Chakra Announcements

Eco-Responsible Prasada Distribution - a Positive Alternative

by Lilasuka dasi

Posted January 23, 2007

I am so happy to see some environmental issues being discussed amongst the devotee community. It is an issue for everyone in the world wherever you are. The saying "Think Globally, Act Locally" is particularly applicable at this time in history. We all affect each other and we each make a difference, everyday.

Recognizing a need for change, I have heard from a very reliable source that the GBC made a resolution in the early 1990's that no ISKCON center should use Styrofoam. In the late 1980's even McDonalds made the same decision, so we were not far behind - now it is a matter of commitment and implementation. After the use of leaves for prasada serve out, certainly washable plates is the most cost effect, responsible and smartest option, however for large scale prasada distribution like on campus, events away from the temple or for larger congregations it can be impractical. A great alternative to foam and virgin paper made from trees are products made from Bagasse (sugar cane fiber). It is completely compostable, no trees are cut down to make these, as a matter of fact, Bagasse is a post- industrial waste. After the sugar is pressed the fibrous pulp, rather than being burned or land filled is made into these plates, cups, bowls and other food service containers.

Two years ago Saranam dasi started a company, FULL CIRCLE Industries based in N.C., USA, to make these products accessible to the devotee community at wholesale cost. FULL CIRCLE also carries utensils made from potato starch. All of these are compostable so if you want to compost the left over prasada right along with the plate you can!

Consumption can be looked at in 3 basic parts - the making of a product, the use and the disposal. These compostable plates are one such example that gets 2 out of 3 points even if you don't compost them. Being made from a natural renewable source they are considered Bhumi friendly. When you eat off of them there are no carcinogens released into your food or drink as there is with foam or plastic, no food grade wax made from petroleum either. Then in the disposal, if you can compost GREAT! If not, well 2 out of 3 are covered and you are setting an important example that devotees practice what we preach, care and concern for our Mother, while leaving a lighter footprint for future generations.

If you are interested in these products for your temple or place of business e-mail leela@FullCirclePlanet.com, call +1-644-0603, or visit www.fullcircleplanet.com/. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you to make ISKCON a leader in protecting Mother Earth.

We can ship larger quantities any where in the world.