Field Secretary for Earthcare Beverly Ward presented a workshop at Sarasota Monthly Meeting on Sunday, February 24, after a potluck lunch.
The workshop focused on the ways our environmentally conscious actions can expand from our efforts at home; within our local community; and legislatively at state and national levels, to impact the world climate crisis and ensuing climate injustice of marginalized people.
Beverly shared slides, which detail the way she, as our Field Secretary, connects many Quaker organizations with other people of faith. Quaker Earthcare Witness brings our work to the United Nations, for example. Beverly is taking part in an initiative by the United Nations African Diaspora Earthcare Coalition, under the care Quaker Earthcare Witness, to focus on the water issues. The coalition members of this initiative range from Tampa, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia to Kenya and beyond with the hope of sharing information to work toward solutions. (For more information see the Field Secretary Report in this year’s Yearly Meeting’s documents in advance or contact Beverly, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
One part of her work also included collection of water samples during the King Tide in Miami. At king tides, some Miami streets are flooded with water as high as 17 inches. One part of the data derived from these samples was to access clean water. (See Community Health Mapping in South Florida)
“Each time I visit a Meeting or Worship Group or organization, I try to share what I’ve learned from others. I know that it is difficult for Friends to accept compliments; however, each visit brings new information and solutions. Thank you! The results are ripples that are spreading far and wide. Fort Myers Meeting and the First Unity Church in St. Petersburg have created Earthcare Committees. Others have taken up our use of cloth napkins. More and more Friends and communities are not using plastic straws. There are Friends of Bees, Friends of Chickens, Butterflies…”
Beverly brought a display of examples of the individual actions that are making a difference. It featured suggestions to reduce paper and plastic at home, from Zero Waste Home, by Bea Johnson. Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, edited by Paul Hawken is also displayed.
Beverly asks Meetings, “Please share your information and solutions with me. Thank you!”
Sarasota Friends have been very concerned with Climate Change issues in our community and at the national level with FCNL and Quaker Earthcare Witness.
Nancy Corindia writes about some steps they’ve taken to be more sustainable:
“We’ve had rain barrels for several years, and planted only indigenous species when the original landscaping was done. We encourage Friends to bring their shredded paper to mulch our garden trail.
Now we have whole Meeting composting, for those who can’t compost because of living in apartments or neighborhoods that don’t allow that. We’re going to need a second bin.
Our cleaning service uses natural cleaning products. Using paper products made from recycled paper is a better practice, as well as using large bottles of dish and hand soaps to refill non-plastic soap pumps. Our Meeting has switched from paper napkins to cloth napkins; thank you, Nancy Triscritti!
When we purchased new kitchen appliances and A/C units this year, we were glad to realize that their energy and water use was lower. The A/C units no longer use freon as a coolant.
Solar panels have been on our radar for a very long time. We are hopeful that Meetinghouses in SEYM will form a cooperative to purchase solar panels and installers at a reduced price. Panels are now $1000.00 a piece, installed, which is a huge reduction in cost over the last 5 years.
—Beverly Ward & Nancy Corindia contributed to this post