The Earth Keeper Initiative, an interreligious environmental organization that includes the ELCA Northern Great Lakes Synod, won the 2006 Lake Superior Binational Program’s Environmental Stewardship Award.
|Thomas A. Skrenes, bishop of the ELCA Northern Great Lakes Synod, unloads a computer monitor while volunteering at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Ishpeming, Mich. The second annual Earth Keeper Clean Sweep in April garnered 320 tons of electronic waste at 27 collection sites.|
One of three winners in the U.S. community group category, the initiative was recognized for organizing “clean sweep” collections of hazardous household materials at sites in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (June, "Congregations clean up
"). The effort keeps herbicides, pesticides, car batteries, drain cleaners, antifreeze, paints, computers and mobile phones out of landfills and prevents mercury and lead from leeching into water supplies.
“Lake Superior is a world-class treasure, and the people of our area in the faith communities show their affection for this father of waters by protecting it,” said Thomas A. Skrenes, synod bishop. “This award is a sign that the nation recognizes this work and will support us together as we work to improve our quality of life.”