Though its day-to-day concerns are caring for its congregation, Trinity Lutheran Church was recently recognized by Hennepin County for caring for something else — the
The church was named an Environmental Partner by the county, in recognition of its commitment to various forms of recycling.
“We do three-part trash separation,” explained Facilities Manager Jeri Miller Lowe. “We have organics to recycle…and then we do the normal recycling with aluminum, glass and plastic, and then what’s left is trash.”
Miller Lowe said that the decision to pursue sustainability was one that had been made by the congregation as a whole.
“We decided, first as a property committee and then as a wider church, that we are committed to making the best use of God’s resources,” said Miller Lowe. “People love doing it, and it’s part of being a steward.”
The church’s choices went past how they handle waste, as well. Miller Lowe said that the church uses compostable paper cups and plates, and collects plastic bags for recycling as well.
On the reuse front, the church has found uses for a few other items that might otherwise end up in a landfill, as well.
“We also have an Agape Market, that sells lots of crafts and things,” Miller Lowe said. “We’re always getting old glass jars and pallets, that a number of crafty people make some cool stuff out of.” The recognition as an Environmental Partner encompasses all of these initiatives, according to Amy Maas, a recycling technician with the county.
“The formal recognition is all waste-related, but we’ll also list things, like if they have a rain garden or solar panel, or for a restaurant, if they source things locally,” said Maas.
Some 200 businesses of every kind throughout Hennepin County have earned the title, and that number is expected to keep growing.
“We have everything from department stores, child care, office buildings, stadiums — pretty much any kind of business you can think of,” said Maas.
A map of the county is available online, showing the locations of the various Environmental Partners throughout the county. Information on each business’ sustainabiltiy efforts is also available, and the map can be accessed at gis.hennepin.us/AGOL_Images/Environmental_Partners/
As for Trinity Lutheran Church, the recycling will continue, bottle-by-bottle.
“We really like doing it,” said Miller Lowe. “We don’t want to keep throwing trash in landfills. We want to be thinking ahead.”