Statement by Rev. Mitch Hescox:
We are pleased to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) newly released standards to reduce methane leakage from both new and existing landfills. The two new rules as implemented will reduce more than 334,000 tons of methane released per year beginning in 2025, the equivalent of 8.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
In a 20-year timeframe methane is 84 times more potent in its heat-trapping capabilities than carbon dioxide. It is also a significant source for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) that increase smog, impacting the health of over 39.1 million children who live in areas that already receive failing grades in air quality.
Our children deserve the right to pure air and lives unhampered by air pollution, and these EPA landfill methane regulations will help us achieve this. Such protection begins in the womb. Medical research clearly demonstrates that air pollution is a risk to unborn children. For us reducing methane is clearly a matter of life.
The battle to reduce landfill methane is not only the government’s job – we can be a large part of the solution. We toss 34.5 million tons of food waste into landfills each year and the waste becomes methane. In simple terms if we could eliminate the food waste going into landfills, it would be like taking 25% of all cars off American Roads.
We can help address both feeding those in need and reducing methane. One-in-seven households don’t have enough to eat and 14.5% of US homes don’t have regular access to diets for an active healthy lifestyle. Individuals and churches can minimize food waste by preparing only the needed amount. Leftovers may be donated to a local shelter or other accepting organization. Church groups can also arrange with local restaurants to pick-up leftovers, deliver to those in need, and prevent waste. Finally, what non-meat leftovers remain organize a composing location around the church or in one’s backyard. The compose makes great soil for the community garden or for the church community at large.
Let’s do our part as stewards of God’s creation, even as we support EPA’s regulatory efforts.