As the local faith community, we want to strongly encourage the Oak Park Village Board and Environment & Energy Commission to bring forth a community-wide composting program. Join the commission’s composting discussions on Thursday, April 29 at 6 p.m.
John F. Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, said in his opening remarks, “The scientists told us three years ago that we had 12 years to avert the worst consequences of the climate crisis. We are now three years gone, so we have nine years left.”
Later his office said, “Without an increased and urgent mitigation ambition in the coming years, leading to a sharp decline in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, global warming will surpass 1.5 C in the following decades. This will lead to irreversible loss of the most fragile ecosystems, and crisis after crisis for the most vulnerable people and societies.”
We need to continue to move forward toward a zero-waste commitment. Ana Garcia Doyle, director of the One Earth Film Fest, continues to warn us of the fact that our treatment of the planet is also a reflection of how we treat others. Seeing the Earth as “disposable” is also seeing others as having no worth. Caring for the Earth is a practical way of caring for others.
Mac Robinet, former member of the Environment & Energy Commission, wrote in the Wednesday Journal: “The primary purpose of composting is to divert organic material (e.g. food and yard waste) from landfill in order to avoid production of methane. Methane (CH4) is a powerful greenhouse gas, which is a significant cause of global warming. Composted material also has environmental benefits when added to soil. Utilizing organic compost will increase organic matter, prevent fertilizers from leaching into ground water, and provide micro-organisms that can break down pollutants.”
Our youth high school project, It’s Our Future, was able to collect over 500 signatures to adopt a more community-wide composting (opt-out) approach which they presented to the Oak Park trustees.
The book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, rates “Preventing Food Waste” and “Composting” as top solutions. Nearly half of the solid waste produced is organic or biodegradable. Much of it ends up in landfills producing methane, which is up to 34 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. In 2009, San Francisco passed an ordinance making it mandatory to compost the city’s food waste. Denmark has not sent organic waste to landfills in more than 25 years, reaping the composting win-win-win of cost savings, fertilizer production, and reduced emissions.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more of us are staying at home and producing more food scraps and waste. The need for composting has increased, so now is the time to act.
We ask our political leaders, as we ask ourselves, to show care for all aspects of creation (from toxic landfills to whole communities struggling to survive), and not trash it!
Join the Village Composting Program: www.oak-park.us/village-services/refuse-recycling/compostable-program.
The Interfaith Green Network consists of:
Rev. Christian Coon
Urban Village Church, River Forest First United Methodist Church
Rev. John Edgerton
First United Church of Oak Park
Rabbi Adir Glick/Rachel Glick
West Suburban Temple Har Zion
Rev. Colin Knapp
Pilgrim Congregation Church
Rev. David John Hailey
First Baptist Church of Oak Park
Rev. David R. Lyle
Grace Lutheran Church and School
Rev. Ben Lynch
Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church
Rev. Hailey Braden Lynch
Fair Oaks Presbyterian Church
Rabbi Victor Mirelman
Emeritus at West Suburban Temple Har Zion
Rev. Carl Morello
St. Giles Catholic Church
Rev. Kathy Nolte
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Rev. Katherine Thomas Paisley
First United Methodist Church
Rev. Rex Pillai
Ascension Catholic Church
St. Edmund Catholic Parish
Rev. John G. Rumple
Grace Episcopal Church
Rev. Marti Scott
Euclid Ave. United Methodist Church
Rev. Alan Taylor
Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Oak Park Friends
Peace, Justice and Environment Committee