The Enviro Church Conservation Project

Church - PEI
Image by susanvg via Flickr

Congregations in PEI are making themselves parables of success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Churches are notoriously drafty buildings. But Prince Edward Island parishioners have seen the light when it comes to warmer pews on Sundays.

With EcoAction support, dozens of the province’s congregations have retrofitted their places of worship to reduce energy use, and make the link between faith, fuel oil and climate change. (Read more from EcoAction – Environment Canada.)

Reports about environmental issues now form part of the content of every major newspaper, radio and TV news broadcast in Canada. These reports reflect the growing concern by environmentalists and, indeed, Canadian citizens to pollution and its negative effects on human health and the natural world.

Given this widespread concern about the environment, many environmentalists are puzzled by the silence and inaction of the religious communities to the mounting threats to God’s creation. For the most part this situation is true. However there are initiatives, such as the Enviro Church Conservation project, by the Diocese of Charlottetown, which are seeking to create environmental awareness and undertake action in the faith communities.

The purpose of the Enviro Church Conservation program, which began in February 2002, is to provide a comprehensive assessment of the ways and means the 57 Catholic parish properties in Prince Edward Island can reduce energy use and thus pollution emissions from in space and water heating, lawn care, and transportation. Beyond the energy assessments and the followup support required to improve energy conservation, the project is also working with various parish communities to inspire and support parishioners who wish to undertake individual and community actions that will reduce pollution.

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