How Churches can “Go Green” – being good stewards to creation

The Arizona Ecumenical Council is compiling a list of churches who have “Gone Green” through various programs, hiking, camping and gardening clubs and more. One church we know of is Papago Buttes Church of the Brethren in Scottsdale who have even dedicated a special website for these issues. Check it out at

Send a reply email to let us know what your church, neighborhood or organization is doing. Make sure to send along website links, too!

Encourage Your Parish to be Good Stewards

As evidence of global warming has mounted, congregations across the US are examining their habits and asking what their faith demands of them in
response.  Here are a few ideas from parishes to help your parish be a good steward.

  • Include an "Eco-Tip of the Week" section in your bulletin. Concentrate on a certain topic each month such as water, heating, or travel.
  • Provide additional educational resources on green energy when possible. If your parish has an active website, consider posting the information there to reduce paper.
  • Host a forum on "Environmental Stewardship." This could include planting a tree
    in celebration of Earth, Arbor, or World Environment Day. Or consider showing the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" followed by a question and answer session. Be creative!
  • Coordinate a "Bag It" event after Mass to clean up litter around the parish
    Encourage kids to help coordinate the effort!
  • Provide an opportunity for parishioners to sign up to become active in a legislative advocacy effort specifically related to climate issues.
  • Network with parishes who have been successful in their sustainability efforts.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) where possible; dust all the other lights, and install automatic shut-off switches in rest rooms.
  • Start composting! Add coffee grounds and filters, leaves and grass clippings.
  • Caulk or repair places where outside air leaks into buildings; weather strip all doors.
  • Place trash and recycling receptacles outside the school/parish/gymnasium doors to reduce litter.
  • Generously add or increase building insulation, especially in the roof.
  • Cover stained-glass windows with UV-filtering storm windows for insulation and damage-protection, and to protect the lead from being destroyed by ultra-violet sunlight rays.
  • Tune-up and service all heating and cooling units for optimal efficiency.
  • Convert all thermostats to time-controlled setback units to reduce heating and cooling expenses.
  • Plant trees for natural shade and to improve air quality. Use captured rain water for outdoor gardens and cemeteries.
  • Is your parish or school renovating old or building new facilities? Consider sustainable energy sources.  Look into rebate programs to save money and reduce use of therms and energy.

This article appeared in the March 2008 issue of "Love Thy Neighbor" by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

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