FEEDING THE FIVE THOUSAND? JESUS SAID – LET THERE BE NO WASTE
When Jesus fed the five thousand he said in John 6:12. All the left overs were collected and give to those in need.
We face big challenges when catering for Church events or conferences – how can we be faithful stewards of God’s Earth and avoid those piles of Styrofoam and single use plastic?
Green Anglicans was involved in two large Conferences – Anglicans Ablaze and The Justice Conference, with both had more that 2000 participants.
What did we learn?
Firstly- plan ahead: it is important to discuss with the conference organisers well in advance, so that the caterer can be advised they must use paper or compostable materials. They can be told not to use straws, to use paper coffee cups with no lids.
Secondly – have a good system to sort the waste and recyclables.. If food waste goes into your bag of recyclables, then it might all get thrown out. Remember that waste separation is education – stand over the bins and explain what goes where. Otherwise people just chuck things anywhere!
Thirdly – purchase re-usable items and avoid single use plastic. At Anglicans Ablaze they purchased solid plastic cups which everyone washed and re-used. At the end of the conference they were donated to pre-schools or taken home. At the Justice Conference re-fillable water bottles were provided – with a marker to write your name on to avoid getting confused.
Fourthly – goodie bags aren’t usually good news for the planet. Reduce them down to non plastic items or small gifts that help unemployed people. Give a re-usable shopping bag.
Fifthly – you will need a budget for some of the items. Big hats off to Anglicans ablaze and to the Justice conference for being willing to spend some money for the sake of caring for Creation.
Sixthly – have fun!! Our green teams had a lot of fun, got to meet lots of people and we all had a blast!