Our facilities will be managed, maintained and upgraded in a manner that respects and cherishes all creation, human and non-human, while meeting equitably the needs of all people.
– from the Presbyterian Church(USA) Earth Care Pledge
Many church facilities, ours included, were built at a time when energy was relatively inexpensive and we had less understanding of carbon footprints or how energy consumption, open spaces and trees affect the larger environment.
As an earth care congregation, we pledge to evaluate our facility and work to minimize any negative effects and promote positive effects on the environment. Since becoming an earth care congregation in 2011, we have:
- Replaced incandescent bulbs with energy efficient LED’s and fluorescent lights/ballasts;
- Installed low energy LED exit and emergency lighting/signs;
- Placed signs on wall switches to turn off lights when rooms are not in use;
- Added programmable thermostats;
- Replaced worn weather stripping around doors and windows;
- Used Energy Star ratings to guide purchase decisions on equipment;
- A level 3 Energy Assessment by the University of Illinois Smart Energy Design Center, indicated the church had low energy efficiency.
The Paris Pledge
In December 2015, the Session approved the Paris Pledge. Our congregation will work toward reducing our buildings carbon pollution 50% by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050. We will also encourage our congregation to make similar personal commitments.