Congregations to Pilot Program for Sustainability

By Jim Babcock The Interfaith Green Network of OP/RF has agreed to participate in a pilot program to begin implementing the PlanItGreen Sustainability Plan. In an upcoming workshop, congregation representatives will learn about and discuss benchmarking metrics for three of the top areas of concern as identified by the Sustainability Plan: energy, water, and waste.  The workshop will be held Monday, March 5, 2012, 7-8:30 pm, at the Oak Park Main Library, Veterans Room, 2nd Floor, and is presented by the Interfaith Green Network, the Delta Institute, and Seven Generations Ahead. All congregations are encouraged to join this pilot program, and share experiences, learn how to save money, and gain inspiration from others who are working to clean up the environment.

In the pilot program, participating congregations will first record usage over the past year in each of these three areas.  Next, each congregation will set reduction goals and identify steps to reduce use of energy and water, and the amount of waste that goes to the landfill.

PlanItGreen Goals

In the energy area, the PlanItGreen Sustainability Plan calls for energy use reduction by 3% per year for 10 years, through energy efficiency measures. It also calls for an increase in the rate of diversion of waste from landfills to increase from the current overall 38% rate to 50% by 2015. And it calls for a reduction of potable water consumption and storm water runoff. The Interfaith Green Network sees working toward conservation goals as an opportunity to both save money over time and to become better stewards of earth’s resources.

Future pilot program events include a follow-up luncheon meeting for church staff, such as building engineers and business managers, scheduled for Monday, March 19, 12-1:30 pm, at St. Giles Church. And the pilot program will progress with a meeting in April, date TBD, to continue to discuss the many practical options and strategies for attaining the congregations’ goals.

To register, or for more information email