Greener palms for Palm Sunday

USA Today says that in many churches Palm Sunday is going green by using palms harvested using an environmentally friendly method.

This year, more than 2,130 congregations across the USA, including Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterians, will use “eco-palms” that are harvested in a more environmentally friendly way, says Dean Current, program director at the Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management at the University of Minnesota.

The number of churches using eco-palms on Palm Sunday — which, in the Christian faith, marks Jesus’ triumphant return to Jerusalem before his death and resurrection — has grown from a pilot program of 5,000 in 2005 to the 600,000 eco-palms ordered for this year’s March 16 celebration, Current says. He estimates that is about 1.5% of the 35 million to 40 million palms sold annually for Palm Sunday services in the USA but says he expects the growth to continue.

What makes the eco-palms different is the way that they are harvested, says RaeLynn Jones Loss, a research specialist at the University of Minnesota.

More than 50% of the palms are wasted by traditional methods, Jones Loss says. Harvesters in the eco-palm program are trained to be more selective. They cut only the best fronds, which results in only 5% to 10% waste.

USA Today: Churches go ‘green’ for Palm Sunday.

Past Posts