You or your faith community have cut back on your energy use through conservation and efficiency upgrades. Maybe you have even taken steps to install a renewable energy system in your home or facilities. How can you offset the remainder of your carbon or energy footprint? HIPL has created a primer on renewable energy certificates as a tool to promote renewable energy generation and offset your carbon footprint.
Hawaii GEMS Solar Financing Program
has rolled out the Green Energy Market Securitization (GEMS) program to
help non-profits and homeowners finance a photovoltaic system with no
up-front cost and a low-interest loan. Visit the official state GEMS website for details or view these pdf presentations for a summary:
GEMS loan and PPA FAQ
Talking Points for Faith Leaders
The national IPL office has created a document to help faith leaders to talk concisely about climate change from a moral and religious perspective. It contains great short summaires that are also good for starting larger discussions within your own faith community about how your theology, worship, education, and outreach mission apply to climate change.
Primers on Power Generation
Thanks to some friends for suggesting this link which lists lots of great websites that explain how electricity is generated from various power sources, including many types of renewable sources like wind, solar, geothermal, and wave.
Global Warming Interactive Temperature Graph
How hot has it gotten in your lifetime? How hot will it get by the time you retire? How hot will it be for our children and beyond? This neat little interactive graph shows what is likely to happen if we don't take action as a global community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: http://kiln.it/embeds/ipcc/
Living Planet 2014 Report
What are the major effects of humans on the health of the planet? How much land, water, and other resources do we require
per captia in the US vs China? The World Wildlife Fund has released its 2014 report on just these topics. Report partner Global Footprint Network has lots of neat graphics to show just how we measure up.
The Cost ($ and CO2) of Driving in America
Earth As Our Home
Check out this web widget that calculates the cost in $ and CO2 of driving your car in the US, including the savings from improving your fuel efficiency. The accompanying text also highlights the overwhelming contribution of driving to a person's annual greenhouse gas emissions. Although sobering, it represents a great opportunity to reduce your C footprint by simply driving less!
This booklet, created by the Catholic Sisters for a Healthy Earth, is a wonderfully reflective guide for thinking about the Earth as our home. Using the various rooms of a home, they personalize the relationship between us and the environment we live in. This booklet makes manifest the Greek root of the word "ecology" as the logic of the home.
How Cool is Your Congregation?
Introducing Cool Congregations. Calculate your household's carbon footprint and make a commitment to reducing it. We offer training, resources, and guidance for implementing the Cool Congregations program in your faith community. You can even help your congregation win a $5,000 award.
Voluntary Carbon Tax
Once you have undertaken the Cool Congregations challenge, you can consider tithing your carbon savings to help emissions reductions programs. See the Voluntary Carbon Tax website for more info.
10 Things Your Congregation Can Do
Don't like the size of your congregation's footprint? Want to get your faith community involved with responding to the climate crisis? How do you get started? Well, besides encouraging your congregation to join Hawaii Interfaith Power & Light, we've come up with 9 other things you can do to make energy issues and the climate crisis a part of your congregation's mission and focus. View the web page or print out a pdf version to share with others.
20 Things YOU Can Do
Now that you've figured out what your congregation can do, it's time for you to do some things yourself. Check out this web page or again, print out a pdf version to carry with you and share with others! Thanks to Life of the Land Hawaii for this list.
Print out and laminate this light switch cover as a friendly reminder that simple things like turning off lights as you leave a room can add up to big energy savings in the long run.
EPA Energy Star Guide for Congregations
The US Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star program has published Putting Energy Into Stewardshipan energy conservation guide for faith communities to reduce the energy use of their congregational buildings. The guide includes advice on how to learn about what you need, finding a contractor, financing, technical issues with specific upgrades or purchases, an energy efficiency checklist, and a shopping guide. The Energy Star website also has related resources, such as the latest list of Energy Star-rated appliances, office equipment, and other products. Once you're ready to upgrade your congregation's facilities, look for Energy Star products on the Shop IPL website.
Holiday Study and Action Guides
The holidays are a great time to reaffirm our faith and reassess our lives. At HIPL, we are encouraging faith communities to make the climate crisis and energy issues a part of their reflection and study during holiday seasons. Below are example study guides for Christian and Jewish congregations during important holidays during the yar. We encourage you to provide examples from other faith traditions and holidays, as well.
These study and action guides are included as Word documents so you can modify them for Hawaii's unique setting and your own congregational needs. If you take the time to make your own holiday study and action guides, please share them with us so other members of Hawaii Interfaith Power & Light can use them for their holiday celebrations!
- Lenten Carbon Fast
- Advent Study Guide. This is a study and action guide for children and adults for the advent season prior to Christmas, put together by Georgia Interfaith Power & Light. There is a short lesson for each week of Advent and Christmas Eve on the environmental impacts of fossil fuel energy use (mainly coal) and a call to change out incandescent bulbs to CFLs.
- The 12 Days of Low Carbon Christmas, 12 things we can do as individuals and households to reduce our energy use during the holidays!
- Hannukah Study Guide. This is a study and action guide for Jewish congregations celebrating the season of Hannukah, also put together by Georgia Interfaith Power & Light. Lessons focus on how conserving energy reduces air, land, and water pollution and secures a brighter future for everyone.
- "Powering Down" is a comprehensive program of worship and study for the Christian season of Lent, created by Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light. This program includes lessons for youth, sermons, suggestions on how to reduce electricity use, and suggested resources to nurture our connection to all of Creation.
- The Green Khutbah Campaign aims to mobilize Muslims to become responsible stewards of the environment by caring for all of God's creations. For 2014, the kickoff date is April 18.