People of many faiths join together to share their understandings and energies. The problem strikes a chord with a number of communities of faith who have initiated projects for environmental awareness and action in their houses of worship and in their homes. These houses of faith support the 350 celebrations of commitment to stewardship of the earth.
Why Faith Communities Are Working for a Greener World
The goal is to make a greener world and reduce the carbon footprint. These faith communities are leading the way and setting an example for others to follow, especially if the goal specified by world-wide scientists of 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide is to be met before irreparable damage is done.
Such a mission falls right in line with the basic tenets of many churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques. Each group’s religious beliefs include taking care of the earth. They quote their sacred writings and scriptures as divine direction to care for the earth. Thus these groups have expressed their commitment to the challenges of climate change in action plans for their communities.
The approach used by some Jewish groups, among other communities of faith, is not an attitude of anger as has been used by some groups, but of proactive commitment and experiential teaching of their youth.
Green Faith Facilitates Interfaith Environmental Action
Green Faith, founded in 1992, coordinates interfaith partners to inspire, educate and mobilize communities of faith in living their beliefs with active stewardship of the earth and their community. They provide awareness, leadership, training, and a certification program for congregations.
Their programs include several areas vital to the care of the earth:
- food and water
- energy and transportation
- wastes and toxins
- grounds maintenance methods.
When all of these are taken care of, their carbon footprint is reduced. But more importantly, there is a positive domino effect on the larger community they live in. With the recent 350 celebrations heard round the world, both religious groups and the general public will be motivated toward further accomplishments.
This environmental coalition has been active in affecting the way people consume and use resources, even helping religious institutions get solar power. When the church uses solar panels to get power from a renewable resource, it shows the community it can be done.
Better Food Supply Decisions Can Reduce CO2 Levels
A number of communities of faith encourage their congregations to eat food grown with no harm to the earth as a true “earth prayer.” Farmers are finding that growing corn and beans alone won’t work since they each require so much fertilizer and pesticides. The movement toward more sustainable methods of farming points the way toward organic growing.
Locally grown food removes the transportation costs and the need to preserve food in ways in which the negative consequences aren’t fully understood. However, there is no doubt that transporting food across more distance is costly not only for the consumer but also to the environment.
People who assemble regularly for religious purposes are realizing that good food choices multiplied by the power of community will bring about a more sustainable society. Parishioners look to their spiritual teachings to support the idea that people need to practice stewardship of the earth.
These groups also bring clout to the hard political decisions to be made in order to take steps to reduce the carbon footprint. Many are applying the ideas in their own lives by participating in community gardening, growing their own vegetable gardens, and buying from local farmers’ markets.
Communities of faith are making a difference in environmental action to combat climate change. Many groups who have religious beliefs about taking care of the earth are rising to the occasion within their own communities including making their use of energy and transportation more sustainable. Green Faith provides support for a number of religious communities who are working to reduce CO2 levels where they live and work. People of faith are also working toward more locally grown food which has not harmed the earth to help make the hope of the 350 celebrations a reality.