Shield of the Episcopal Church of the United States Environmental Stewardship
Commission
(MEESC)
Shield of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota
Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Environmental Stewardship Resolution


The following is offered for your information and comment.  On this and similar pages the Environmental Stewardship Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota offers thoughts and ideas on how any congregation or individual within a congregation can implement portions of the Resolution.

From "A Resolution on Church Buildings and Grounds, and Church-Related Activities"
passed at the 143rd Annual Convention (October 27-29, 2000)

"THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the staff and membership of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota engage in building actions and cultural activities with prayerful considerations about the impact these actions will have on our Earth home.  Ways we will live into this approach are the use of renewable, sustainable clean energy."

Thoughts on how to implement this concept
by Mary Anderson

Our church buildings, homes, and structures are outward and visible signs of our commitment to Godís purposes.  These structures are a reflection of our awareness that God calls all of us to live in harmony with the earth and to be good stewards of all Godís creations.  When we built our home three years ago we used these principles to guide its design and construction with an emphasis placed on energy conservation.

There are numerous products available to minimize energy consumption and reduce our contribution to greenhouse gases and global warming.  One area in which energy savings can be made is in the appliances we choose for our homes and churches.

The federal government administers the Energy Star program which rates appliances in terms of their energy efficiency.  Always check the Energy Star rating to determine how the appliance compares to others in terms of its energy usage and choose the best you can afford remembering that the additional cost will be paid for from the savings in electricity during the life of the appliance.

Be careful when purchasing any of these newer appliances though because in most cases they come equipped with clocks, remote controls, or other energy requiring devices which remain on even when the unit is turned off creating what are called phantom loads.

Another area in which significant reductions in energy use can be made is in lighting.  Compact fluorescent bulbs produce as much light as an incandescent bulb but for about one fourth the amount of energy.  And since these bulbs last much longer, they can save as much as $50 per bulb per year.  In addition, an 18-watt compact fluorescent bulb requires burning 500 fewer pounds (230 fewer Kilograms) of coal which saves 1300 pounds (590 Kg) of global warming carbon dioxide, and 20 pounds (9 Kg) of acid rain causing sulfur dioxide during the course of its life.

Other products, which have undergone remarkable improvements in energy efficiency, are windows, doors, and insulation.  A wide range of window options exist from the number of panes in the window, to the type of gas in between the panes, to the material used to separate the panes, or to the type of glass used and whether or not it is coated.  All of these features effect the amount of light that passes through the window and the amount of heat that escapes which determines its energy efficiency.  Doors vary in the type and amount of insulation in them, and in the type and method of weather-stripping that seals the door when it closes.  And new insulation materials with R-values up to 40 have been developed to help hold heat in during the winter and keep heat out during the summer.

In addition to these appliances, fixtures, and materials, consideration should also be given to the heating and cooling systems.  First among them are systems that do not require the use of fossil fuels that contribute to global warming.  These include passive solar heat, wind generation, and photovoltaic systems.  These systems rely on the sun to create heat either directly in the case of passive solar, or indirectly through modules that convert sunlight into electricity, or through wind that turns turbines that create electricity.  Another option is a ground source heat pump, which utilizes the 55º F (13º C) heat of the ground to heat your home during the winter and cool your home during the summer.

But remember, even if you choose not to invest in any of these more efficient technologies, you can still have a meaningful impact on energy consumption by choosing to conserve our energy resources.  Simply turning down the thermostat, turning off the lights when not in use, or not letting the water run needlessly will all help to preserve this wonderful planet God has given us.
 

Copyright statement


Mary Anderson is an active member of St. Andrew's by the Lake Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN.  She originally wrote this implementation essay in 2002 and is has appeared in Soundings, the newspaper of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota..  Mary and we welcome your comments.  Please address your comments or additional reflections to Mary Anderson or any MEESC member, or mail them to:
 
MEESC
c/o C. Morello
4451 Lakeside Drive
Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA

The MEESC assumes that all correspondence received is for publication on this web site. If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence. The MEESC reserves the right to decide which items are included on the web site.


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This page last updated 02-10-29.