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Greening Sacred Spaces

Greening Sacred Spaces

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:

 
Visit your local chapter page or contact your local animator to find out about upcoming events in your area and to discuss your faith community's needs and how Faith & the Common Good: Greening Sacred Spaces can help.

Sign up for our local and/or national newsletter for program and event updates.

Current Projects

Across the country, United Churches are doing their part to address the climate crisis by getting their own house in order by working to reduce their own carbon emissions. Through a partnership with Faith & the Common Good, the United Church of Canada is offering grants and support for churches to measure their energy use and reduce their climate pollution, in ways that save money and strengthen congregational renewal. The United Church is committing to reducing its carbon emissions by 80% by 2030, in line with the Paris Climate Targets. With an initial focus on buildings – the church’s largest...
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Energy Benchmarking Program: Project Completed “You can’t change what you don’t measure.” – Understanding your energy use is the first step in reducing it. Why Benchmark? Supports stewardship of environmental and financial resources. Allows you to target carbon consumption (buildings account for about 42% of a typical faith community’s carbon footprint). Saves time and money, allowing you to target lowest hanging fruit. Assists future reporting requirements.  Launched in 2017 and completed in 2020, Faith & the Common Good’s Energy Benchmarking Program helped over 100 faith communities from across the GTHA take their first steps towards...
Invest in Spirited Climate Action: Greening Sacred Spaces

Great Canadian Giving Challenge. Fundraiser. Greening Sacred Spaces. Resource Updates.

Energy Efficiency at Eglinton St. George's United Church

Energy efficiency work pays forward for Eglinton St. Georges’ United Church at no cost!

Eglinton St. George's United (ESG Toronto) received $50,700 funding this summer, in order to improve energy efficiency at their building. The total cost of the project was paid for by the funds received. The project is part of an 18-year ongoing greening journey at ESG.  

View More Blog Posts

Resources

Ottawa Faith-Building Energy Benchmarking Program

The Energy Benchmarking Program (EBP) is a free program that helps faith communities to take practical and cost-effective climate action by raising awareness and understanding their buildings' energy use and emissions. The EBP uses the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, an energy management tool, to display energy costs & usage. It shows a baseline energy use and identify areas for improvement over a 3 year period. Every year, participants receive an annual report detailing their energy consumption and changes over time.

These case studies tell the stories of 10 participants on Ottawa from 2019-2022 with GSS Ottawa.

Click here to read more!

Action Workbook for Congregations: Faith & the Common Good partners with EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program

Webinar: Geothermal Energy

Recorded May 23, 2019

Archdeacon Michael Patterson and parishioner Mac Morrison of Anglican Church of the Incarnation (Oakville, ON) share their faith community's journey from needing to replace their HVAC system to deciding to go bold and implement a geothermal system instead.

Watch the free webinar to learn more about how the Anglican Church of the Incarnation went Geothermal:

Download options include:

  • Entire webinar
  • Individual pdf presentations:

Download Webinar to your desktop (50 minutes)

 Download Geothermal Presentation

Greening Sacred Spaces DVD

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Created in 2008, this engaging and instructive 5-part DVD highlights different aspects of the Greening Sacred Spaces program.

The first part is a 12-minute segment, Reasons to Green, offering insightful interviews with faith leaders from eight religious traditions on why people of faith need to address the ecological crisis and how their faith communities are responding.

The Renewing the Sacred Balance section offers stories of how people from different faith traditions are working to change their ways of life to be more ecologically sustainable.

The Greening Sacred Spaces section, in both an 18 minute and 5 minute version, point to a variety of ways that faith communities have begun to green their buildings. These are divided into light, medium, and deep green options.

The final section, Audits, provides a 5-minute tour of how a professional auditor conducts an energy audit of your religious building.

 Order the Greening Sacred Spaces DVD($12)

Steps to Greening

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Steps to Greening is intended to give you and your faith community a quick overview of what is possible as you plan to green your sacred spaces and a ‘path’ to follow.

 Download PDF (1 page)

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".

See also:

Green Rule study guide (orderable with poster)

How to use the Green Rule (PDF download)

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