From soft drinks to savings

The welcome absence of the soda machine.

This is an unusual picture – one of nothing. An empty stretch of carpet, some bare wall, and an unused electrical socket. Why is this a good thing for our congregation and the environment? Well, what’s interesting here is what’s not there, and the answer to that is our old soda machine. For at least ten years, there had been a standard soda machine in this spot – pay your 50 cents or dollar, and choose a cold drink.

At some point in the past, someone thought it would be a good idea to raise money for the youth groups, and so had a machine brought in. Except that it never really succeeded as a fundraiser. There is not a lot of traffic along this hallway most of the time (with a staff of three during the week, the purchasing pool was small) and much of the soda purchased ended up going out of date and being wasted. More importantly, the soda machine was always plugged in – to keep them cold, soda machines are really refrigerators in disguise, and not particularly efficient ones, at that.

Quite a bit of money, and energy, were wasted just keeping this little-used machine operating. So, last fall, we finally decided to get rid of it, and it’s gone. No more power drained, no wasted soda (plus bottles, of course), and some available space. At the moment, we’re using that area to store food for a drive to support our local pantry, but are planning to convert it into a display and information area for environmental stewardship issues, causes, and opportunities.

This Cool Congregations story was submitted by Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Kingston, PA

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