There is no getting around it – trash is a HUGE problem.

The EPA estimates that the average American generates nearly 5 pounds of trash per day. At best just 32% of waste is recycled in this country. Although rates have risen in the past decades, it has only gone up around 20% in the half century. This highlights the necessity for reimagining our approach to recycling.

From Lancaster, PA, to Baltimore City, to Annapolis and the Eastern Shore and everywhere in between – we hear more complaints about trash than any other issue. But what can be done about it?

  1. Host a recycling workshop: Organize an educational event at your congregation to educate members on proper recycling practices, including what can and cannot be recycled in your local area.
  2. Community clean-up events: Work with your neighbors to remove litter from local streets, parks, and waterways. Encourage you green team and other congregational members to participate in these hands-on activities.
  3. Promote composting: Educate congregants about the benefits of composting and encourage the use of compost bins both at home and within the congregation's facilities.

If you want to learn more tips, join IPC next month for our final Learning Lab of 2023, where we will be hosting a screening of “A Plastic Wave” a thought-provoking short film that highlights the severity of the problem by reminding watchers of the more than 300 tons of plastic that will have entered our oceans within the timeframe of watching the film. We will also have a guest speaker who will talk about how congregations can take civic action and get involved. Register HERE!

Additional highlights will include one of IPC’s recently trained green teams that will be present to talk about their involvement with bringing the international Repair Café movement to Maryland in 2016. Their tradition continues with monthly events at Freetown Farm in Columbia. This movement encourages folks to fix things and save a trip to the landfill by building community and reducing waste. What an innovative way to recycle!

Did you know that November 15th is National Recycling Day? As a way to commemorate this, perhaps your congregation would consider showing your commitment to make a difference that day and every day by taking IPC’s Partner Congregation Pledge to restore, honor, and protect the Chesapeake Bay.

However, National Recycling Day isn't just a one-day affair; it's a call to action for sustainable practices that need to be woven into the fabric of our daily lives.