Environmental Working Group
Being good stewards of care and creation.
The Environmental Concerns Working Group (ECWG) offers resources for our synod’s congregations to address environmental issues.
What are the five steps to become a Cool Lutheran?
- Gather a team at your church. Involve people who know your church building well, along with lay leaders, your pastor, and office and building maintenance staff.
- Calculate your church’s carbon footprint at www.CoolCongregations.com. [A carbon footprint is the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by your church.] This Web site was designed by Interfaith Power & Light specifically for houses of worship. Once you’ve gathered the necessary documents, it will take less than 30 minutes to input it online and you will instantly receive your footprint. Multiply that by 17% to get your 7-year goal.
- Identify carbon-saving actions that make sense at your church by working through the Energy Audit for Sanctuaries created by the synod’s task force. You can download it on the Faith in Place Web site here: Carbon Action Checklist. This is best done when your whole team is assembled, and will take 60-90 minutes to answer the questions and prioritize your next steps.
- Make changes to reduce your carbon footprint by following the suggested actions in the Energy Audit for Sanctuaries. Many of these are free or low-cost. Others will require purchases, but there are notes on how to buy those items for less. The suggested actions with a star next to them provide some of the biggest carbon savings possible.
- Add this effort to your annual meeting agenda now and each year through 2017. Each year you can measure your footprint at www.CoolCongregations.com, report it to the congregation, and celebrate the progress you have made - along with how much further you have to go.