The fastest and easiest way to lower your carbon footprint in your home or congregational building is through investing in energy efficiency. On our path to a carbon-free society, energy efficiency and energy conservation are a huge first step to lowering our reliance on fossil fuel-based energy and ease the transition to renewable sources.
To help faith communities live out the call of stewardship and care for the earth, The MNIPL Energy Efficiency Team is pleased to be partnering with EnerChange, the Minnesota chapter of the US Green Building Council, and the Clean Energy Resource Teams to help houses of worship complete energy efficiency projects. Click here to learn more about the process we recommend for houses of worship.
Our Goals Are:
- To educate individuals and congregations to take up the challenge of improving energy efficiency.
- To connect people with resources needed to carry out projects.
- To engage 10+ congregations to engage and succeed with the process.
For more information contact Jayda Pounds at [email protected]
Resources for Congregations
Fighting climate change most take place at every level of society, from the individual to the international, and our houses of worship are no exception. MNIPL, EnerChange and the Green Building Council have partnered to create a process for your house of worship to follow to reach your energy efficiency goals.
On the path to a fossil-free energy system, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy conservation. Renewable energy is solar, wind, and other non-fossil fuel burning sources of energy. Energy efficiency is replacing products with technologically superior products that use less energy, like replacing incandescent light bulbs with LED, or more efficient dishwashers and refrigerators. Energy conservation is behavior changes that decrease energy usage, like setting the thermostat lower. As we know that steps must be taken to fight climate change, there are large structural problems to be fought, such as through divestment, but the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to begin that journey is through energy efficiency and conservation.
The Cool Congregations program is designed to support faith communities as they “walk the talk” by reducing their own carbon footprint, thus helping to cool the planet. We make an effort to do carbon reduction in a just and sustainable way, making every effort to build a sustainable economy for people from historically marginalized communities.
MNIPL offers both certification and a prize money challenge to exemplary Cool Congregations. MNIPL’s annual Cool Congregation Challenge is a fun and easy way for congregations to compete for recognition and prize money. Learn how to enter here. The categories include Renewable Role Model, Energy Saver, Sacred Grounds Steward, Cool Planner, and Community Inspiration. You can find previous winners and their stories here.
Resources for Individuals
196 countries signed on to the Paris Climate Agreement which would lead to 3.5 degrees Celsius temperature rise. What we need is no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is where we come in, it’s our job to close that gap. Join us in signing our Beyond Paris Pledge.
We affirm our strong commitment to a safe and stable climate in which temperature rise is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We will do this by taking concrete steps now, both individually and cooperatively, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a safe level, build resilience, and create a just and equitable economy. We commit to making a plan to individually reduce our carbon footprints by 50% by the year 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050. As we do this, we commit to always asking the question, is the energy transition I am investing in supporting a more just and equitable economy?
Once you’ve signed the pledge, the first action is to see where you are! There are many carbon footprint calculators to give an approximation of your use, we recommend Oroeco and the Cool Climate Calculator.
For a more personalized view, you can have someone come to your home to help you understand your energy use. Click here to learn more.
We at MNIPL also find that we feel most empowered in our work when we are simultaneously living out our values in a practical way. We’ve launched the Beyond Paris campaign to help everyone live into their values and lower their carbon footprints!