Ready, Set, Go Green!

Earth Day originated on college campuses in 1970 as a way to bring environmental issues to the national agenda.   Today, more churches and places of worship are joining the movement.  It’s a good fit spiritually and financially for churches to emphasize and act as a role model in caring for one of God’s greatest creation, the Earth.

Churches are going green in lots of ways.  Some are including energy-efficient features in construction projects, recycling printed materials, eliminating use of Styrofoam coffee cups, serving organic coffee and local foods, and opening community gardens, to name a few.

On a recent survey, PC(USA) congregations were asked about their environmental ministries.  Each was asked if it had a stewardship of creation, “earth care” or other “green” committee that focused on environmental issues.  While relatively few congregations (13%) reported having such a committee, those that do, focus their environmental energy in many ways.  One third of congregations with a committee that focuses on environmental issues celebrated Earth Day in 2010 (36%; compared to 9% overall).   Half are interested in becoming certified as Earth Care congregations (51%; 6%), and three in ten conducted an environmental project to make their facilities more “green” (29%; 5%).

Green

The full report can be found here.

Interested in making a difference?  Here are a few places to start:

Energystar.gov/congregations – Download educational and promotional materials that help motivate your congregation

National Council of Churches Eco Justice Programs – This site provides links to funding sources for people who are interested in finding ways to conserve energy but may not have the finances to do so.

CoolCongregations.com – Currently offering a contest to win prizes in categories of energy efficiency, renewable energy, grounds and water conservation, and helping congregants lower household energy use.  Take the challenge!