Eco-Palms is an initiative of the University of Minnesota in coorperation with several Christian denominations in the U.S., to offer congregations the option of purchasing responsibly harvested Eco-Palms for their Palm Sunday needs. Eco-Palms pays harvesters for sustainably harvesting palms by the quality and not the quantity of the palm fronds they harvest. Since the palm fronds come from the rainforests of Guatemala and Mexico, the harvesters typically are paid by volume, which means they walk through the forests gathering as many palms as they can regardless of the quality. Such practices not only damage the plants and the ecosystem, but result in over half the palms eventually being discarded. With the eco-palms, harvesters will gather fewer fronds with greater care, which is good for the forests, and they get paid five to six times more than those harvesting for large floral companies, which is good for their families and their communities.
Consider this as an alternative for your congregation for Palm Sunday.
For more information and to download materials for your congregation: www.pcusa.org/palms