Anderson 7/27/2012 11:51:02 PM
News / Art

Ways to Make Your Church Go Green

Having a church go green is a good way to make a good impact on the environment. Many churches are realizing the importance of taking care of God's creation. Christians have realized how much of an influence their congregations can have on encouraging others to help save the earth. From changes to the informative religious bulletins made from recycled paper, there are many things that can be done. 

One of the easiest ways to go green is to recycle paper. The average church will go through a bit of paper, regardless of whether it's in the form of unused bulletins or other items. Take advantage of curbside pickup, or enlist volunteers to take any used paper to a recycling center. Use recycled paper whenever possible. Many recycled paper types are also biodegradable.

Use energy efficient options in offices, classrooms, and the church building itself. Efficient light bulbs will decrease your electric bill. They also have to be changed out less frequently. When it is necessary to replace computers, printers or projectors, look for items that are Energy Star compliant. Turn off all office equipment that is not currently in use, both for safety and to conserve energy. 

Because of the technology available now, many pastors and church administrators find it easy to perform their office work from home part of the time. A computer with a reliable Internet connection and a cell phone can make it much easier for members and others to contact someone. More energy will be saved by not having to keep lights and equipment in the office on at all times during the week.

Don't forget about the religious bulletins. Although many churches use prayer books and hymnals, bulletins make it easier for people to follow the service. Some churches have opted to switch to Power Point projections in place of bulletins or hymnals. Others choose to use bulletin covers made from recycled materials. These are good ways to mark important services, without negatively impacting the environment. 

Cooling or heating a church building can take a lot of electricity and/or natural gas. During times when there is a smaller turnout for either weekend services or weekday services, consider using an alternate location on church property. A chapel, if present, fellowship hall or large classrooms are all good locations for a smaller service. To make sure newcomers know where to meet, a sign may be made indicating the change in location. During the summer months, a courtyard service may also be a good option. 

Going green can also involve simple steps at coffee or hospitality hour. Using ceramic or other reusable coffee mugs is helpful. Sets of water glasses, as well as reusable plastic cups for kids, are ideal for serving iced tea, lemonade and other cold beverages. A few volunteers who can rinse out the glasses and run them through a dishwasher cycle will make this a much more convenient option to use. In many cases, the best steps to take towards minimizing environmental impact are relatively small ones.