3. Action steps

This is an evolving program, and your suggestions on any aspect are most welcome. Please send them to The Rev. Tom Harries: TomH@env-steward.com.

The list of things you might do is nearly infinite. You may have creative ideas of your own, or find good ideas in other publications or websites. Feel free to incorporate them. Suggest a point value based on what you see here, and propose it to the Green Congregations contact person.

We have tried to take into account difficulty and value to the environment in assigning points for different action steps, but the numbers are still somewhat arbitrary. Again, we invite your suggestions.

Buildings and Grounds: up to 20 points per level

1

Purchase two or more units of green electricity per month

1

Inspect all faucets and fix all leaks.

1

Point downspouts away from paved surfaces.

2

Install LED (light emitting diode) exit signs.

2

Control direct sun through windows both summer and winter to limit and maximize heat gain respectively.

2

Install programmable thermostats.

2

Eliminate fertilizer use and reduce herbicide use on church lawns to one application per year or less.

2

Set up a rain barrel for lawn and garden watering.

2

Plant a vegetable garden.

2

Establish a butterfly garden.

2

Install a low flow toilet (up to 8 points for installing throughout).

2

Install moisture sensing controls for automatic sprinklers.

3

Install motion sensors for lights in rooms that are used infrequently. One point per room up to three points.

4

Annual tune up of heating and air conditioning systems.

5

Seal air leaks to the outdoors.

5

Do an electricity use audit.

5

Replace most (90%) of incandescent lights with fluorescent or LED (light emitting diode) lights.

5

Install ceiling fans in high ceiling areas.

5

Replace ¼ or more of lawn with flower garden, vegetable garden, or native plants.

6

Plant trees. One point per seedling, 2 points per sapling up to 6 points.

5

Replace gas mower with electric or reel mower.

4

Replace gas trimmer or leaf blower with electric or people powered.

10

Have a thermo-leak test of all facilities.

10

Increase insulation in outside walls.

10

Restore an area of natural habitat and obtain national wildlife fund certification as certified wildlife habitat.

15

Add insulating panes to stained glass windows.

15

Replace less efficient furnaces or hot water heaters before the old ones fail, for the sake of increased efficiency.

15

Increase insulation in roof or attic.

15

Install zoned heating, so that only areas in use are heated or cooled.

15

If starting a capital improvement project, use architects who are committed to sustainable design.

15

Install a rain garden.

20

Have a complete energy audit of all facilities.

20

Replace windows with higher efficiency ones. Two points per window up to 20 points.

20

Install solar panels.

20

Install a green roof.

30

Share your facility with another congregation with the intent that it be a long term arrangement.

Programs and Support: up to 10 points per level

½ - 5

Use cups and dishes that can be washed and re-used.
   ½ point per parish event or
    3 points if adopted for all coffee hours
    5 points if adopted for all events including coffee hours.

1

Turn off computer and monitors when not in use.

1

Reuse office paper as much as possible

1

Recycle office paper, bottles and cans.

1

Buy recycled office paper.

1

Buy recycled toner or ink cartridges.

1

Use eco-friendly cleaning supplies, soaps, and detergents.

3

Use and sell fair trade or shade grown coffee, olive oil, and chocolate.

1

Use organic or locally grown foods for meals at church (up to 3 points for 3 or more meals).

1

Compost yard waste and appropriate food waste. (An extra point for worm composting in the building :-)

1

Use recyclable glass containers for eternal candles (and recycle them).

2

Hold a walk, bike or transit to church Sunday (up to 6 points for 3 Sundays).

2

Use recycled paper products in office, kitchen and restrooms.

2

Establish a drop off point for Community Supported Agriculture at the church.

2

Have a meatless meal (up to 6 points for 3 or more meals).

2

Do not use disposable plastic water bottles.

2

A Green Tea, including mostly local foods and drinks.

2

Sustainable Harvest Potluck, each dish containing at least on locally grown or harvested ingredient.

3

Purchase energy efficient office equipment, energy star certified or better.

3-9

Zero waste church events, 3 points each up to 9 total.

5

Ensure proper recycling of used computers and monitors.

5

Collect and recycle toxic materials and Styrofoam for your community, if these services are not readily available in the community.

7

Change to e-newsletter for all those with ability to receive in that format.

 Community involvement: up to 15 points per level

1-4

Get media coverage for an environmental issue that concerns your congregation or for environmental spirituality activities at your congregation. One point per letter to the editor or ad.

2

Hands on conservation/restoration/cleanup work (2 points per event up to 6 per level).

5

Formally link with a local environmental group and contribute time and money to it’s work.

2

Contact elected representatives on environmental issues, more than once.

3

Participate in the Ten Tree Challenge: http://uuministryforearth.org/act_tentrees.htm

3

Use a socially responsible investment screen that includes environmental issues.

3

Distribute Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs with info on how to take the MN Energy Challenge.

5

Install and maintain a beehive.

5

Offer recycling collection point for reusable and recycled material with special emphasis on items not accepted by city recycling service.

10

Organize a community garden.

4

Adopt a Highway or similarly take responsibility for keeping a community area clean.

3

Stenciling of storm drains (to discourage oil and yard waste dumping)

3

Shoe recycling campaign.

2

Distribute cloth shopping bags.

3

Make LED lighbulbs available to members and community.

5

Distribute a book of information on green cleaning techniques to members and community.

5

Community Supported Agriculture: become a drop off site, or if one already exists nearby, help publicize it.

15

Community Supported Agriculture: Achieve 20% congregational participation in above.

Worship / Preaching: up to 6 points per level

1 point per creation care sermon.

2 points per Sunday that includes creation care themed music, prayers of the people, Eucharistic prayer, and sermon. These might be celebrated on Earth Day, near Rogation Days, near the Feast of St. Francis, or as part of a Creation Season.

See list on MEESC website if you need ideas for sermons or ideas for worship. Below are a few specific possibilities.

2

For each person baptized, plant a tree in the churchyard or community.

2

Suggest that church members contribute trees as a living memorial to loved ones who have died.

2

Become a congregation committed to celebrating God's Sabbath by taking time for rest, community building, enjoying God’s creation together, and giving rest to nature. Remember that the Sabbath is for all of creation, not just for human beings.

3

Create a series of banners for your church sanctuary that portrays creation themes. Display them often as reminders of our call to protect and heal the creation.

3

Produce an environmental awareness drama as part of a worship service.

Education: up to 4 points per level

1 point per hour.

See list on MEESC website if you need ideas for educational activities.

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