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Practical Greening

Action ideas for Practical Greening

Plant a garden.

It’s a great way to engage the community and involve parishioners and neighbours of all ages. It also 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.

Starting or expanding a parish garden? Download our our new Community Garden Toolkit (PDF).

Reduce your parish footprint

As parishes re-open, let’s re-commit to our efforts to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics in the parish (and at home). Our new poster (PDF) provides tips on avoiding plastic waste.

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

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. Maybe you could set up a parish tool or toy library.

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.

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.

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 politicians 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 DIY Walkthrough Audit Guide (free download) to help parishes identify where the parish can reduce their energy and water use and what options are available. This Guide includes forms to help you evaluate your building’s electricity, natural gas/heating fuel and water usage.
  • 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