The Green Team First United Methodist Church Orlando

We have formed a team to address issues of stewardship relating to the care of God's creation. Our Vision: Becoming better stewards of God's Earth and caring for its resources as God's gifts for sustaining life.

We meet the1st Monday of each month.

Operating as usual

[06/15/12]   God made all things in consideration of everything else. Hildegard of Bingen

[06/14/12]   There is nowhere called “away” where you can throw things. We’re all downstream from someplace else. Much of what seems like waste to us is reusable, or of value in a different place. Think of your garbage can not as a final destination but as a way station from where the things you no longer need can move on to someone who does need them. from A Pocket Guide to Shrinking Your Ecological Footprint by Jan Nunley, Claire Foster and David Shreeve.

Get rid of gnats and white flies: Make your own sticky trap by smearing bright yellow index cards with Vaseline. Tape the card to a straw or chopstick and stick into the soil just underneath the plant. Voila! This will work on houseplants and outdoor gardens.

[06/12/12]   Doing something gets things done. Do a little green something today.


These recycling clothing bins are now in Orlando. Look for one near you. Our Clothing Recycling ProgramWe have developed a recycling program which works very well and helps us raise the majority of our funds throughout the year. We have contracted different professional recycling companies to handle the majority of the operation of our clothing recycling program.

[06/08/12]   Continuting Environmental actions from the recent UMC General Conference. Thanks CreationCare365 for this summary:
"Styrofoam": A non-disciplinary (i.e., not to be included in the Book of Discipline or Book of Resolutions) provision that states, "Pastors and lay members of United Methodist local churches will appeal to their congregations to adopt and encourage covenants to discontinue utilizing Styrofoam for food and beverages."

First UMC Orlando can be proud that we have discontinued the use of styrofoam cups at our coffee counter.

[06/07/12]   Continuing our coverage of Environmental actions from the recent UMC General Conference in Tampa, Florida. Thank you to Creation Care 365 for this information:

"Food Justice": New title (changed from "Food Safety") and amendment to the Social Principles (¶160.G) that states, "We support policies that increase access to quality food, particularly for those with the fewest resources. We affirm local, sustainable and small-scale agriculture opportunities that allow communities to feed themselves. ..."

"Food Safety": An amendment to the Social Principles (¶160.G) that states, "We urge independent testing for chemical residues in food, and the removal from the market of foods contaminated with potentially hazardous levels of pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides; drug residues from animal antibiotics, steroids, or hormones; contaminants due to pollution that are carried by air, soil, or water from incinerator plants or other industrial operations. We call for clear labeling of all processed or genetically altered foods, with premarket safety testing

[06/06/12]   For the next few days we will share some of the actions taken at the recent General UMC Conference held in Tampa Florida. We thank Creation Care 365 for this summary.

The following is a list of several pieces of creation-care legislation adopted at GC 2012 that (with hope and prayer) will help ensure forward movement towards the fulfillment of our guiding Social Principles (the following links will take you to individual petitions):

"Animal Life": An amendment to the Social Principles (¶160.C) to "reflect the need for preserving the vast number of animal species threatened by humanity's destruction of these creatures and the environments in which they live."

"Energy Resources Utilization": An amendment to the Social Principles (¶160.B) that encourages all United Methodists to limit their annual, personal CO2 emissions to one ton per person and to support renewable, safe energy production."

[06/05/12]   Encourages you to spend a week watching what—and how—you buy, and what you throw away or recycle. Consider these questions and see if you can make a few simple changes. Do you bring bags with you to the store? Some grocery stores will give you a discount. (Target) When you buy food, do you use plastic bags for your apples or other fruit? It may be more convenient in the short term but the long-term cost is waste.

Do you buy food—or water—in single-serving packages? Reduce your waste by planning for waste-free lunches, and getting your water from a sink or water fountain. Do you look for something used or Freecycled before you look for something new? Do you recycle the cardboard box and other packaging? Do you try giving away, selling, or recycling your old possessions before you consider throwing them away?

[06/04/12]   All things bright and beautiful the Lord God made them all....

[05/31/12]   Don’t throw away those Orange Peels. Did you know orange peels are great for preserving brown sugar? Just add a few peels, and you'll never have to worry about opening the bag only to find a rock-hard chunk of sugar. Any leftover peels can be thrown in the kitchen compost.

Florida Wildflower Learning Center

Learn about Florida Wildflowers and sow a few seeds in your yard. On Palm Sunday in 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sighted land. He dubbed it La Florida — "land of flowers" — in honor of the Spain’s Easter celebration. The abundant wildflowers he almost certainly would have seen may have also influenced the name choice.

Tips for getting rid of stuff

Good website to save in your Favorites for future reference. Trying to make room in your house, but don't know what do with some items? Consumer Reports has great tips for getting rid of stuff.

[05/28/12]   Have a Green Summer Cookout - (Green tips from the Smithsonian National Zoo)
If you're planning a cookout, look for all-natural, sustainably produced charcoal or wood briquettes for your grill. Even better, "fire up" an electric grill.
What to serve? Locally grown foods, and snacks and drinks with minimal packaging. Your best bet? Buying all your food at the farmer's market—remember to bring your own bags!
Bring cloth napkins, and reusable dishes and utensils.
Don't forget to protect yourself with petrochemical-free sunblock and natural insect repellents.

[05/25/12]   A Laundry Tip from Mrs. Fixit. Make your own Oxygen cleaner. Simple and cheap.

We all know of the oxygen cleaner that you add to the laundry. It fights stains and boosts the power of my detergent, but they can be expensive. Mrs. Fixit shows you how to make a homemade alternative.

TIP 1 - All you need to make this stain fighter is hydrogen peroxide and baking soda! That’s a total of maybe two dollars!

TIP 2 - To make a spray on stain fighter, all you need to do is mix together equal parts of the two ingredients into a spray bottle.

TIP 3 - Swirl it around to dissolve the baking soda and spray it directly on stains. Make sure that you store this cleaner in a cabinet because hydrogen peroxide can lose its effectiveness when exposed to the light - that’s why it’s sold in a brown bottle!

TIP 4 - To make a presoak for clothes mix two parts water to one part of baking soda and peroxide. Then soak your items.

TIP 5 - This cleaner is the perfect choice for all sorts of stains and fabrics. Just make sure that you check an inconspicuous spot like an inside hem if you’re concerned about the fabric or colorfastness

[05/24/12]   Replace Paper Towel with Micro-Fiber. Cloths made of microfiber completely remove dust, and when used alone or with a little water do not leave a chemical film or streaks behind. You can clean and polish surfaces in one action, picking up more than 97 percent of the dust and other materials containing microbes, pollen and mold. Prolong the life of your microfiber by rinsing in water or washing in regular soap. Do not use fabric softeners or powdered detergents, which reduce the effectiveness of the cloth

TEDxConcordiaUPortland - Joe Smith - How To Use One Paper Towel

Let's save our beautiful world, One Paper-Towel at a time. You'll enjoy this video.

R. P. Joe Smith served as a District Attorney in Umatilla County and nearly won a race for Oregon Attorney General without taking a single contribution over ...

Habitat Orlando ReStore

Great way to re-purpose and help someone along the way. 2 Stores in Orlando We have opened a second ReStore location on Colonial Drive just East of Lake Baldwin Lane, 4835 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando 32803.

[05/21/12]   A Tip from Mrs. Fixit-----
I like to make seedling pots from old newspaper. You need a wine bottle with a dimpled bottom and newspaper. Cut newspaper strips up to where the bottle starts sloping in toward the neck and so that it will go around the bottle a couple of times. Lay the newspaper so the top is about halfway up the bottle and roll it around the bottle. Fold the bottom in pressing it into the dimple. Then slide the pot off of the bottle. Flatten the bottom and then you’re ready for transplant!

A Bag's Life

Check out this site to learn different reuse options for plastic bags and for recycling drop-off locations near you. Reduce. Recycle. Reuse. A Bag’s Life is a public educational campaign that unites non-profits, community and government organizations around the common goal of promoting the three R’s as they relate plastic bags and common films and wraps used in our everyday lives. Learn more about how to become a ...

[05/17/12]   Try to do one thing each day that will result in saving water. Every drop counts.

Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. One drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water per year!
Retrofit all household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors.
Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste
Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest. This reduces evaporation and waste.
Raise the lawn mower blade to at least three inches, or to its highest level. A higher cut encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system and holds soil moisture

‘Netflix’ of Baby Clothes Reduces Clothing Waste -

Interesting idea - wonder what young mom's think about this. Guide to local resources including recycling centers, how to recycle, pollution prevention and how help protect the environment.

[05/15/12]   Make up your mind to do one thing today for the world. It can be as simple as opting out of behaviors that support oppression, inequality, and human rights violations. It can be as complicated as volunteering for a local nonprofit organization. Little things count. If you drink coffee, buy only fair trade so that the actual farmers are seeing the fruits of their labor. If you wear makeup, research and buy only products that do not perform harmful tests on animals. If you watch the news, try Democracy Now for another view into what's going on; find a cause and write to your congressman. Buy locally grown and raised eggs, milk, produce. Take an hour and volunteer in the library, the school, the senior center, the soup kitchen. Recycle, even if it means the extra step of having to wash out that container. Plant a tree. Everything counts

"Creation-Care, 365," Issue #49

Celebrate Mothers day by caring for Creation. "The best gift for Mother's Day would be guaranteeing moms everywhere a chance to relax and not worry anymore about toxic chemicals. No more online research and reading tiny labels about whether toys, baby bottles, or pajamas are safe. No more pressure to pay more for toxic-free items. Best of ...

[05/11/12]   Some tips for shopping at the Farmers Market: When you arrive at the market get yourself a cup of coffee or tea and take a leisurely trip around to survey the offerings before you start buying. Be flexible. Instead of making a shopping list, wait and buy what looks the best and freshest. Don’t overbuy. Avoid waste by bringing your own bags. And the best tip: Before you leave home for the market put out all the bowls, colanders, cutting boards and salad spinners that you will need to prep your purchases. When you get home, put on some music and have yourself a produce prepping party.

Urban chickens: Orlando approves urban chicken pilot program

Good decision by Orlando City Council. Orlando is clucking over a new pilot program that will allow residents to keep "urban chickens" in backyard coops.City officials say they've been henpecked by earthy-crunchy homeowners who want...

[05/09/12]   The dishwasher - modern marvel, right. Well, there are some things that help it clean better and save some money! Fill your soap cup halfway with detergent and halfway with baking soda. The baking soda will help the machine clean your dishes better and it will keep your machine cleaned! Plus you'll use less soap, which saves cash! A tip from Mrs. Fixit.

Orange County Extension Eco & Butterfly Garden

Orange County Extension Eco & Butterfly Garden

What Types of Plastics Can Be Recycled? -

Great resouce to learn about the different types of plastic! Guide to local resources including recycling centers, how to recycle, pollution prevention and how help protect the environment.

Winter Garden Harvest Festival

Sounds like a great weekend event. Check out their video, lots of fresh vegetables, crafts and more. Inaugural Winter Garden Harvest Festival! “Where Good Things Grow” Posted on March 6, 2012 by admin A Local Folkus LLC, producers of the Winter Park Harvest Festival, are partnering with the City of Winter Garden and Slow Food Orlando to produce the first Winter Gar...

The Green Team First United Methodist Church Orlando's cover photo

[05/02/12]   It's that time of year again for a maintenance check on the a/c.
Ninety percent of residential energy consumed in America is due to household appliances, such as heating and cooling systems like air conditioners, which can make up as much as half of a household energy bill. Be sure to clean and maintain your air filters. Keeping air filters clean can increase air conditioner efficiency by 5 to 15 percent. At the very least, they should be checked every three months during the cooling season.

[05/01/12]   Cellulosic-energy grass being farmed near Orlando:
The goal is to push biotechnology entrepreneurs toward deriving energy and chemicals from fast-growing plants, such as grasses and trees, taking the so-called "cellulosic" approach.The London-based energy giant, BP, is building what it calls the largest cellulosic-energy plant of its type in the world — in Highlands County about 75 miles south of Orlando. The facility will farm "energy grass" on 20,000 acres to produce 36 million gallons of ethanol a year."The key is getting the economics of production into a place where over the long term it will be competitive with oil without any support or subsidy," said Phil New, BP Biofuels chief-executive officer, adding that it may be five years before that happens.

[04/30/12]   Kudos to SeaWorld parks: They will eliminate plastic shopping bags at all its' theme parks. This will keep an estimated 4 million bags a year from ending up in landfills as garbage or in the environment as litter. They will offer souvenir shoppers free paper bags made from 100% recycled paper or company -branded resuable bags that sell from $1.49 - $9.95 each.

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