The Ark Huddersfield - Church Story

Karen Hill writes:

When The Ark was first planted, my husband Dan and I were part of the leadership team, so we were able to influence decisions that would have a positive impact on our planet and also on people across the world. It made so much sense to us to get this in right at the beginning, as the foundations. For example:

As a church, we only use Fairtrade (Buying Fairtrade | Fairtrade Foundation | Where to find Fairtrade products) tea, coffee and sugar. We look to buy other Fairtrade alternatives whenever they are available, like bananas or chocolate. If you haven’t switched to Fairtrade yet, please do so. Not only does it give farmers the chance to earn a living, but they receive training and support allowing them to improve their farms, increase sustainability, improve soil conditions, adapt their farming methods to respond to a changing climate… it’s not just about paying good wages (something we take for granted in the West). (Fairtrade churches | Fairtrade Foundation)

Back in 2009, The Ark Church bought 252 ceramic mugs for refreshments, when there were only 12 of us in the church plant! These mugs have served us very well over the past years. We have no building of our own, but that didn’t stop us either, the mugs are taken home each week, washed and returned. Not only has it saved a huge amount of rubbish and money, but it also looks amazing. When we host meetings or run community events, our mugs are also a great advertisement. 

In recent years, we have started to collect our recycling and compost, to take home, rather than fill the bins at the venue we hire for church services. Sadly our council doesn’t recycle very much, but we teamed up with TerraCycle (Free Recycling Programmes · TerraCycle) and a local school, to recycle items like biscuit wrappers. We found a compostable coffee bag (Percol | ) and tried to reduce the amount of packaging by buying in bulk, buying fruit from the local

grocers rather than the supermarket and regularly providing home baking. The teabags and coffee granules (from our catering percolating filter), along with apple cores, banana skins etc, have gone into a series of wormeries at our home. Wormeries are a great way to collect and quickly compost your kitchen scraps and waste. I have now used a variety of wormery systems, so get in touch if you want to know more, I’m always happy to talk about our amazing Tiger Worms!

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