In his Christmas message, Archbishop Nicholas Chia published a most impressive commentary on how we, as a community can do our part in caring for God’s creation.

Among other things, he mentioned that “we can avoid using Styrofoam, which is a hazard to the environment”.

Coincidentally, Styrofoam is used in church canteens on weekends. Many operators had started off serving food and hot beverages in recyclable utensils but, sadly, have replaced them with Styrofoam.

Styrofoam is in fact an environmental hazard and its harmful properties take 500 or so years to clear up. It’s time that we go back to basics and relearn the goodness of recycling.

To all canteen operators, have your bulk cooked food displayed in reusable containers. No more huge and bulky tin foils please. Serve your food selections on ceramic or a suitable serviceware that can be washed and reused. Cutlery should also be recycled. Can you imagine how much you will be saving on your operating costs?

Drinking hot beverage from Styrofoam is so annoying isn’t it? Coffee or tea is best drunk from a proper vessel made of ceramic or glass. It is safe, decent and does not get mixed with the harmful chemicals found in Styrofoam.

We all need a cup of freshly-brewed coffee after Mass, don’t we? For those who have been offering “coffee white” or “coffee black” to your weekend crowd, it’s time for a change. Avoid three-in-one premixed coffee sachets. They are artificial and contain lots of chemicals.

If there is any resistance to change, it is understandable. To overcome this, be positive and feel proud to accept this change for the better.

Going back to washing dishes must never be taken as extra work or some form of burden. Together as a community, we can make it right for God’s creation. n

Thaddeus Loo Voon Sen

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