A major component of the Climate Witness Project is to empower congregations to do their part to help the U.S. and Canada achieve the promises they made in Paris. Both countries have made significant promises, and it will take a lot of work to meet them. Part of that work will be through effective advocacy for public policies that will help each country reach its target emissions goals.
Another crucial part of helping the U.S. and Canada meet their targets will be to do everything we can to reduce our own energy use. To that end, the Climate Witness Project is committed to walking with congregations as they increase their energy efficiency and decrease their emissions. Congregations all over the U.S. and Canada are changing out light bulbs, installing programmable thermostats, putting light sensors in their restrooms, replacing old and drafty windows, and even installing solar panels and geothermal systems.
Making sure that our facilities are energy efficient not only contributes to the achievement of the Paris Agreement targets but is also an act of faithfulness. God has given us resources, both natural and financial, and energy efficiency enables us to conserve both wisely and respectfully. When we are using energy efficiently, precious natural resources are conserved, and financial resources can be redirected toward other ministries of the church.
The Climate Witness Project is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help congregations improve their energy efficiency and to track their progress over time. Some of our congregations are just getting started, and some are only a few steps away from achieving Energy Star certification. No matter how much or how little your congregation has done to improve its energy efficiency to date, you can be a part of the movement.
Contact us to find out how your congregation can get involved! And be sure to check out the resources below to help you get started:
Henry Brouwer, one of the Climate Witness Project's regional organizers, has developed a guide to help churches reduce their impace on creation by lowering energy consumed. The guide includes ideas for reducing facility and operating expenses as well as tips for implementation in your church. Download the guide!
Want to help your congregation become more energy efficient, but aren’t sure where to start? Check out this quick and easy guide from our partners at Energy Star for taking the first steps.
Curious what your lifestyle’s carbon footprint is? Take this interactive inventory from the Global Footprint Network to learn how much carbon it takes to fuel your lifestyle and to get helpful tips on how to reduce!
While it is always preferable to reduce our emissions, sometimes it just isn’t possible. For such circumstances, carbon offsets can be a great way to account for our use of fossil fuels. Climate Stewards, an offshoot of our partner A Rocha, is a trusted choice for helping you offset your carbon use. By funding projects like forest conservation in Ghana and Mexico and fuel-efficient cookstove projects in Kenya, Climate Stewards is avoiding emissions from carbon intensive activities in the developing world and is preserving indigenous forests that play a crucial role in absorbing and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. The organization also offers a clear explanation of how the pricing is calculated so that you know exactly how your carbon offsets were determined. Offset a flight, your daily commute, or even your entire lifestyle with Climate Stewards!