As Christians, we are called to care for God’s creation. As an organization that specializes in church building projects, the Mission Investment Fund is committed to helping build churches that incorporate sustainable features that will reduce their impact on the environment. In addition, investments in more earth-friendly and energy-efficient facilities will pay for themselves in energy savings. Such improvements also provide an immediate return in building reliability and improve the comfort and health of a church’s occupants.
Here are resources that will be helpful to congregations and ELCA-related ministries as they explore ways to be more energy efficient and earth friendly:
REDUCING ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION
- Turn off the lights
- Switch lights to use compact fluorescent light bulbs
- Use lamps/individual lights for task lighting
- Install fauct aerators
- Perform an energy audit (these are free in some states - ask your local energy provider)
- Buy renewable energy from your local energy provider
- Landscape with native/drought-resistant plants
- Establish a ride-sharing program to encourage carpooling (and regular worship attendance)
IMPROVING A BUILDING'S ENERGY EFFICIENCY
- Install a programmable thermostat
- Install occupancy sensors to control lights
- Install LED exit signs
- Use ENERGY STAR(R) ceiling fans
- Seal around windows and doors with caulk or weather-stripping
REDUCING WASTE AND USING ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS
- Put recycling bins in every room
- Use reusable dishware
- Buy sustainable paper products (bleach-free, 100% post-consumer recycled)
- Buy earth-friendly cleaning products
MIF, ELCA AND INTERFAITH CREATION CARE RESOURCES
Here are resources developed by faith-based organizations to guide you and your ministry in your efforts to protect and restore God’s Creation.
Caring for Creation
A link to earthkeeping resources and the ELCA’s Social Statement on the Environment.
Maintained by the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, this site offers a religious perspective for the transformation to a just and sustainable world. Find links and downloadable resources including Environmental Guide for Congregations, their Buildings and Grounds.
Promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation for congregations. Offers a carbon footprint calculator, discounts for energy efficient products (compact fluorescent light bulbs, appliances, thermostats, etc.) and links to Interfaith Power and Light state affiliates.
The Eco-Justice Program of the National Council of Churches provides an opportunity for denominations to work together to protect and restore God's Creation. Website offers resources including Building a Firm Foundation: A Creation-Friendly Building Guide for Churches, and congregation stories by state and topic.
Provides leadership programs for individuals and religious institutions including a fellowship program on religious environmental leadership and the GreenFaith Certification Program, a comprehensive interfaith environmental certification for congregations.