1.  GREEN ENERGY:  Sign Up  with the Neighborhood Sun/ERUCC partnership in the Shepherds Mill community solar farm project where a percentage of your electricity will be solar!!  It is open now for full subscription sign up until 6/8 or until as long as the places last.    Our contact is Carolyn Ricketts, 301-806-6067;  the website is  When you sign up through this website, ERUCC will receive a donation.  Signing up is  easy, Carolyn will walk you through.  This project has been vetted by Terry Logee, so we know that it is reliable.  An email detailing the project was sent out on May 14; if you did not receive it or would like it forwarded to you, please contact Susan Kulp at or Linda Coyle at CLICK HERE for Green Team Community Solar information

2.  RECYCLING:  Because of  the additional cardboard and paper packaging from online ordering, the top environmental officer of the US said that Recycling is more essential than ever.  There is even some concern of a cardboard shortage developing, so let’s put it back into the supply chain.  Since Frederick County does NOT require that cardboard boxes be broken down,  just put your cardboard boxes and paper out for curbside recycling.  DO NOT PUT MASKS AND PPE IN RECYCLING even if they are plastic!!!  They need to be put into bags, sealed, and placed in the TRASH.  The CDC has requirements for proper disposal of PPE.   Much of PPE is thrown away carelessly and clogs drains and washes into waterways. Also, remember that Frederick Co.(which includes the city) does not recycle any clam shell containers or plastic bags.

3.  PLASTIC:  After all our efforts to avoid using plastic bags by bringing reusable bags for our grocery shopping, we can no longer do this in most stores, except in certain circumstances.  Giant, at least,  allows patrons to use their reusable bags in the self-checkout lines. Other stores probably do also.   Another alternative is to ask the checker if you can place the items you have bought back in your cart after they have been checked out.  Then take your cart back to your car where you can pack the items in the bags that you have cleverly stashed away in your trunk.  A little more work for you, but creation will thank you for it.   Also, some stores may recycle plastic bags and the clamshell containers we are getting from carry out.  Please let us know which stores recycle these items if you have that information.

The amount of plastic is surging during the pandemic and threatens the earth,  the oceans,  and their wildlife.  If you must get plastic bags from the store or restaurant carry out, REUSE them as often as you can.  Ask the restaurant not to include plastic utensils, napkins, and straws.  Studies reveal that plastic is showing up in our bodies and bloodstream, so let’s do all we can to reduce our plastic use.  Please contribute your ideas to help the rest of us out.

4.  COMPOST:  Now that we eating at home so much, this is a perfect time to start to compost.  You can easily compost at home in your own container; the internet has lots of information to guide you.  And many church members could  help you out.   Also, you could investigate the reasonably priced residential service offered by Key Compost, with whom ERUCC has had a contract .  Key Compost will pick up all your food scraps, including meat and bones,  and return compostable soil to you twice a year.  Key’s website,, has all the information.  Composting is a wonderful way to reduce the amount of trash that goes into the landfills and replenishes the earth.

Article by Evangelical Reformed UCC