Do we need “eco-palms”?

Do we need “eco-palms”?

Rich Leonardi writes about a local United Methodist Church in Cincinnati that’s patting itself on the back for adhering to the Gospel of environmental friendliness with its Palm Sunday “eco-palms”.

The specially grown palm leaves are good for the environment and the workers who harvest them, said Ann Flanagan, the church member who introduced the idea to the congregation.

The eco-palms, distributed through the University of Minnesota’s Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management, come from sustainable trees in Mexico and Guatemala that can produce year after year.

The workers gathering the leaves are also trained to package and ship them, Flanagan said, for which they’re paid a higher wage.

Many of the workers who harvest palm fronds are paid by volume, so without the higher wage for shipping work, “they would just strip the trees every year.”

As with fair-trade coffee, Flanagan said, everyone wins. Workers make a decent living and the delicate ecosystem that produces the palm fronds isn’t destroyed.

Several years ago I worked at a church supply company and one of my seasonal duties was taking orders for; ordering; and then shipping palms for Palm Sunday and let me tell you that these “eco-palms” are a scam. For one thing, the vast majority of palms distributed on Palm Sunday do not come from trees, but from palm bushes (which is why the fronds you get are usually long strips, not branches).

Do-gooder perception is more important than reality

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
3 comments
  • “The eco-palms, distributed through the University of Minnesota’s Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management….”

    Why does this seem vaguely familiar?  Ah yes, it rings of something that the Soviets might have cooked up for one of their projects.  And, as a matter of fact, there does seem to be a symbiosis of sorts between Marxism and the Green movement—both very didactic, despotic and self-congradulatory.

  • Thank you for the informative lesson on the source of our palms and for the warning not to be scammed by the eco-friendly folks.

  • With the “eco-religion”/”green-chic” trend, the important thing is to feel good about what you belief in…substance does not matter.

    Check out the headline below from the San Jose Mercury News: “Eco-friendly cars”.

    Ummm…do the cars grow on trees or something? “Eco-friendly cars” are made by extracting raw materials from the earth, fabricating it in an energy intensive manufacturing plant, and running it on energy.  Hybrid and electric cars may be low emission at the tailpipe, though energy is consumed at some point along the supply chain.

    “Supreme Court ruling backs up state law requiring eco-friendly cars”

    http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_5582561

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