"Do unto the Earth as you would have it do unto you."
Our religions and spiritual philosophies teach us to care for the earth.
Join us in living out this Green Rule by greening our communities, helping our neighbours and healing our planet together.
“In this Easter season of renewal, let us pledge to love and esteem the beautiful gift of the earth, our common home, and to care for all members of our human family.”
Pope Francis, Earth Day 2020
At a crossroads for restoring our common home
The growing signs of springtime wonder can help renew us as we deal with this third wave of the pandemic. Our own health and wellbeing is deeply interconnected with the health and wellbeing of others and our common planetary home. Yet inequalities are deepening as climate change, the pandemic and vaccine shortage continue to disproportionately affect the poor and vulnerable.
The pandemic has not put climate change on hold. Earlier this month NOAA reported that greenhouse gas emissions surged in 2020 despite pandemic shutdowns. Carbon dioxide reached a level last seen on earth around 3.6 million years ago when sea levels were about 78 feet higher and large forests grew in the Arctic.
McClure United Church in Saskatoon is shining new light on its congregation.
“The choir in particular appreciates being able to see the music and words the way the composer intended,” chuckles Angie Bugg, when she tells me about the lighting improvements in the church sanctuary.
A board member of the property committee, and a mechanical engineer herself, Angie says that replacing their fussy lighting system (from the late 1980s) and transitioning to energy efficient LED lighting has made a big difference.
“LED lighting is so much more efficient than any of the other kinds of lighting that we have,” she says. “It’s worth upgrading the lighting of any space that is used even just a little bit to LED. You know you’ll get a good payback on it.”
New Energy Efficiency Grant Available for Faith Communities in Alberta
The Alberta government has released the Energy Savings for Businesses (ESB), a new energy savings grant program that includes nonprofits and cooperatives. The great news is that faith communities qualify for this funding opportunity.
The ESB grant allows each participant to access up to $250,000 per building. An à la carte menu of eligible items indicates what percentage of the costs per item the grant covers.
Some examples of items that can have 25% of the costs covered include qualifying LED fixtures, lighting controls, and solar photovoltaic installations.
Qualifying Energy Star boilers and furnaces, and air source heat pumps can have up to 50% of the costs paid for by the grant. As well, you can access 50% of the grant for the costs of increasing your insulation to meet the standard outlined, or for installing new Energy Star windows.