A church as a certified green business? Yes!
From an AHUMC newsletter: “We have a cross out front to let people know that we are followers of Jesus. We fly the rainbow flag to let people know that we welcome LGBT individuals. And now we can let everyone know that we believe caring for God’s creation is part of our mission as Christians. We are now a certified Bay Area Green Business.”
Becoming a certified green business is something that several CIPL congregations have accomplished as a way of taking action on their commitment to creation. It compliments the goals of CIPL and connects you to local rebates. Donna Green, who led this effort, said that many resources were crucial to their success including meeting with another certified green business and CIPL member – Stone Church in Willow Glen! We hope that you will take inspiration from Almaden Hills and learn from other CIPL members – let us know if we can help facilitate this process.
Here’s more information on the process of becoming a green business:
Energy efficient fluorescent lights in the preschool and office building were installed; a recycling program was implemented; the storm drains were marked; paper, paper towels and toilet paper with recycled content was purchased. Part of the front lawn is being replaced with more water efficient plants and double-paned windows on some of the office buildings are being installed. Policy changes, such as turning off computers and lights and reusing bulletins and prayer and presence cards, were also implemented.
“Thanks to the hard work of the office staff, trustees and landscaping committee many changes and improvements were implemented that qualified us for green business designation. Not only are we saving resources, we are saving money. On the landscaping alone, the church will save over 400,000 gallons of water. As a participant in The Green Business Program, we join with a number of congregations and over 1500 businesses and public agencies that are committed to operate in a responsible way. Being a Green Business is the right thing to do.”
Some of the resources that were helpful to AHUMC:
Bay Area Green Business Program – includes specific resources for various county programs including the Santa Clara County program that AHUMC participated in. This lists all of the changes an organization can make in order to become a certified green business.
Right Lights – Right Lights is a rebate program for installing more energy efficient lighting. AHUMC said they would not have been able to afford changing their lights without it. They saw a reduction in their energy bill and the quality of the light is the same. There was some concern that the rooms would be darker but that has not turned out to be the case. Check out the Right Lights program and find out if it can help your congregation save money and reduce your carbon footprint!
Santa Clara Valley Water District Landscape Rebate Program: This program helps to defray the cost of switching from lawn to more water efficient landscaping and while the rebate did not cover the cost of the landscaping change at AHUMC, it did help. With the water they are saving it won’t take long to recover the cost of the landscape changes. Check your water district to see if they have similar programs.
Thanks to Donna and AHUMC for sharing their experience and let CIPL staff know if you would like to be in touch with other congregations in your region about how they’ve saved money while reducing carbon footprints!