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Eco-friendly palms have many benefits

Churches around the country will be trying an eco-friendly approach to Palm Sunday this weekend.

According to the Minnesota Daily, the Eco-Palms program is a partnership between the University of Minnesota, private companies, churches and government agencies in Guatemala and Mexico.

Dan Current, director of the University's Center of Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management, said the eco-friendly palms reduce wastes and help benefit the communities where they are grown an harvested.

About 50 percent of non-eco-friendly palms are discarded, but by harvesting only the quality palms lowers the number down to about 10 percent, Current said.

An estimated 30 to 50 churches in the Twin Cities will be using the eco-friendly palms this year.

The eco-friendly palms only make up about 2 percent of the market.

The palms are an important to the communities where they are grown because they are a renewable resource and provide jobs for women and children.

Current hopes that the palms can also be marketed for weddings and funerals because of their benefits and aesthetic value in floral designs.