1. Trade plastic wrap for beeswax wraps

All the convenience of plastic wrap without the waste! Beeswax wraps are made from organic cotton beeswax and jojoba oil. They are washable, reusable and compostable. You can even make your own. Have a fun make-your-own beeswax wraps party at the church! Instructions are widely available online.

2. Reusable instead of plastic

Having an event?  Instead of selling plastic bottles of water or juice, advertise the event as being eco-friendly and request that guests bring their own reusable bottles.                     

Many people have reusable bottles and are thrilled to see faith communities encouraging care of the planet.  

3. Trade plastic zip bags for reusable options

Those ziplock bags are so convenient for food storage. But they aren’t reusable for very long and usually end up in the trash. There are lots of options out there for replacing them. Where it’s feasible, glass mason jars or stainless steel containers are great for storage.

There are also very convenient silicone bags, lids and containers – they certainly last longer than plastic bags and are often dishwasher, freezer and microwave safe. However, they are not biodegradable and not easy to recycle.

4.  Shopping for the church? Bring reusable bags!

It takes so many committed people of faith for the ministry of the church to thrive. From providing hospitality at coffee hour, to bringing treats for a special event, it’s individual volunteers (like you!) who really make a church run.     

If you’re shopping for the church bring reusable bags with you. You can even keep a stash of reusable bags in the church kitchen. Cotton rather than plastic-based ones are best.  

5. Trade plastic produce/bulk food bags for cloth ones

Avoid filling your reusable grocery bag with items enclosed in plastic bags. There is a variety of cloth produce bags available. Buy a stash for the church and encourage parishioners to buy their own for home.  

6. Avoid plastic packaging

Many items are swathed in all kinds of single-use plastics. From produce to electronics; and everything seems to be wrapped in plastic. When shopping for food, notice which stores wrap items in plastic and which have items available unwrapped.  

Try to frequent stores that minimize use of plastic wrap. Have a favourite store that uses lots of plastic wrap? Speak with a manager and let them know you’ll be choosing to shop elsewhere if they don’t reduce plastic packaging. Need to buy milk for coffee hour? Buy it in cardboard cartons or glass bottles.

7. Use compostable sponges or cloths

Sponges often have plastics in them and are not recyclable. Use natural fiber options instead.  

8. Reduce or eliminate plastic garbage bags

In a large facility like a church there are lots of garbage bins – usually they are all lined with single-use plastic bags whether or not they are needed. 

In bathrooms, have a large compost container for paper towels and a small one for trash items. The container for paper towels may not even need a compostable bag liner in it, but could be dumped directly into the compost bin. Trash bins can also be lined with paper bags rather than plastic.  

9. Eliminate use of plastic cutlery and straws

If coffee stir-sticks are needed, use wooden ones. There are also stainless steel and glass drinking straws in case anyone wants a straw for their beverage. Having an event that involves eating a meal? If possible, avoid use of disposable items. If you must use single-use, try wooden compostable cutlery.                                              

10.  Tell the world

Put up signs to announce the church is working on eliminating single-use plastics. Encourage parishioners to think about use of plastics in their lives.

Imagine if we all encouraged the stores we frequent to use less plastic packaging—we could make a real difference! Let your voice be heard — tell government leaders that plastics reduction is important to you.