St. Peter's Green Team builds on Back 2 the Tap success for July 5 art show

June 24, 2014

Green Team members of St. Peter's Church in Lewes plan to make an environmental splash again at the annual parish art show, scheduled for Saturday, July 5, when they return to the event to raise community consciousness about conservation of Earth's most precious resource - water. The project, Back 2 the Tap, goes back five years.

In September 2008, Fr. Jeffrey Ross, rector at St. Peter’s in Lewes, invited members of his parish to meet and determine if there was enough interest to form an Environmental Committee. The common bond was the environment, and most members had something specific that was of particular interest, so the committee made a wish list of things members wanted to see happen at St. Peter’s or in homes and communities.

In 2011, committee member Kit Zak purchased the award-winning documentary film “FLOW” - For Love of Water, which focuses on what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st century. The opportunity to share the film with the parish and public came in July 2013 as part of the St. Peter's Summer Spirituality Series. At the film’s conclusion, the attendees broke into small groups to discuss what they could do to make a difference in the way the world’s water is being used, distributed and controlled by large corporations.  A major concern is the impact bottled water is having on the world in general and the United States in particular.

The concern hit close to home when members learned that approximately 1,000 bottles of water were either sold or given away at St. Peter’s 46th Art Show in 2012. In 2013, St. Peter's Environmental Committee members came up with a plan, dubbed Back 2 the Tap, to persuade bottled water drinkers to moderate their impact on the environment: they offered free city tap water to anyone who wanted it. If they needed a container, reusable, 22-ounce recyclable bottles were for sale for $1, the same price as the commercially bottled water.   Lewes merchants provided the funds for the recyclable, BPA-free bottles. Volunteers stockpiled ice from the kitchen ice machine, borrowed coolers, put together educational displays, crossed their fingers, prayed for good weather and waited to see if people would buy into the idea of free city water as compared to buying bottled water.

The effort was a resounding success. Of the 1,000 bottles of water sold at the 2013 show, 650 were the reusable ones offered by St. Peter's Green Team. Chair Diane Wilson said, “We say thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make Back 2 the Tap such a success and give us the thrill of having a five-year-old wish come true.”  Look for Back 2 the Tap II at the 2014 art show.