Zoom or live streaming availability for all sessions
- Encourage non-fossil fuel-based travel
- Creation Justice task force members onsite to educate
- Provided carpooling and buses to reduce emissions
- Promoted Green Certified Hotels
- Provided dairy and sugar for coffee in bulk dispensers/shakers
- Provided recycle bins
- Found a local provider who picked up composting waste just for the event
The Creation Justice Task Force: Annual Conference Team is already thinking about AC2023 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and how the Mountain Sky Conference can continue to continue to shrink its carbon footprint. Want to know how your congregation can join this effort? Check out these resources.