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Earthcare Today from the Presbytery Earth Care Team

EarthCare Resource
Presbytery of Santa Fe
July 2024

Greetings.  We write to share some information about several EarthCare initiatives currently happening

(1) This is the year that plastic pollution is taking a front and center place in the world of EarthCare.  Much of our plastic use is  “one-time only” and is a great concern.

(2) From the Maritime Aquarium comes this information:

    • Americans used about 50 billion plastic bottles of water last year. Less than one-third to one-fourth of those bottles were recycled. The rest ended up in landfills or as litter in the environment.
    • Plastics in the environment never fully decompose. Instead, they break down into smaller and smaller pieces – eventually into microplastics – that remain in the environment.
    • Because of their small sizes, toxic microplastics in aquatic environments blend with plankton at the base of the food web. These microplastics are consumed and work their way up into larger and larger consumers, including humans.
    • An estimated 10 million tons of plastic enter the oceans every year.
    • Plastics in the oceans are so pervasive that a plastic bag, like those offered at grocery stores, has even been found even at the deepest point in any ocean: the Mariana Trench, 36,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific.
    • Micro plastics have also been found in the snow atop Mount Everest.
    • A recent study in Ireland reportedly found microplastics in 3 of every 4 deep-water fish sampled in the northwestern Atlantic. Those fish are eaten by tuna, dolphins, swordfish and seals, as the contamination moves up the food chain.
    • The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) estimates that plastic in our oceans kills at least 1 million sea birds and 100,000 mammals each year.
    • Microplastics have also been found in the blood stream and organs of nearly every human being ever tested.
    • When you drink from a plastic glass you ingest microplastics too. Health effects are multiple, cardiac, hormone disruption, cancer. UNM Med School/Hospital research has found them in fetuses. Their pharmacists are also researching plastic pollution.

(3) There are two excellent new videos about the plastic problem.  Both are about 60 minutes in length

a. One comes by way of our Presbyterian leaders and the video can be found on Youtube:

b. The second comes from the PBS News Hour Special and can be found on

As you watch the first, think about the place EarthCare has in the pecking order of responsibilities God gives to us humans.  What does God expect of us?

As you watch the second, think about how plastic is a global problem.  What did you see that concerned you?  What did you see that gave you hope?

(4) Two groups in New Mexico are active in several EarthCare initiatives.

(Here are several challenges NMIPL is addressing (from EarthCare Team member Betsy Diaz and member of New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light).  Interfaith Power & Light is a national organization with the NM/El Paso IPL headed by Sister Joan Brown.  It currently is working to support the following environmental issues:

    1. small farmers and parts of the USA Farm Bill including food assistance programs and the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming included in that;
    2. planting of trees in burn scars and in communities especially short of trees to help water and air natural cycles, reduce increasing heat, and to provide green islands for community activities;
    3. support regenerative farming with workshops about healthy soil & composting techniques, as well as funding & support for work to obtain water for these farms;
    4. projects to reduce toxic emissions to protect health of people living in areas close to industries that produce them, to protect the finite supply of earth's air, & to reduce its effect in heating the earth's climate;
    5. support the public in considering the gift of earth's water by considering the earth's finite supply of water as sacred rather than as a commodity; 
    6. work with other environmental groups to support regional water planning & management, support regulations to keep NM's intermittently flowing waters clean & make sure that produced waters do not pollute them; &  
    7. two other areas of work are to reduce PFAs and increase accessibility for electrical vehicles.

If you would like to share a comment or participate in our monthly zoom meetings, please send a note to:  

An urgent call to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Loving God requires that we love and care for the creation God has made.
Loving our neighbor requires that we love and care for all our neighbors (two-legged, four-legged, winged, gilled, and pollinators), especially those who suffer most from climate change.


Past Reports and other resources:

Feb 2024 Earthcare Report 

2023 Earthcare Resource Packet
1. pdf Jump-starting Climate Change in Your Church (704 KB)
2. pdf Assessing the State of Climate Change (1.45 MB)
3. pdf Educational Resources (1.58 MB)
4. pdf Climate Change Groups to Connect WIth (1.01 MB)
5. pdf Advocating for Climate Change Legislation (776 KB)
6. pdf Climate Change Actions Any One of Us Can Take (904 KB)
7. pdf Other Resources (1.10 MB)

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Albuquerque, NM 87102-3633

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