The Green Team is a newly formed group that is working toward having AUCC certified as a Creation Justice Church while we do our part to work for environmental justice. Good news: we have already taken many steps toward reducing our carbon footprint and reducing the amount of trash we create – and all of this will save us money.
Here are some things the church has done even before the Green Team was created. Thanks John Rogers for this list, and for implementing many of these:
- Replaced incandescent lighting with high efficiency fluorescent and LED lamps.
- Replaced 50% oil burning furnaces with 96 % efficient natural gas (2 Units). We still need to replace a 50% efficiency oil furnace.
- Insulated the ceiling above the Pastors office.
- Added motion sensor for lights in the office and maintenance areas for safety and efficiency.
- Remove some grass and water sprinklers to save on water usage.
- Added LED lighting to the Emergency Exit Lighting.
- Replaced dated broken water heaters with high efficiency natural gas units.
- Changed the Day Center lease to make them more responsible for energy and water usage by having them pay for a higher percentage of the church billing.
- Planted native species that do not need watering at the back of the church near the entrance to the choir room. They will provide habitat and food for native birds, bees, and other bugs above and below the soil.
So far, the Green Team has provided water and reusable plates, cups, and silverware for the Worship in the Park service. We kept our trash for that event to 1 large garbage bag. Although we didn’t do a scientific analysis, we can confidently say that we reduced the amount of trash created at Worship in the Park by at least 2 large trash bags.
We also introduced the use of mugs at coffee hour, instead of using single use ‘paper’ cups. These single use cups have some plastic in them, so they can’t be composted or recycled. Although it was light attendance at coffee hour that Sunday, we reduced our trash for that day by at least 25 cups. Cleanup was fast and easy. We would like to continue to use reusable plates, cups, and silverware during coffee hour. It will take a little more set up and cleanup time, but it will save us money by not purchasing disposable plates, cups, and silverware.
What you can do to help make us a greener church:
Bring your own reusable mug to church for coffee hour. If you are really feeling green, bring your own plate and utensils and that will make cleanup go even faster.
Volunteer to help with setting out dishes before and/or washing dishes after coffee hour. The old dishwasher may look intimidating, but it is fast and easy to use. We will give tutorials on how to use it.
Join the Green Team and/or give us your ideas! We meet the 3rd Sunday after church
For information, you can read more about UCC Environmental Ministries here: https://www.ucc.org/environmental-ministries
Economic and environmental justice are linked:
From the church’s Green Team, below is a link to an article that we thought the congregation might find interesting. The article addresses how climate change impacts the poor.