Here are some small steps your congregation can take to reduce your carbon footprint:
1. Consider getting rid of the soda machine. An energy consultant once said that a soda machine is equivalent in energy use to a large refrigerator with its door left open. Some churches have gone to the honor system of providing sodas in their refrigerator with a contribution container nearby.
2. Replace all incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. In the course of the ten year life of one bulb, you can save about $30.00 and the burning of 500 (!) pounds of coal (no misprint there). You would be amazed at the electricity saved by doing this with EXIT lights.
3. During the winter or summer, consider having meetings in only one area of the church, which is heated or cooled, leaving other areas of the church. Or consider concentrating meetings on one or two nights only, with heat turned down or cooling turned on during other nights.
Suggestions like these are feasible with some congregations and not others. For other ideas to reduce your carbon foot print, see the manual Environmental Guide to Congregations, Their Buildings and Grounds and the check list that goes with it.