Faith & the Common Good is continually creating guides and toolkits for use by faith communities. Scroll down for a variety of resources.
DOWNLOADS: Most items are downloadable. We do ask for your name and email address, for internal purposes. We do not share this information. If you are downloading resources for your faith community, we would appreciate you registering your faith community as part of our network.
PRINTED ITEMS: Some items have been printed and are available for purchase. There is a link to the order form and a price beside those items. Payment is via PayPal for printed items. You do not need a PayPal account.
Native Plant Garden Guide
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)
Energy Star® Action Workbook for Congregations
ENERGY STAR® and FCG have partnered up to release an Action Workbook for Congregations. This workbook is intended to serve as a planning guide for clergy, staff, and laypersons who want to increase the energy and water efficiency of their facilities by implementing realistic and cost-effective improvement projects.
“It’s essentially a one-stop-shop to help congregations plan and achieve their energy efficiency objectives from start to finish,” says David Patterson, FCG Energy Coordinator. “This workbook is a useful tool for all levels of expertise, and all project sizes and complexity as it covers the major components of any efficiency project. The workbook itself was developed by the EPA, an incredibly large and well-funded arm of the US government, and contains all of their knowledge, research, and best practices on energy efficiency for places of faith.”
Download PDF (3.7 MB)
DIY Walkthrough Audit
This easy-to-use 62-page guide is intended for decision-makers in faith communities who wish get to know how their buildings work and reduce the amount of energy they use in their buildings.
Energy audits of religious buildings show that 80 to 85 per cent of the energy used in places of worship is for heating and ventilation. Operators of religious buildings can take advantage of that finding to reduce their operating costs by making sure their heating and ventilating equipment is working as efficiently as possible, and by reducing heat loss from their facilities.
This guide discusses low or no-cost measures to give operators of religious buildings a range of options they can apply to reduce their energy bills while adding comfort and attractiveness to their facility. It includes a 14-page DIY energy audit.
Download PDF (3.9 MB)
Financing Options for Greening Your Sacred Space
TO BE UPDATED IN 2023
A brief overview of some options by which your faith community can finance energy audits, and proceed with retrofits. There are many types of potential funding for your project, provided by many different sources. Which ones you use will depend on your needs, your financial situation, and your eligibility.
Download PDF (263 kB)
Community Garden Guide
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.
Youth Voices Outreach Manual
A comprehensive manual on how to organize an inter-faith youth group. “This is not a typical manual. It wasn’t written by a famous author, or even a single author, but by members of the Sacred Water Circle (SWC), who collaboratively contributed to the words on these pages. This how-to-manual is based on our experience reaching out to young adults of different faiths and backgrounds to rally around a common cause.”
Download PDF (825 kB)
A Guide to Developing a ‘Green Team’ in Your Faith Community
Involve, organize, and motivate members of your faith community to take action towards eco-sustainability. This 14-page guidebook provides practical suggestions and steps for changes you could put in place to make your faith community a greener place. We know that talking about things is not the same as actually doing them; this guide will help you get things done by examining the processes and priorities to realize your green vision.
Overview of Contents
- The power of one
- Joining with others
- Developing a Green Team: Who should join, involving youth, and motivating people
- What does a Green Team do: Education, Advocacy, Facilitating Action, and Networking
Download PDF (598 kB)
Green Rule Study Guide
The Green Rule Study Guide offers suggestions for how you can use the Green Rule poster as an imaginative and practical tool to teach youth and adult members of your faith community and school system about the sacredness of creation in their own faith, while taking into consideration the similar beliefs of other faith traditions.
Faith and the Environment Toolkit
This toolkit has been created to empower and engage faith communities in building a safe, healthy and sustainable future. This inaugural edition of the toolkit focuses on three topics: water, biodiversity and food waste. We hope that it serves as a meaningful resource to educators, organizations, and others who are engaged in building healthy and sustainable communities. Community Environment Alliance, our Greening Sacred Spaces partner in Brampton, ON, created this guide in 2015 as part of their grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Download a PDF of the Toolkit (6.5 MB, 44 pages)
Extreme Weather Toolkit
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)