Starting out can be the most daunting part of any project. By the clicking the links, these steps will help you get underway with reducing your Church's Carbon Footprint and guide you through the Shrinking the Footprint Website.
1. Get informed on Climate Change facts and why action is important to us as christians. Communicate the information to your congregation and/or community at a service, in a notice sheet or hold an Environment themed event. Click here for worship resources and here for some inspiration from our short films. Look at other church projects. Here is another publication with ideas and inspiration.
2. Gather together an Environmental Working Group to take lead on environmental issues. Include those interested and those with Church Building responsibilities.
3. Start reducing your Carbon Footprint. It is important to first monitor your energy use to understand your starting point, try using our short walk round audit. Read your meters regularly, and understand how you use energy. Considering buying an electricity monitoring device – inexpensive, easy to use, and could help you save significantly on your energy bills.
4. Then create your Church's energy policy.
Chester dioceses' Environment Wheel is a great tool to help you consider what could be included in the policy. A Rocha's Eco Church survey is also a useful tool and gives you the chance to monitor your progress towards an award.
5. Progress through:
- Making the necessary changes to your building to improve its efficiency and sustainability then think about renewable energy.
- Alongside begin making your choices sustainable (are your refreshments locally sourced?) and manage wildlife your churchyard.
- Consider renewable energy options - contact your Diocesan Environment Officer (DEO) and Diocese Advisory Committee Secretary (DAC) for extra advice and support, get the experts in and begin fundraising. A great way to involve the whole community through fun events as well as contacting larger organisations.
6. Implement renewable energy systems and keep up sustainable choices, churchyard management and efficient energy use, and become a church with a lower carbon footprint.
So get informed, gather a group, create a policy, progress through changes, implement new systems, and review/celebrate!