In 2005, in celebration of its 125th year, the environmental unit of the diocese of New Westminster published a book-let called 125 Ways to Green Your Parish. This booklet has become a resource for Anglicans in British Columbia and the Yukon, to respond to one of the most urgent issues of our time: care for the earth. Then, in 2007, New Westminster passed a resolution calling on its 80 parishes to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and introducing programs to achieve them.
If you’re looking to green your parish, why not take a page from the New Westminster booklet? You’ll find it at www.greeningspirit.ca, along with other resources to help save the environment. Some of the suggestions are simple and inexpensive; others require planning. All are practical, measurable and achievable. Here’s a sample
- Place lamps in a corner against two walls, so light reflects off them. A simple trick for better illumination!
- Install a programmable thermostat or reduce the temperature manually when no one is in the building. Programmable thermostats are not expensive, and are easy to install.
- Purchase paper products (paper towel and toilet paper) that have a high recycled fibre content. The Kleercut campaign from Greenpeace can provide guidance: www.kleercut.net.
- Convert some of the church lawn into community garden plots for local residents. Use a plot for growing food for community meals.
- Save water by keeping a jug of drinking water in the fridge instead of running the tap until the water gets cool. Ω