Napkins line drying at St. Mary's Parish Camp 2019

The “Guru of Green” Rhymes with Eugene!  Reflections on Sustainability and Parish Camp and Beyond…

Parish Camp 2019 was once again undeniably beautiful, with towering redwood trees, sunlight percolating through the branches or warming the rocks by the water, river ample with the winter’s rains, and open bluffs and beach at Andrew Molera at the river’s mouth.

This year, we took new measures at Parish Camp to reduce how much we despoil the environment.  With no disposable plates or napkins and by conscientiously sorting compost, recycling, refuse, and even wine corks, we cut our trash generation roughly four-fold over recent years.

Now imagine the trash we did generate and multiply that by a large factor — say, twenty.  Imagine perhaps 600 pounds of trash that we did not collect, sort, or dispose of responsibly.  Imagine instead that we strew it about the campground, tossed it in the river, and then abandoned it.  That was what we did with the carbon emissions generated by our trips to and from Big Sur. We released it into the environment, which is groaning under the carbon load, because emitting carbon is seemingly convenient, free, and invisible.  (A few of us did take public transportation to and from Big Sur.)

Parish Camp was once again an opportunity to enjoy one another’s company, get to know fellow parishioners better, and soak in the natural beauty.  It’s an occasion to reflect on the environment that we not only enjoy but on which we actually depend. We took some steps this year to reduce our footprint on the earth, with eyes on what other steps might yet lie before us.

Many thanks to Eugene Loh who has re-activated our green team.  The green team is currently assessing our usage and investigating ways to leave a smaller footprint.  If you are interested in getting involved, contact Eugene.