Friday, March 7, 2008

On Palm Sunday, churches "going green"

In this article, in USA Today, it states:

This year, more than 2,130 congregations across the USA, including Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterians, will use "eco-palms" that are harvested in a more environmentally friendly way, says Dean Current, program director at the Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management at the University of Minnesota.

The number of churches using eco-palms on Palm Sunday — which, in the Christian faith, marks Jesus' triumphant return to Jerusalem before his death and resurrection — has grown from a pilot program of 5,000 in 2005 to the 600,000 eco-palms ordered for this year's March 16 celebration, Current says. He estimates that is about 1.5% of the 35 million to 40 million palms sold annually for Palm Sunday services in the USA but says he expects the growth to continue.

What makes the eco-palms different is the way that they are harvested, says RaeLynn Jones Loss, a research specialist at the University of Minnesota.