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.
2020 was a surprising year to all to say the least.
“Lockdowns and social distancing” of the COVID 19 severely put a damper on the plans that the ministry had for the pollinator garden project. We were excited to add more native wildflowers to the garden but were able to add fewer than expected, due to plant shortages. Fortunately, our new and existing plants grew very well and provided quite an attraction. It was a good pollinator year for the bees and the butterflies whose activities were not at all affected by the virus.
Energy Benchmarking Program: Impact and Sustainability
by Donna Lang – September 24, 2020
Faith & the Common Good’s (FCG) three-year-long Energy Benchmarking Program for the GTHA has come to an end. As Project Manager and Toronto Animator for the program, I greatly enjoyed working with our team of talented animators from Halton/Oakville, Hamilton, and York Region. Together, we surpassed our target of 100 faith communities (FC) for the grant period 2017-2020, with 103 participating congregations.
As the strange summer of 2020 winds to a close, our Grow Team is looking back fondly on the work that we’ve accomplished, the seeds that we’ve sown, and the community that we’ve built together in the gardens at Eglinton-St. George’s United Church. Over the past weeks and months, our team has been hard at work in the soil at ESG, working to foster the growth of not only fruits, vegetables, and flowers, but also of our own connections to our church, our faith, and our God.
Faith buildings account for about 42% of a typical faith community’s carbon footprint, according to a Canadian National Inventory Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.* With over 27,000 faith communities in Canada, the faith sector can do a lot to lower emissions, starting from their places of worship. Doing so also encourages congregants to follow suit at home. Energy conservation and efficiency is an obvious way to immediately reduce emissions and make a real impact.
As a start, it is useful to track energy usage, because you can’t change what you don’t measure. Over the last three years, FCG has been supporting faith communities to do just that, through our Energy Benchmarking program for faith groups. Now that the program is drawing to an end, this wrap-up blog offers insights to help your faith group tackle next steps in retrofitting. We will end with tips from one participant of the program.
We share insights from our Building Audit Manager, Stephen Collette. Stephen is a sustainable building consultant, and a heritage professional specializing in faith community buildings. He blogs at http://www.yourhealthyhouse.ca
Understanding your current energy use is the first step in reducing it. Launched in 2017, our Energy Benchmarking Program is helping faith communities take practical and economical climate action by lowering their energy use and emissions.
The Energy Benchmarking program:
1. Supports stewardship of environmental and financial resources. 2. It allows you to target carbon consumption (buildings account for about 42% of a typical faith community’s carbon footprint). 3. Saves time and money, allowing you to target the lowest hanging fruit. 4. Assists future reporting requirements.
It’s harvest time in Toronto after a long and beautiful growing season. At Eglinton St. George’s United Church, we’re reminded of all the growth that has taken place in our community garden with each tomato that we pick and each leaf of lettuce that we pluck.
Parishioners practice waste reduction, composting and conservation. They welcome diverse members of the neighborhood and take care of the hungry and homeless through their numerous programs.
That’s why this inclusive, compassionate parish, situated in Toronto’s Danforth area since 1927, was selected by Faith & the Common Good (FCG) to receive a Green Sacred Spaces Award. This annual award recognizes faith groups that have achieved excellence in greening their places of worship as well as engaging the broader community in the care of the environment.