Action Ideas for Practical Greening

Start here. Use our Green Congregation Guide to evaluate the environmental impact of your parish building and operations and find ways to improve.

Plant a garden.  It’s a great way to engage the community, involve parishioners and neighbours of all ages, and helps provide local produce for your parish community meal or local food bank. Planting pollinator-friendly herbs and flowers provides crucial habitat for these important wildlife species on which our food supply depends.

Clean up the neighbourhood.  Check your municipal website or the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to sign up for a community cleanup event. You could join with a neighbouring faith community to make it an ecumenical or interfaith project.

Make it easy to reduce, reuse and recycle.  Some used items can’t go in municipal blue bins but can be collected for drop off at local depots. Spend some time online and find out how your parish might collect batteries, ink cartridges, e-waste, stamps, eyeglasses, or textiles for recycling in your area.  Items in good condition could change hands at a parish rummage sale or clothing swap. Perhaps you could set up a parish tool or toy library.

Pass down skills.  Do you have parishioners who know how to repair small appliances, create beautiful items out of scraps, or can and preserve food?  They might be willing to teach others these skills at a workshop or event hosted by your parish.

Go green, save green. The Green Ontario Fund offers rebates, incentives, and low-interest loans to help organizations (including churches) and residents lower their greenhouse gas emissions.

Invite the neighbourhood. Host an Eco Fair and invite organizations and vendors offering environmentally-friendly services to display information about their goods and services. Invite local politicans to speak with their constituents about environmental issues.

Enlist help. Our friends at Faith & the Common Good have a number of helpful resources (some free, some available for a reasonable cost) to promote practical greening in your parish.

  • Green Certification for faith communities at three levels: Light, Medium and Deep Green. (An administrative fee is charged)
  • A helpful guide to planning and establishing a community garden at your parish.
  • Energy Benchmarking (available at no cost) to assist your parish in understanding your current energy use and identifying how to reduce it.
  • A professional Green Audit, available on a fee-for-service basis, to identify the most important ways to save energy and improve the mission per square foot of your church building.