Going Green on Palm Sunday with "Eco-Palms"


Jennifer Szymaszek/NY Times

TreeHugger has been pleased to see more and more stories about the connection between religion, the environment and conservation efforts, from Interfaith Power & Light screening climate change films to the Evangelical Climate Change Initiative and Bill Moyers asking "Is God Green?". With the celebration of Palm Sunday, the NY Times has a look at a growing group of churches in the US that are using "eco-palms" on the Sunday before Easter. They're slightly more expensive than conventional palms, but represent a fair trade-like wage benefit to those who gather them; more stringent quality standards also help insure that they're harvested more sustainably. These eco-palms have skyrocketed in popularity over the past three years: in 2005, 20 American churches bought about 5,000 palms; 281 congregations placed orders for 80,000 palms in 2006; this past Palm Sunday, 1,436 churches distributed 364,000 eco-palm stems. Why so popular? Many say that the religious significance of the plant compels them to buy the most wholesome palm possible. "We want to be a green congregation," said the Rev. David C. Parsons, pastor of St. John-St. Matthew-Emanuel Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, which purchased eco-palms for the second straight year. "We are conscious of our footprint on the earth. There is a biblical mandate to do that." Read the whole article for all the details. ::NY Times

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