ARRCC believes that as people dedicated to the common good, inspired by our beliefs and energized by our spirituality, people of all faiths can and should be at the forefront of creating a safe climate. The following are some ideas for getting active big and small carbon savings at your place of worship.
Potentially big carbon savings
- Arrange an Energy Audit and follow the advice given.
- Switch to 100% accredited Green Power.
- There are various schemes to help organisations with up-front finance for installing solar panels, etc. For example, CORENA uses indvidual donations to loan money to community organisations to be able to put solar panel/energy efficiency measures, which are paid back from the electricity savings over 5-6 years. See https://corenafund.org.au/
- Install solar water heaters.
- Set up a car share scheme, and promote it not only to people who are aged or have disabilities, but also able-bodied member of the church.
- Insulate the walls and ceilings of church-owned buildings where possible and draught-proof doors and windows.
- Switch off urns, air conditioners, heaters and lights except when they are in immediate use.
- Inspire church members to go green too.
- Appoint a delegation from the community to visit your local MP to advocate for policies which would reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. (See “A national response to the climate challenge”.)
Smaller savings but also important
- Replace any incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents. CFLs use 60 - 70% less energy than a regular bulb.
- Use air conditioning sparingly. When it is needed, move the thermostat down one degree in winter and up one degree in summer. Don’t heat a large space when you only need a small space.
- Clean or replace filters in the air conditioners. The single most important thing you can do to keep your air conditioning and heating system working efficiently is to make sure the air filter is matched to the unit and is clean.
- Reconsider whether the building really needs outdoor security lighting. Research is inconclusive regarding its effectiveness as a deterrent to criminals. Alternatively, reduce the wattage of the globes or arrange sensors so that the lights only go on if there’s movement.