With Palm Sunday only four weeks away, Eco-Palms are in the news again. Episcopal News Service published a piece Wave sacramental eco-palms this Palm Sunday by Michael Schut, the environmental and economic affairs officer for the Episcopal Church.
The February 20 Green Sprouts post about Eco-Palms talked about the benefits of using Eco-Palms for Palm Sunday instead of palms harvested in other ways. The way they are harvested is not only environmentally sustainable, but it results in better pay for the workers. And as that post reported, we found last year at St. Stephen’s that these palms enhanced our liturgy.
In today’s ENS piece , Michael Schut writes:
And know that there are real people, real forests behind those fronds. Know that there are real communities benefiting from your purchase of Eco-Palms. Kattie Sumerfeld works for Lutheran World Relief and recently visited some of those communities. She wrote when she returned of Eliasin Visente Gonzales who told her that "Eco-Palms allow him to buy shoes and clothes for his seven children;" and she described hearing from the town council that "their kids actually stay in the communities instead of migrating to the U.S. for work."
Our choice of palms for Palm Sunday is one more place where the best choice for the environment is also the best choice for economic justice and stability for communities.