Resources for Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
By Meighan Pritchard
On occasion, I preach about climate change and how we as Christians are called to be good stewards of the planet. After one of these sermons, a member of my congregation who is in his 80s said, “I appreciate your words; unfortunately I just can’t see giving up my car. I think my bicycling days are through.” And I would have to agree. But there is still plenty he could do.
We all have many ways to be good stewards of God’s creation. Getting rid of one’s car is one option, but it’s not for everyone. Here are some other ways to live more lightly on the planet:
· Consider what things you buy and whether they are made in sustainable says.
· Reduce driving by arranging to carpool, combining errand trips, taking the bus, biking, or walking when possible.
· Reduce consumption, reuse items, and recycle.
· Eat lower on the food chain, as raising animals for food takes a huge amount of resources.
· Eat more food produced within 100 miles of home (perhaps in your own garden!).
· Made sure houses are well sealed and insulated so as to heat efficiently.
· Use energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances.
· Advocate for good climate-friendly legislation.
There are many more possibilities.
What you may not know is that the UCC has numerous resources to help individuals and congregations meet these challenges. Here are some links to get you started:
· Carbon neutral congregations: http://www.ucc.org/carbon_neutral_web_resources_for_congregations
· Green Justice Congregations: http://www.ucc.org/environmental-ministries_just-green-congregations
· Books, periodicals, and films on environmental themes: http://www.ucc.org/environmental-ministries_resources
· Environmental Justice Workshops: http://www.ucc.org/centers-for-environmental-justice
· The Pollinator, a blog and newsletter on environmental justice issues by the Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt, UCC minister for environmental justice: http://www.ucc.org/pollinator
· Worship resources on environmental themes: http://www.ucc.org/environmental-ministries_worship-renewal
- Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast suggestions: http://www.macucc.org/carbonfast
Our world leaders have agreed that we need to hold rising global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Centigrade. It is up to each of us, as inhabitants and stewards of God’s good creation, to make sure we all reach this goal.