As Canadians, when it comes to actions we can take to protect the climate, we automatically think about energy conservation. We head over to the local hardware store for some caulking, insulation, a new Energy Star window etc., to fix up our buildings that will in turn, help lower maintenance costs, save energy, and save the planet.
But that only works if you live in a city or close to a large hardware store. Have you thought about how difficult it is to get an energy audit for a fishing port village church on a remote coast of Newfoundland, with the nearest energy auditor over three hours away? Have you though about trying to fly in new windows and doors to a remote northern Manitoba reserve’s church without any being damaged?
A guest post by Doug Daley, Greening Initiatives Lead & Don Atkinson, Past Chair (St. Paul’s United Church, Orillia).
When Rev. Ted Reeve joined St. Paul’s United Church in 2014 as our new minister, the congregation was looking for opportunities to increase the use of the 150-year-old building.
With input from Rev. Bill Phipps, a very close collaborator of Rev. Reeve’s on numerous initiatives, a vision to “turn ourselves inside out for the benefit of the community” as the friends described it, was adopted.
At Faith & the Common Good (FCG), our ongoing commitment is to provide tools and resources that enable faith communities to improve their carbon footprint and be more sustainable in their places of worship. To this end, we look for opportunities and partnerships that further this goal.
For example, along with our DIY Energy Audit Guide, we use the USA’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® resources, such as the Portfolio Manager software to help faith communities better understand their energy consumption patterns and empower them in making educated decisions on how to become more energy efficient. We are excited about our latest partnership with ENERGY STAR®.
St. Mark’s United Anglican Church. Photo Credit, Nancy Harvey.
Thanks to Neil Dunning, St. Mark’s Anglican, for this report on our Green Audit. The report has been edited for this blog.
St. Mark’s, Brantford, hosted an interfaith “Greening Sacred Spaces” workshop in partnership with Faith and the Common Good on October 1, 2016. This workshop was in response to a “green audit” performed by staff from the Greening Sacred Spaces program run by Faith & the Common Good. All faith groups with buildings in Brantford and area were invited, as well as Anglicans across the dioceses of Huron and Niagara. The goal was to share our green audit results and our response to the audit with participants, and for all of us to be able to learn from our panel of contractors who came for the morning.