Purchasing palms for Palm Sunday that have been harvested in a sustainable manner is one small, practical way congregations can remember both workers and Central American forests.
Peter Sawtell’s Eco-Justice Notes explains the problem this way:
A contract system with low-paid local workers bases compensation on the volume of palm branches that they cut. The economic incentive is to cut lots of branches, stripping trees beyond a sustainable level, and cutting low-quality branches so that almost half of them are discarded. It is wasteful and damages the rain forest, and the short-term workers are not treated well.
Fortunately, the Eco-Palms company provides an alternative. Their palms are purchased from communities in the process of obtaining a sustainable certification from SmartWood, a division of the Rainforest Alliance. The trick is ordering your palms early enough. So put order eco-palms on your church calendar February 1, 2018 and you’ll be fine. Since it’s too late to order them this year, why not use local vegetation or emphasize the cloaks-on-the-ground part of the story? That’s what Jesus’ followers did: they grabbed what was at hand.
Download a pdf for your bulletin board