The 2022 New England Annual Conference passed a resolution encouraging all churches to report in and celebrate what they are doing to care for creation and fight climate change at their Church Conferences (RS-22-222).
Remember, your choices to be more energy efficient can help you save money, be more comfortable, lower emissions, reduce pollution and help reduce need to extend the single biggest moral challenge humans have ever faced. Thank you for doing your part.
- Turn off lights in unused rooms.
This has been implemented.
Change all your lighting to LED lights, which are lower emitters of heat, last 10x longer, and are cheaper than all other lighting.
This has been implemented.
- Replace holiday lights with LEDs.
This has been implemented for the most part.
Candles are lit with batteries.
The tree lights are built into the tree, but it is only lit one hour per week.
- Put outdoor lighting on motion sensors and make sure it aims downward. This saves money by only being used when needed. Lighting that aims down preserves night sky, is eco-friendly for all night creatures, and is safer as it reduces glare.
Our outdoor lighting is on timers rather than motion sensors.
They aim down on the walkways and parking lot. Only used for night/evening events.
The lights aim directly at the sign and not into the night sky.
The cross on the church has lights behind it and uses LED lighting.
Lighting uses LED lights.
- Install surge protectors and turn them off when not using office or worship Many of these items draw power constantly unless power strip is turned off or they are unplugged.
The surge protectors are turned off when not in use.
- Use church dishes/silverware or have church members bring their own utensils and re-usable plates, cups, and water bottles rather than throwing out This reduces destruction of trees for paper products. Even with recycling, most plastic ends up in landfills or oceans. Plastic, made from fossil fuels, is deadly to wildlife and not good for humans either.
This has not been implemented due to manpower issues for cleanup. We do not have a commercial dishwasher.
- Check out https://wnrdc.org/sites/default/files/issue-with-tissue-2021- This score card ranks paper products like paper towels, tissue, and toilet paper for those best for the environment. Many major brands are cutting down forest to make things we throw away. The score card by National Resource why those earning an “A” are better. Remember healthy forests fight climate change by absorbing Co2.
The toilet paper and paper towels are donated. We are not implementing this action at this time.
- Clean and replace air filters as recommended. This can cut energy use by 5%.
- Install programable thermostats to automatically adjust temperature. This only works if someone is assigned to adjust the program according to your actual schedule, so designate a person to monitor these weekly and change the clock Twice a year for daylight saving time. Name of person (s) handling this each week:
Programable thermostats are overseen by the Trustees.
- Calk and weatherstrip around doors and windows.
90% of church windows have been replaced with energy efficient windows.
The main doors into the church have been replaced with insulated metal doors.
The downstair windows will be replaced in the future.
There are currently storm windows on them and the caulking is secure.
The downstair doors have storm doors and weatherstripping.
- Add shades to windows to keep heat in or out depending on the season.
N/A – windows are designed to regulate temperature.
- Set your hot water thermostat to 120 degrees. It’s safer and cheaper.
It is an on-demand hot water heater set 120 degrees.
- If your water heater is 10 years old or older, wrap it in an insulating jacket.
N/A – we have an on-demand water heater.
- Plant native trees, bushes, and flowers. This helps preserve eco-systems that are under stress, reduces invasives, is pleasing to look at, and reduces lawn area and need to mow.
This has been implemented.
- Reach out to a local environmental group. Is there a project you can help them with? Could they use your building for meetings or an event?
To be evaluated.
- Use electric lawn equipment. It is quieter and MUCH less polluting. Use non- motorized equipment like rakes, shovels, etc.
Electric law mower is not practical for two and half acre lot.
We use non-motorized equipment as well.
- Use the resources on the Conference’s Creation Care webpage wneumc.org/creationcare We have created a QR code that takes people to the page. You can send the code out in your newsletters and post in your church or make it available at church events. It’s a great way to tell people about all the rebates that are available to everyone and the many services that are discounted or free based on income.
This will be added to our website.
- Get an energy audit. In many states, utilities provide these for free. Pursue rebates on what is recommended in the audit. See wneumc.org/creationcare for your state’s programs. Vt, NH, and MA have Interfaith Power and Light groups that help with costs.
An energy audit was completed five-year ago by the utilities company.
Recommendations were implemented at the time.
More advanced options:
- After getting an energy audit, air seal the church and/or parsonage first. This saves energy and costs: Why heat/cool the outside?
N/A – we have addressed the recommendations from the energy audit.
- Add insulation recommended by the energy audit.
Blown insulation was added in the late 1970’s.
- Add heat pumps for heating/cooling. Heat pumps use electricity that is generally less dependent on fossil fuel to generate. Lowers emissions.
We do not have a cooling system. So it is not applicable.
- Add a hot water heat pump. These dehumidify your basement as well as get you off fossil fuel.
- Look into solar— by adding panels to roof, yard or parking lot canopy or partnering with a solar company to purchase solar credits from elsewhere.
Not within our budget.
- Gas stoves are very polluting of indoor air. Gas appliances leak methane constantly from pipes and valves and give off pollution when in use. Consider an electric or induction stove when upgrading.
We are not going to upgrade our stove.
Energy Action Checklist for Local Churches
(NEAC Board of Church & Society Aug 2022)