Tennessee church uses recycling to give back to the community

Recycling in small towns is much harder for residents than it is in major cities, so community outlets such as churches are doing their part to spread the message of sustainability and raise a bit of money in the process. Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in South Knox County of Tennessee has started a large-scale recycling program that has been embraced by parishioners. According to KnoxNews.com, the churchgoers see this new recycling initiative not only as a way to help people in their community, but as part of their responsibility as Christians to do the right thing for the environment.

"I look at it like we were given these gifts by God - the environment, the animals, all the things that are here for us," Tish McQueen, the parishioner leading the recycling program, told the news source. "And we consume so much. When you look at all the waste that we produce everyday, to give some of that back - to me that means a lot."

Gloria Dei has partnered with local waste disposal company SP Recycling, and is reimbursed by the pounds of paper and cardboard that is recycled per month. From June 15 to September 15 of this year, Gloria Dei has recycled 8,068 pounds of paper and an estimated 13.31 cubic yards of landfill space.

The extra money that the church has been paid this year has gone to purchase grocery gift cards for needy parishioners and to fund other social outreach programs. Of the 50 area churches that are participating, Gloria Dei ranks seventh overall in the amount of paper that has been recycled thus far. It's these kind of small-scale initiatives that can make a huge difference in encouraging people to live sustainable lifestyles and remove tons of waste from local landfills.