Posted by: tedgar110 | August 5, 2008

Stories to live by

A week or so ago, the NCC Ecojustice program sent out a request to individuals and communities asking them to share the ways that they are reducing their energy bills as well as their energy use in an effort to save a little money and protect God’s creation by reducing their carbon foot printprint. We received hundreds of submissions and wanted to share a few with you as they are both inspiring and troubling. While they are wonderful examples examples of how each of us can tread a bit more lightly on this planet we have been blessed with, they are also very telling of the struggles that many Americans are facing due to our unsustainable energy systems.

Thanks to those who shared their stories. They have been inspiring for me and i hope they for others in the Eco-Justice community!

Story #1 – what churches are doing for others

The Fellowship that I attend has been collecting money donations for a local food pantry for years. Recently, we decided to collect funds for compact fluorescent lightbulbs as well. The food pantry was delighted to receive these donated items. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) are 70% more efficent than “regular” incandescent lightbulbs. Using CFLs will decrease the electricity used by people in need, potentially decreasing the carbon dioxide emitted by the coal-fired power plants in their area.

It can lower their electric bills, allowing them to use precious funds for other necessities.

Story #2 – what churches are doing for themselves

-We recently put in new windows in our 1960 and 1970 buildings.

– We have a set of city recycling trailers at our church and recycle whatever we can to save on garbage pick up.

– All of the heating and AC are on timers, as well as the outdoor lights.

– We have almost completed changing all of our lights over to florescent bulbs.

– In the summer, we close off unused classrooms and spaces.

– We are supposed to report ANY dripping faucets or leaks we see so they are repaired quickly.

– We have been planting trees and creating self-sustaining landscapes.

Our sprinkler system is on timers to prevent over watering.

Our sanctuary is extremely inefficient in every way….we are starting to work on that, but it was built in the 70’s, the ceiling peak is 60 ft. high and the lights, sound, and heating/AC are archaic to say the least. If anyone has good ideas, sure would like to hear them!

Story #3 – What parishoners are doing for themselves


1) Sold my car & not gotten another one.

2) Switched to green light bulbs.

3) Buy only organic and often locally grown food at the food coop.

4) Buy some items at green businesses and local businesses.

5) Only use oxygen bleach and other Earth friendly cleaners.

6) Wash my laundry about once every 2-3 months.

7) Reuse plastic bags many times over.

8)  Rarely heat my bedroom and hallway in cold weather.

9) Adjust window shades according to daily weather.

10) Use space heating -close or open outer and inner doors and windows to

help maintain temps.

11) Only use fans, not air conditioners, as needed.

12) Use reduced flow shower head.

13) Do not travel long distances.

14) Recycle practically everything.

15) Green fiber insulation in house.

16) Compost.

17) Do not use dish washer.

18) Use only a cell phone-leave it at home-do not use it often-got rid at recycling center my “land” phone and answering machine.

19) Unplug everything except refridg and stove when not in use.

20) Maybe other things.


Story #4 – A new idea for churches

Our household has solar electric, installed after replacing all major appliances for the most efficient ones we could afford. We bought a Prius in 2002 and get 45 or more miles per gallon. We are fortunate to live in a community with many bike lanes, so do many of our errands by bicycle if not on foot. We shop at Farmers’ Markets or nearby markets for food we don’t grow.

Our Quaker meeting does not own its meeting place, but began a “Dime-a-saur” program some years ago, encouraging members to donate 10 cents per gallon equivalent of energy used. The resulting funds subsidized free CFLs and later steel water bottles to replace plastic single use bottles. Displays, some handouts, and a website offer education to our Meeting on home and transportation energy use, energy issues related to agriculture and transport of food, water issues.







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