Connect to Action: Congregation Green Teams Make a Difference

Green Teams associated with 20+ congregations in the Oak Park and River Forest areas are making a difference in their faith communities, in their facilities, in their community and

Euclid Ave UMC installs Geothermal HVAC

in state policies that promote sustainability.  If you are looking for a place to get involved and make a difference locally, often your own congregation is a great place to start!

If your congregation has a green team, consider joining it; if not, consider starting one.  You will find start-up ideas and resources in the GreenFaith Start-up Kit and GreenFaith Sustainability Resources.

Continue reading to find out how Oak Park and River Forest congregations are taking action to care for the earth.Green Teams are:

  • Conducting zero waste events and reduced waste sent to the landfill to near zero!
  • Planting congregation vegetable gardens and donating the food to the food pantry.
  • Landscaping with native plants that reduce flooding and support the natural water cycle.
  • Installing renewable energy sources including geothermal and solar in their facilities.  (Note that grants have been received to help congregations afford these capital expenses.)
  • Making their facilities more energy efficient:  using energy audits to guide the work and working to “seal the envelope,” and install energy efficient appliances.
  • Traveling to Springfield to advocate for environmental legislation at the state level.

The Interfaith Green Network is a network of area congregations who through sharing sustainability practices, projects and dialogue is working to build a vibrant vision and role for congregations in caring for Planet Earth.  Twenty-two congregations have participated in the Network to date.

James Babcock of First United Church of Oak Park, Mac Robinet of St.Edmund Parish, and Dick Alton of Euclid Ave United Methodist Church make up the leadership team for the Interfaith Green Network. A high priority of the network is helping congregations to form and strengthen green teams. For help getting a green team started at your congregation or getting your congregation engaged in the Interfaith Green Network, please contact Dick Alton, or 773-344-7172.

See also related article about upcoming  Interfaith Green Network Forum on Priorities for 2014.