The front entrance to EarthConnection has a warm, welcoming new feature to greet visitors. A beautifully constructed green bench, weighing 158 pounds and made from recycled plastic bottle caps and lids, is the collaboration of the Sisters of Charity ministry and local Girl Scout Troops.
In September 2019, S. Caroljean Willie, S. Winnie Brubach and administrative assistant Sue DiTullio partnered with Green Tree Plastics’ ABC program to provide local Girl Scouts with an opportunity to become better stewards of our environment. The program requires participants to collect, wash and weigh 200 pounds of bottle caps and lids that will be recycled into a bench for others to enjoy. The program aligns perfectly with the mission of EarthConnection and offers a real-life example of sustainability as it engages all generations in recycling and giving back to the community. As its motto states: ‘Every cap or lid that goes into a bench does not go into the landfill. A win-win situation for all.’
Immediately after EarthConnection introduced its Bottle Caps to Benches program to the community, donations and participation poured in, and by spring S. Winnie, S. Cj and Sue had collected the 200 pounds of bottle caps and lids needed to make their first bench. Local Girl Scout troops and volunteers assisted with the washing, weighing and sorting of the bottle caps and lids. After a delay due to the pandemic, this month S. Winnie and Sue were able to make the trip to Green Tree Plastics in Evansville, Indiana, to pick up their bench. The bench has found its new home outside the front entrance of EarthConnection where participants and visitors can see what a difference recycling can make. It is their hope that the program will continue to grow and they will be able to collect enough caps/lids to make another bench and a picnic table to use as a teaching tool for visitors to EarthConnection.