Faith Community Takes Steps to Reduce Carbon Footprint

In light of the mounting impacts of climate change and the scientific consensus about what's causing it, organizations and institutions have begun to take concrete steps to be more eco-friendly. Religious groups of all faiths and denominations have been at the forefront of this movement, taking action to reduce their ecological footprint and spread environmental messages.

The United Church of Christ is a good representative of the growing eco-faith movement. The group recently became the first religious body in America to vote to divest pension funds and investments from the fossil fuel industry, citing concerns about climate change. The group will implement their plan gradually, vowing to fully divest from fossil fuel companies by 2018.

In Salt Lake City, the First Unitarian Church raised $50,000 to install solar panels and begin to transition to renewable energy sources. The church has also started hosting workshops to teach community members simple ways to reduce their carbon footprint, such as using public transportation, recycling, and turning off lights and appliances when not in use.

Meanwhile, the Green Muslims of New Jersey are focusing on making their Ramadan experience more eco-friendly by asking members to reduce their waste, replace meat with more fruits and vegetables, dim the lights at Mosque services, and carpool to services during the holy month.

In Connecticut, St. John’s Episcopal Church has committed to reduce its carbon footprint by 5 tons a year! After conducting an energy audit, the congregation installed new thermostats, which have subsequently reduced fuel expenditures by 15%, and a new lighting system, which has reduced electricity usage by 22%.

As part of its mission to broaden, diversify, and mobilize the environmental movement, Earth Day Network has long been a leader in outreach to faith communities. We commend religious groups of all faiths for their efforts to live and practice more sustainably. Check out our website for faith-specific resources that help religious groups reduce their ecological footprint and spread environmental messages.