St. Andrew is an Earth Care Congregation, committed to improving its relationship with nature and the quality of life of its inhabitants. This commitment involves attending to Environmental Stewardship, responsibly using and protecting the environment, using an inter-generational approach to educate and empower all ages in creating a healthy, just, and sustainable community at the intersection of ecological and social justice.
Traditionally, stewardship focused on raising finances for budgeted items. But stewardship also includes using collected money wisely. Congregation steps to conservation of energy is one way to use finances wisely. St. Andrew already implements some congregational education, conservation measures, as well as community involvement.
However, for St. Andrew to maintain focus on continued education, conservation and recycling, an occasional audit and discussion of these issues is useful. Although micro-generation of energy is not feasible for many churches, some steps can reduce of carbon emissions. While providing comfort for the congregation, some simple measures can prevent the overuse of energy in heating and cooling. These measures include tamper-proof thematic controls to prevent over heating, timer control to minimize overuse, and tailoring thermostat settings to the nature of the group using the building.
Energy consumption can also be reduced by installing energy saving light bulbs, placing “switch off” signs by light switches, using movement activated sensors to ensure lights are only used when they are needed, and making sure unused electrical appliances are turned off when not used.
In addition, containers can be arranged for collecting and separating recyclable goods in the office, kitchen and bathrooms. A focus on goods the church purchases can be selected because of a high proportion of recycled material, or because they can be repaired, recycled, or have a long operational life.
Building alterations and maintenance can consider the appropriateness of energy saving windows, skylights, or solar panels.
A periodic discussion of conservation and recycling needs in the church will help remind us of our commitment to Earth Care.