"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.
Our Greening Sacred Spaces Certification Program Gets an Update Just in Time for Earth Day!
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”
- Genesis 2:15
Earth Day is an annual event where we step back, acknowledge local and global environmental protection efforts, and show our love for our common home. Many people celebrate this day by enjoying the great outdoors or sharing memorable photos of trips, encapsulating Earth’s breathtaking landscapes. This year’s Earth Day theme is ‘Invest in our Planet’ because the state and health of our shared home are under extreme threat. What used to be well-functioning ecosystems, providing us with services are becoming degraded, losing their integrity, or quickly disappearing.
In this guest post, Brad Lennon and Elizabeth Nyburg of Christ Church, Toronto, share their experience participating in FCG’s Green Audit of their faith buildings. This is FCG’s first walkthrough Green Audit since the pandemic began.
Key words: Green Audit. Energy Conservation. Faith.
Climate Action Team on the Green Audit Tour of the Church
Our Climate Action committee at Christ Church Deer Park Anglican in midtown Toronto began its work about eight years ago. It has sought to promote climate-friendly actions by its parishioners in their own homes and to reduce the environmental footprint of the church buildings and the groups that meet there.
We had already worked through a diocesan checklist on Creation Care about how we might reduce our buildings’ carbon consumption and output and to boost their energy efficiency.
Through that self-audit we had discovered new opportunities for initiatives for recycling and waste reduction. In collaboration with Faith and the Common Good’s Energy Benchmarking program, we had also recognized what our Director of Parish Operations, our buildings’ staff, and our volunteers in the kitchen and elsewhere had already accomplished. For example, we were already using reusable dishes and silverware and had reduced much of our lighting to higher-efficiency LED bulbs.
We found ourselves in the middle ranking of the other congregations and worship groups that had also participated in the Benchmarking Studies. We had worked with the Property Committee to evaluate our heating system and alternatives to our gas boilers. Our Climate Action group and our Property Committee wondered what further steps we might take through retrofitting to improve our standing from where we already were.
We had secured funding several years ago to obtain the consulting services of a building specialist to enable us to be better informed in our decisions about managing upgrades.
We returned once again to Faith and the Common Good to do their comprehensive environmental and energy audit. It involved a day-long walk-through with Certified Building Biology Environmental Consultant Stephen Collette.