10 Things Your Congregation Can Do
Contact HIPL to hold a viewing and discussion session of documentaries on climate change and energy use, such as “An Inconvenient Truth” or “The Great Warming” at your place of worship or study. Alternatively, you can purchase a copy for your own congregation and hold viewings in small study groups over dinner or coffee.
Contact Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) Business Services to ask them to conduct a church energy walk-through. They will send a consultant who will help spotlight opportunities for energy efficiency and conservation. They also offer discounts on energy-efficient lighting and EPA Energy Star appliances, such as room air-conditioners, photocopiers, and other appliances. Develop an energy conservation plan based on the walk-through with short- and long-term goals.
Explore opportunities for your place of worship or study to purchase electricity from renewable energy providers or find ways to “offset” carbon emissions through carbon sequestration efforts, like purchasing and conserving tropical forests. See the EPA's Green Power Partnership website for more information on state-specific and national opportunities.
Explore the spiritual and religious dimensions of global warming causes and consequences, with an emphasis on Hawaii and the Pacific Basin. Prepare a “faith community response” to global warming from the Hawaii perspective.
Help congregants establish carpool and ride-share arrangements to and from church: “fewer cars but more people.”
Collect and distribute household energy efficiency and conservation guides for congregants, such as those found at the HIPL Resources web page. Include a household energy and carbon budget and encourage households to go on a “carbon diet.”
Ensure that your congregation replaces current appliances and other products with EPA Energy Star qualified products. Compare the energy requirements and carbon emissions of Energy Star to similar appliances to convince your congregation of the energy- and money-saving benefits!
Make energy issues and the climate crisis a part of church holiday seasons, such as the Advent or Hannukah study and action guides at our Resources page.
Invite leaders in energy conservation and renewable energy to speak at your faith community about things you can do individually and collectively. Contact HIPL for a list of recommended speakers on specific topics.
Consider becoming a greening congregation. Find out if your denomination alrea dy has a program or check out the Earth Ministry Greening Congregation program.