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Togetherness: As the weather gets wildly worse, ensure your survival by learning to love your neighbour
St James Town steering committee
St James Town local "Lighthouse Project" Steering Committee. Toronto, ON

Delighted to share some Toronto West End insights  about our extreme weather resilience hub project. Our Lighthouse Project is piloting how to create inclusive, community-driven extreme weather preparation hubs in Toronto, Hamilton & Brampton.

This excerpt is from Katrina Onstad's “Togetherness: As the weather gets wildly worse, ensure your survival by learning to love your neighbour” (Toronto West End Phoenix, November 2018, www.westendphoenix.com/november-2018-toronto-of-the-future)

Toronto is particularly susceptible to extreme weather disasters simply because it’s booming: the more concrete the city, the hotter the city. The urban heat-island effect is caused by tightly packed buildings and paved surfaces boxing in the heat. And when the rain comes, the lack of green spaces and growing number of impermeable surfaces mean there’s nowhere for water to go but into our ancient, overloaded pipes.

Anglican church wins top environmental award
Photo by Michael Hudson

St. Cuthbert, Leaside is an attractive red brick church, but in environmental circles it’s known by another colour — dark green. The church has won the Green Sacred Space Award for 2018, given to the most environmentally friendly place of worship in Toronto. It is only the second Anglican church in the city to receive the award since it was established in 2000.

“We’re delighted and pleased that our efforts are making a difference,” says Heather Conolly, a member of the church and its property coordinator. “We’re keepers of the world and we want to pass on to the next generation what was handed down to us.”

Read original blog post by the Diocese of Toronto…

GTHA Faith Community Energy Benchmarking Program

Faith & the Common Good recently launched an energy benchmarking program and Toronto Hydro and Enbridge Gas Distribution are assisting us in the City of Toronto. Hamilton, Halton, Peel, and York regions are also participating in this program.

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Current Projects in Toronto

Faith & the Common Good is encouraging faith groups to explore how to serve their communities by helping vulnerable members prepare for and cope with climate induced extreme weather impacts (ex. extreme heat, ice storms, flooding). Why is this work important? Extreme weather events are no longer once-in-100-year occurrences. The Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that claim payouts from severe weather have doubled every five to ten years since the 1980s. Municipalities and traditional emergency response actors are struggling to meet the overwhelming needs of simply maintaining critical infrastructure in the face of these unprecedented stresses.  Too frequently, our most...
Already Interested? Go directly to our Energy Benchmarking Form   Find out more about Our Energy Benchmarking Program Understanding your current energy use is the first step in reducing it. Launched in 2017, our Energy Benchmarking Program is helping faith communities take practical and economical climate action by lowering their energy use and emissions.  “Energy efficiency is the fastest, cheapest, and largest single resource solution for simultaneously saving energy, saving money, and preventing GHG emissions.” – Energy Star Action Workbook for Congregations, US EPA, 2017     Why Benchmark? 1. Supports stewardship of environmental and financial resources. 2. Allows you to...
We at Faith & the Common Good believe that the environmental crisis is, at its root, not merely a crisis of pollution and extinction, but a crisis of alienation and fragmentation, a crisis of the spirit. Only when we can work together and communicate meaningfully with one another at the heart and soul level can we hope to bring about the necessary changes required to live in peace, harmony, and health. Renewing the Sacred Balance requires fundamental reconciliation with the whole Earth community.  We cannot remain silent, nor remain isolated in our actions when so much of the world is...
Greening Sacred Spaces (GSS) is our longest-running program. A practical program, GSS assists faith communities with both the educational and spiritual dimensions of greening as well as the “how to” side of audits, retrofits, and generally reducing a faith community’s footprint. We have developed a number of resources to help faith groups become community leaders in working towards a more sustainable future for all. Click on the links below to find out more about our: videos and webinars, case studies, posters, guides, tip sheets, building audits, energy benchmarking, certification, awards  Visit your local chapter page or contact your local animator...

Resources

Native Plant Garden Guide

Native Plant Garden GuideNew in 2018! This guidebook is designed to help faith communities plan and maintain a successful native plant community garden. It was created by our Greening Sacred Spaces Toronto Chapter in 2018 with the assistance of the North American Native Plant Society.

 Download PDF (2.7 MB)

Extreme Weather Toolkit

extreme_weather_toolkit.jpg

This Extreme Weather Tool Kit will help your faith group think through the essential components of an extreme weather response plan. It is tailored for faith groups in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) who want to support their most vulnerable community members to better withstand extreme weather emergencies.

 Download PDF (3.5 MB)

Community Garden Presentation

Community Gardens ppt

This pdf document is a presentation for use with your faith community or garden team to kickstart or support your community garden program. It is a companion to the Edible Community Garden Guide.

 Download presentation (4.5 MB)

 Download one-page gardening group facilitation sheet (258 kB)

Community Garden Guide

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Greening Sacred Spaces has developed a community garden guide for faith communities creating a community food garden. This comprehensive how-to guide includes information on:

  • setting up a garden
  • forming a volunteer team
  • planting a garden, including depth and drainage, organic matter, container gardening, rooftop gardening, tools, and other options
  • maintaining a garden – weeding, watering, and pest control tips
  • harvesting the garden – picking, monitoring, and chronicling the crop, freezing and fermenting, storing and replenishing soil
  • a garden resource list

 Download PDF (1.8 MB)

See also the companion Community Garden Presentation.

Extreme Weather Resilience Case Studies

Solar Case Studies

The Neighbourhood Extreme Weather Resilience pilot project, completed in 2015, explored how Toronto’s diverse faith communities could be better utilized as local service centres to help vulnerable populations during extreme weather emergencies. These case studies give a sense of the potential of this work by providing a snapshot of the action plans and community partner engagement at each of the project’s faith pilot sites.

 Download PDF (4.05 MB)

The Green Rule Poster

The Green Rule

Faith & the Common Good derived the Green Rule poster from the classic Golden Rule found in major faith traditions.

“Do unto the Earth as you would have it do unto you.”

Each Green Rule was chosen from the great texts of the world’s major religions and spiritual philosophies. The texts all acknowledge the natural world as an essential phenomenon through which we may better come to know the divine and our oneness with it.

The Green Rule poster is approximately 22" x 28".

Order the Green Rule Poster ($15 folded; $20 rolled ON/QC; $25 Canada)

For bulk sales and international orders, email resources@faithcommongood.org to ask for a quote *before* placing order.

See also:

Green Rule study guide (orderable with poster)

How to use the Green Rule (PDF download)

Thank you to our Funders 

Green Awakening Network

Connect With Us

Toronto Animator:
Donna Lang
Email:
dlang@faithcommongood.org
Phone: (416) 481-1327

Please contact Donna Lang, Greening Sacred Spaces Toronto Animator, for more information, to get involved, or to request a presentation at your faith community.

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