This year Trinity will join with thousands of other United Methodist congregations across the U.S. to make Palm Sunday a little greener. We have purchased our palms from Eco-Palms, a project supported by United Methodist Committee on Relief, Lutheran World Relief, and Presbyterian Church USA Enough for Everyone Program.
Eco-Palms are sustainably grown and harvested in Guatemala and Mexico. All of the harvesting communities either have or are in the process of obtaining an outside sustainable certification from SmartWood, a division of Rainforest Alliance. Eco-Palms are harvested in sustainable way that minimizes the impact on the natural forest and helps to protect the environment. Harvesters are trained to gather only quality palm fronds which allow the plant to keep growing. The palms are then brought to a community processing building, where the palms are processed and packaged for export. By processing the palms themselves, these communities keep more of the profits.
When we raise our branches this year, we play an important role in protecting forests, local jobs, and sustainable livelihoods in harvesting communities.