Stewardship: Environment

Helping the environment can start right at church – or in your office or home – where a few changes can make a big difference. From getting an energy audit to cutting back on car usage to getting rid of those Styrofoam cups at coffee hour, here are some steps that will also save money!

  • Get an energy audit. Call your electrical service provider and ask for a free audit, which will include a check of your home or building and recommendations for ways to reduce your energy usage – and your energy costs.
  • Cut back on energy use. Set thermostats lower in the winter and higher in the summer, ESPECIALLY in rooms not being used. Caulk windows, add insulation, install weather stripping, use ceiling fans, close chimney vents when not in use, and seal any areas where air might escape. Use a timer on your hot water tank.
  • Plant trees to shade buildings in the summer.
  • Use a white roof, ridge vents, tinted glass, and light building color to reflect the sun and cut costs.
  • On a gorgeous day, open the windows and shut off the air conditioner!
  • Landscape with native plants. They need less water and are hardier in droughts. Use indoor plants to help purify the air.
  • Irrigate landscaping early in the morning or late at night, on days set by water restrictions. If you water in the hottest part of the day, most of the water will evaporate immediately – a waste of water and money!
  • Cut back on indoor water use by fixing leaky faucets, using low flow shower heads and toilet tank dams. Replace toilets with new models that use less water. These steps alone could save a homeowner almost half the cost of monthly water and sewer bills.
  • Consider alternative energy sources, such as solar energy. This is not science fiction any more – solar energy is excellent for heating water and providing some utilities.
  • Carpool or “Vanpool” to church or work. Drive a vehicle that is fuel efficient. Less gasoline usage means less costs.
  • Use china, cloth napkins and flatware instead of disposable plates, cups and dinnerware.
  • Replace regular light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs. The latter may be more expensive initially, but they last longer and use much less energy.
  • Buy energy efficient appliances. Front load washing machines are more efficient than top loaders. Refrigerators can be big energy users so make sure yours is well-maintained.
  • Recycle! Paper, newspapers, cans, and glass, aluminum and plastic containers can be recycled. Place bins in areas to make this task easier. Make sure hazardous wastes such as chemical containers and paint cans are disposed of in proper sites, available through city or county governments. Buy products that can be recycled.
  • Appoint an energy steward and environmental committee to bring greater awareness of energy and ecological problems, and to help your church and parishioners accomplish these goals. Lead a Bible study to discuss the roots of environmental stewardship.