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Published: Thursday, 10/4/2012 - Updated: 4 years ago

Zero-waste lunch in Sylvania celebrates the Feast of St. Francis

There were two lunch lines at the zero waste lunch event. There were two lunch lines at the zero waste lunch event.
THE BLADE/KELLY McLENDON Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Sustainability for future generations was one a main message during the Sylvania Franciscan Village Day.

About 100 people gathered today at Lourdes University's Franciscan Center for a zero-waste lunch to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who is the patron saint of animals and the environment.

Consisting of potato salad, chips, pumpkin cupcakes, and the choice of barbecued chicken or vegetables in a tortilla, the lunch was designed to be planet friendly, using as few packaging materials and utensils as possible.

In addition to providing reusable plates and compostable forks (made of rice), the Sylvania Franciscan Village also signed up for the services of Future Organics Inc., which will compost any leftover scraps. The company, which primarily provides collection and recycling services for food in the Midwest, will pick up any leftover waste next week.

Manda Rick, one of the volunteers who helped organize the village day, said she didn't expect that there would be that much to haul away.

“They really don't have even have that much scrap left over,” she said. “There's less than one garbage can full of trash. We truly should have almost zero waste.”

A composting station, as a well as a recycling station, were set up at the back of the center to allow visitors to properly dispose of any items they may have used.

Participants had the choice of either barbecued chicken or
vegetables in a tortilla at the zero waste luncheon. Participants had the choice of either barbecued chicken or vegetables in a tortilla at the zero waste luncheon.

Participants were also encouraged to bring their own cups, although compostable coffee cups and drink cups, were available for tea, lemonade, and apple cider.

Exploring the connection to nature was another theme of the event.

Jim Minesky, associate professor of environmental sciences for Lourdes University, spoke briefly about composting.

“We have a lot of things that can be composted,” he said, adding that while they were targeting to produce no waste from the luncheon, it "doesn't mean we're going to get to absolute zero.” As a trained ecologist, Mr. Minesky also discussed how one organism's waste may actually benefit another.

As part of the afternoon events, Village Day also included a showing of the documentary film, Sun Come Up, as well as a Mass service.

According to the its Web site, the Sylvania Franciscan Village is the purposeful expression of the Sylvania Franciscans and their sponsored ministries, formed to harness energies for the greater good and benefit of those who share the Franciscan mission.

The Sylvania Franciscan Village is more than a place; it is a new way of being together, according to the Web site which states that, with it deeply rooted in the values of St. Francis of Assisi, the Franciscan Village strives to create uncommon connections and multigenerational experiences; model an environment of peace, compassion, justice, reverence for all life; bring our resources to address needs wherever we serve and beyond, and continue to grow and bear fruit.

For more information about the village, visit

Contact Kelly McLendon at: or 419-206-0356 or on Twitter at @MyTownSylvania.

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