This is a new column by Carole Suderman, Boulder Mennonite Church, Boulder, Colo. Carole has been offering her congregation challenges like these for the past 20 years. We begin with her tip #1000: 


Go Strawless: In the U.S. alone, we use millions of plastic straws each day. Many of these end up in the ocean. Plastics pollute the water and devastate marine life. By 2050, it is estimated that plastic will be found in 99% of sea birds and will outweigh the fish. Don’t use plastic straws at home and refuse them when purchasing drinks.   read more

Strawless? Scale Up: Strawless in Seattle is a campaign to save aquatic animals and birds that might swallow plastic straws. Many large businesses in Seattle have pledged to eliminate plastic straws, including the Seahawks and Mariners sports teams. Approach a business you patronize and ask the manager to consider reducing or eliminating straws and other unnecessary plastics.

Photo at left by Jason Karn, Otter Rock, Oregon. The author says: “Plastic is as ubiquitous as sand. This was from [2011] about a year before the Japanese Tsunami. It’s the normal everyday state of our ocean not the aftermath of a catastrophe.”