The following are a variety of suggestions for more specific activities that religious communities can undertake to illustrate what our values signify in practice.
- Facilities: Conduct an energy audit of your building. This involves finding out via your energy bills how you use energy in your building and recording who uses it (i.e. what times of the day/year). You can then work out how to reduce what you are using. Examples of typical actions that religious communities can take include: changing lights and light fittings, installing timers on hot water units, sealing up drafts to keep heat in, and behavior change to reduce wastage i.e. turning lights off when not in use.
- Worship: Conduct a service of worship around the environment. This might include taking part in the celebration of Tu B’Shevat (the New year for Trees), Earth Day in April, the World Environment Day in June or around Saint Francis Feast in October. Resources can be found at: http://www.interfaithpowerandlight.org/clergy-corner
- Influencing Your Religious Community: Promote and provide resources for members of your religious community to take action in their own lives and outside of it. Examples include:
o A list of tips printed in communication channels.
o Participation in a Green, Stewardship or Environment Team (Contact us if you need assistance on starting a team in your religious community).
o Conducting or participating in a workshop which teaches and encourages people to make their lives more sustainable.
o Organizing a carpool to your house of worship or an Alternative Transportation Day.
o Encouraging the sharing of resources – an extra garden produce trade, register of items people are happy to lend, babysitting trading arrangement.
- Influencing Your Local Community: Conduct an event to demonstrate your religious community’s commitment to being a “green” community. This could include one of the following:
o Have a ‘Green Film Night’ (at CoIPL we have several new movies you can borrow).
o Hold a panel discussion or a presentation on creation care or climate change (contact us at CoIPL for speakers).
o Get your religious community involved with a community event on creation care or climate change.
o Organize a forum for the local community on an environmental issue.
o Conduct a letter writing night at your religious community (representatives in your district would like to hear your voice).
o Reduce, reuse, and recycle at your faith community, home, school, and place of work. Additional program information at JobsForThyNeighbor.org, www.ecocycle.org, and at your local city or county agencies. For Denver residents, visit www.denvergov.org/recycling.
- Green Products:
ShopIPL.org is an excellent place to purchase affordable, high quality energy efficient products. In addition, a portion of the proceeds goes back to Colorado Interfaith Power & Light.