The Los Angeles Church of the Nazarene in San José, Costa Rica, was recently registered in the Ecological Blue Flag Program (known as PBAE in Spanish). The PBAE is a program offered by the Costa Rican government to all institutions committed to environmental care.
PBAE encourages churches and religious entities to be part of a positive change in the management of water, waste, and fuel. The church in Los Angeles chose to focus on promoting a culture that eliminates disposable utensils such as plates and cups and replaces them with reusable alternatives.
The church also encouraged its members to collect all recyclable materials from their homes, and a recycling company collects it once a month.
"The Church of the Nazarene of Los Angeles has understood that God's call is holistic,” said Andrés Fernández, Los Angeles Church lead pastor. “Therefore, just as we take care of the people in our church and community, we must take care of our planet."
They have already implemented policies requiring on-site events to use reusable utensils instead of disposable ones.
“The environmental care culture is permeating the church, and we are making it an essential feature, not only inside the building but also outside,” said Christopher Quinto, NMI church president. "We have witnessed how the church has mobilized together to achieve this so far.”
The Los Angeles church encourages all Nazarene churches across the globe to engage in similar programs where available.
"We invite all the Nazarene churches to look for options available in their countries to be role models for the world of sustainable development for our planet,” Quinto said. “This is what it means to be the Church."