Saving the Earth One Plastic Bag at a Time
Past Worthy Advisor Lillith writes: My friends know I’m very passionate about the environment. So it’s no surprise that during my term as Worthy Advisor of Berkley Assembly #46 last fall my theme was “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repeat!” and my Bible version was “You shall not pollute the land in which you live… you shall not defile the land in which you live in which I live also” (Numbers 35: 33-34) . I really want to make an impact and help the planet. So in June 2021 Berkley Assembly started a very large service project.
We are working with a program sponsored by the Trex company to collect plastic bags to keep them out of landfills and recycle centers. For every 500 pounds of plastic we collect, we can earn a bench. We all know that plastic bags in landfills pretty much never decompose. But did you know most plastic bags that go to recycle centers often sit around until some company buys them from the recycle center to use for something else? This program is different. Trex actually uses the plastic bags in their manufacturing process to create plastic decking and outdoor furniture like benches. You’ve probably seen them in a park or at a school. So we know that the plastic we are collecting is actually being used and not just sitting around.
During my term we gathered over 650 pounds of plastic – which is a LOT. Berkley Assembly girls and adults have spent a lot of time collecting, sorting, bagging, and driving carloads of plastic – to be honest, it’s not very fun. But doing it together with my Rainbow sisters is great. And it’s definitely made me think about how I use plastic at home. The Berkley Community, the Detroit Zoo, and other friends and Masonic Family across Michigan and beyond have helped us make this project a great success. We have already earned one bench, which we plan to place outside the Berkley Temple and dedicate to the memory of Bob Damery. He was a great friend & supporter of Berkley Rainbow and we are glad we can help honor his memory in some small way.
Our current Worth Advisor Keziah continued the program and this month (March 2022) we reached 1000 pounds of plastic collected, which is amazing. In this picture you see us with the 29 bags of plastic that put us over the top. Not only have we earned a second bench, but we have started a culture of recycling in our community which we plan to continue. I’m very proud of my Assembly and excited we are making an impact.