United Church of Christ

Environmental Justice History and Zero Waste

In recognition of the urgent need to address the intertwined crisis of climate and inequality, the UCC Council for Climate Justice has defined the next ten years as kairos window of divine opportunity in which people of faith are called to an all-out mobilization of their gifts and resources. Over the course of ten weeks, the council will offer a weekly suggested action for how churches and institutions can mobilize during this critical period. Here is the third suggested action:

3. Know Your Environmental Justice History and Become a Zero Waste Church

  • Learn about the connection between toxic waste and racism. In addition to publishing the first report to document environmental racism throughout the country, the UCC Commission for Racial Justice was central to the birth of the environmental justice movement which developed in response to toxic dumping practices.

  • Watch and discuss Van Jones’s Ted Talk entitled “The Economic Injustice of Plastic.” Garner additional insights from the Center for International Environmental Law’s report “Plastic & Climate: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet.” This report highlights how “current greenhouse gas emissions from the plastic life-cycle threaten our ability to meet global climate targets.”  

  • In Raleigh, North Carolina, Church of the Nativity has created an online resource to help church prevent waste through composting, reducing use, recycling, reusing, and more. Check out their 20 ways to become a Zero Waste Church. Additionally, look at how they invite members to take the zero waste message home by embarking on a year of intentional reflection and practice.

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