Faith-based environment group recycles

Published 07/01 2014 01:33PM

Updated 07/01 2014 01:45PM

A local organization is mixing faith, and recycling.

"Well we truly believe that God calls us to care for creation, and part of caring for creation is caring for the earth,” said Karen Neder with Earthkeepers.

Karen helped found Earthkeepers back in 2007.

It's a group open to any religion, but all with the same mission: to be more environmentally friendly.

"As a way for churches in the Quad Cities area to get together and exchange ideas about greening their congregations,” said Karen.

And Karen has gone above and beyond to make her church, Trinity Lutheran, a greenhouse of worship.

She started by cultivating the crop of her fellow parishioners.

Putting up a display teaching what can, and can't be recycled in the church's own recycling program.

Karen said sometimes, it's been a challenge.

"It's amazingly confusing for people,” she said.

But then, just a couple of months ago, Karen took things to the next level.

She discovered an online recycling program called Terracycle.

“Terracycle is a program that I started here to encourage recycling of non–recyclables," said Karen.

It's as easy as taking things that you didn't know you could recycle; makeup, Chapstick, a Brita filter, putting them into a box, and sending them off.

"It's a website that you go to and you can join a specific brigade that's sponsored by a company,” said Karen.

A brigade is a specific group of items you're recycling.

For example, Kraft sponsors a cheese brigade, where you gather empty cheese wrappers.

When enough are collected, Karen puts them in a box and ships them off to the company, where they're recycled.

And you even get money for doing it.

"Whatever you collect, when you send it into Terracycle, they will give you whatever you collect and the points can be turned into a small amount of money for a charity or a school,” said Karen.

Karen chose Trinity Lutheran's preschool, Blessed Beginnings.

"The response was so great from parents,” said Karen.

A one woman show, Karen is merging faith and recycling into a perfect harmony for the future.

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