Creation Care

Creation Care Ministry

Green Team has a new name which better reflects our Christian responsibility to live into our Covenant for the Care for Creation.

Our congregational commitment to this Covenant is: “ ….we affirm God’s creation in all its glory and beauty. We acknowledge God as the source of all things. We acknowledge Christ as the redeemer of all things. We acknowledge the Spirit as the sustainer of all things. As a result, we strive to respect all of life as sacred. We accept our vocation as Earth-keepers who care for creation. We accept our responsibility to live justly in relation to our fellow human beings in ways that all creatures may mutually thrive together.”

Creation Care Ministry welcomes all who want to help us implement our Covenant through education and action, both corporate and individual. Anyone interested in helping should connect with Deb Neves,

Week 1:  Waste: track your waste for a week:

Keep track of the waste that you create for a week. How much of it can be replaced with recyclables or reusables? What can you challenge yourself to live without?

Some ways to reduce the waste when shopping for groceries are to buy unpackaged fresh fruits and vegetables, bringing your own container to a bulk food store, investing in some produce bags to transport fresh foods, avoid prepared foods, and bring your own grocery bags

What disposable items in your life could you replace with a reusable option? Do you use cloth napkins or paper? Do you have a reusable water bottle or disposable? Do you use cleaning wipes or clothes? Do you pack your lunch in plastic bags or in reusable containers?

Each city or town and/or waste disposal co has their own trash, recycling, and compost system.  What is the system where you live? Regulations change frequently so take some time today to update yourself.  Here are some questions for you to find the answers:

  • Does my town/city have recycling curbside pick up or do I take it to the recycling center?
  •  What can I throw in the recycling bin?  
  • Do I throw plastics, paper, glass, and aluminum together or do I separate them?
  • Does my city/town have a curbside composting program?
  • Can  I compost in my own backyard?

Eliminate waste wherever you can. Use less and recycle. Go for glass and reusable containers instead of plastic bags and wraps. Take reusable bags to shop. Make sure everyone in your family has a reusable water bottle and takes their own mug to the coffee shop.

Week 2-Energy Use:
Residences account for about 20% of carbon pollution in the United States. We need to reduce residential pollution to stop climate change. Energy use is the biggest contributor to carbon pollution. For a typical American household, heating/cooling and vehicle fuel make up 2/3 of your carbon footprint. A typical home wastes up to 40% of its energy it consumes through lighting, heating and cooling unused rooms, poor insulation, or wasteful habits. Save money by saving energy. Adjust your thermostat, turn off those unused lights, insulate doors and windows, wash clothes and dishes in cool water. Lower your thermostat in winter by 1-3 degrees F and keep it higher in summer. Limit use of air conditioning in the summer. Almost anything you do to reduce your home carbon pollution will save you money. You can save up to half your utility bills. Buy renewable energy and more energy-efficient appliances. Add your ideas to the hall bulletin board!

Fend off Energy “Vampires”: Make sure to turn off and unplug items when they’re not in use. The socket draws electricity even when items are “turned off.” Some items that are often plugged-in when not in use are blow-dryers, phone chargers, electric kettles, and coffee pots. Other items that are often left in the “on” position when not in use are televisions, computers, and video game consuls. Using the battery-saving function on smart phones and computers helps them last longer, as well as saves energy. Perhaps you have a spare refrigerator you only need to run when you’re preparing to entertain guests. Look around your house and find what can be unplugged.​ You might be surprised by your energy savings!

Dishwashing: Consider only doing dishes when you have a full dishwasher load or full sink. If you do dishes by hand, use a basin to conserve dish-washing water. This reduces your water use and saves you money on your water and sewer bills. Turn off the lights! If you’re not in the room, the light doesn’t need to be on. Leave yourself post-its to help you remember to flip the switch off when you leave the room. You can even consider installing automatic timers for the lights in your home. CFL and LED bulbs can emit 25-80% less energy than traditional incandescent, plus they last longer! Consider this greener alternative when it comes time to replenish those bulbs. How do you get from place to place? Make a plan for how you can reduce your footprint. Does your city/town have public transportation? Are there places where you can walk or bike instead of drive? Make a commitment and plan to improve your transit carbon footprint. Properly inflated tires improve the car’s gas mileage. This will not only decrease your carbon emission but also save you money. By using one pot (with lid on) to cook your meal, you save on electricity, gas, and water, which reduces your footprint and may even give you leftovers for the week!

Week 3: VOTE! Take initiative today and call, email, or write one of your state representatives regarding any creation care issue that you are passionate about. Positive environmental change starts with the individual and continues with larger scale change. You can find out who your US Representative and US Senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

When officials hear from their constituents, they are moved to focus on certain issues. You can make climate change one of those! ecoAmerica © 2021 What You Need to Know Climate Solutions Advocacy with Policy Makers Climate solutions enhance your community. Equitable access to affordable clean energy, public and active transportation parks and greenways gardens create a beautiful and healthy environment. Government officials listen to their constituents. Your voice has impact with officials whom you can vote for and in districts where you pay taxes. Not every elected official is an expert on climate. Some know little about local climate problems and solutions, or what climate justice means. Help educate them. Building rapport helps, a lot. Ask questions and get to know your representatives and their staff. All layers of government have a role in climate solutions. Create or join opportunities to address federal, state and your local government officials. More voices help. A dozen or 100 people will generate more response than one or two. Join with family, neighbors, colleagues and other groups around climate issues. Persistence, persistence, persistence. Public officials have staff who read their emails and answer phones to respond to constituent needs. Don’t reach out just once, be persistent. Staff are also important. Many may care quite a bit about climate issues and work on them directly with their bosses. Advocate with them too and share ideas and advice.

Week 4: Food
Increase plant-based protein, double up on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seafood in your diet. If you can, start a garden and grow your own veggies. Eat it all, and compost the scraps. 40% of all food in the United States goes to waste!

Eat your leftovers: A great way to be a steward to the Earth is to consume your food. Did you know that Americans throw away 25% of the food they buy? Not only is this a waste of money but it is also harmful to the environment. Producing food takes land, water, and heavy machinery. By eating your leftovers you are not only saving money but also preventing energy waste from food production. Not to mention you are keeping them from taking up space in a landfill. ​

Start a garden in your own backyard or share the work with your community by creating a neighborhood garden. Do you have space in your church’s yard, at a vacant lot, or in a nearby park? Gardening is good for creation and saves you money. If you do not have space outdoors, you can grow veggies or herbs in pots in your place of residence. ​​Indoor plants will produce oxygen to improve your indoor air quality.

Eat a Plant-Based Meal or Meals with Ingredients from Local Farms Challenge yourself to cook a one pot meal and buy from local farmers. Get creative and try something new– who knows, it could be a new favorite recipe!

Week 5: Water Use
Find out what your water footprint is and how you can reduce your impact. This calculator will show you how your lifestyle impacts the rest of the world and how you can make a positive difference. Share with us ways you plan to reduce your footprint!

Gray water is water that has been used but is not necessarily contaminated. You can use dish washing water, hand washing water, and cooking water to water plants. There are even systems you can install now that allow you to make use of gray water more effectively.

Cut five minutes off your shower to save water. According to a study done by Harvard the average American shower uses 2.5 gallons per minute. You will save 12.5 gallons of water if you shorten by just 5 minutes. Or, consider turning the water off while you lather up and only turn it on to rinse.

Green Your Laundry Routine
Use cold water when washing clothes to reduce energy use. Energy is needed to heat water. You can also opt for a shorter wash cycle. Only do laundry when the load is full. Not only does this save water and electricity but it also saves you money and time. You can either wait until you have more items to wash or combine your partial load with your family or housemates. ​ Avoid using energy to dry your laundry by hanging a laundry line or using a drying rack. This cuts down on your electricity bill as well!

Share any waste-saving actions on our bulletin board next to room 125-127! 

Contact Deb Neves for more information at