Earth Care Certification
WPC is an Earth Care Congregation, committed to caring for God’s earth in worship, education, facilities, and outreach, promoting environmental stewardship in property decisions, administrative practices, and teaching. The Environmental Ministries at the Presbyterian Church (USA) has recertified Westminster as an Earth Care Congregation! The Earth Care Congregations program was started in 2010 by the Environmental Ministries. The goal of the program is to inspire churches to care for God’s earth in a holistic way, through integrating earth care into all of their church life.
The Westminster Earth Care Team hosted a table at the 26th annual
Springfield Earth Awareness Fair on Saturday, April 21 at the Old State Capitol. The committee members showed a poster presentation of stories, quotes, and passages regarding the Biblical foundations for Eco-Justice.
Westminster members who wish to reduce waste may refer to the Room to Room Guide to Reuse and Recycling Options found through this link.
This guide tells us how to reuse and to recycle so many resources that would otherwise end up in a landfill! Of note, not included are ways to recycle Christmas tree lights and single-use non-rechargeable batteries which can be recycled in the bins at the southwest corner of the West Narthex.
MARCH EARTH CARE TIP
As we approach the season of Lent and remember how Christ lived simply in the wilderness for forty days, let us consider how we might begin new routines dedicated to simplicity and environmental stewardship, such as eating less meat, giving up disposable tableware, or starting a compost pile.
FEBRUARY EARTH CARE TIP
Recently oceanographers discovered a discarded plastic bag on the deepest floor of the Pacific! To reduce the trillions of single-use plastic bags in the world, California outlawed them in 2016 and Illinois is considering legislation to limit their use. We can show our love for creation by reusing Westminster’s shopping bags or by recycling plastic bags at the grocery.
JANUARY EARTH CARE TIP
If you put up a real Christmas tree this year, Springfield crews will pick it up curbside starting 7 AM January 7th to repurpose it for mulch. Hold on to your artificial tree as long as possible! After its 23rd year, a plastic tree becomes “greener” than growing, cutting, transporting, and mulching a real one every year.
DECEMBER EARTH CARE TIP
Last year's Christmas tree lights don't work? If simply replacing a bulb or fuse doesn't solve the problem, reclaim valuable copper, plastic, and glass by recycling them (without bags or boxes) in the top bin at the southwest corner of Westminster's West Narthex. Next time, consider purchasing more efficient and long-lasting LED lights!
NOVEMBER EARTH CARE TIP
Are you ready for the winter cold? Annual maintenance of your furnace keeps it efficient and staves off costly repairs and replacement. Check doors and windows for drafts and replace weather stripping to keep cozy and to prevent losing precious heat. A programmable thermostat can substantially reduce energy costs by giving your furnace a rest while you are not at home or while you sleep under an electric blanket.
SUMMER EARTH CARE TIP
Are the dog days of summer starting to brown your green grass? You can easily push a screwdriver several inches into a lawn with enough water. Save time, conserve precious water, and improve lawn health by running the sprinkler for about an hour once a week at dawn. More frequent watering encourages weeds and disease while much of afternoon sprinkling ends up evaporating.
MAY EARTH CARE TIP
Need a new lawnmower and looking for some exercise in God’s Creation? Consider the old-fashioned push reel mowers which are making a comeback to help conserve energy and to help shrink waistlines. Cut the grass at 3” and leave the clippings to conserve water and nutrients!
APRIL EARTH CARE TIP
From biblical times, gardeners have reused food scraps in compost to nourish their plants. Compost is real plant food and greatly reduces food waste and the need for fertilizer! Just mix any leftover edibles about 1:1 with other compostables (leaves, yard waste, paper products, etc.). Chopping, frequent stirring, and moisture will help create “black gold” within a few weeks.
Earth Care Team: Steve Cobourn, Dr. Peter Kieffer, Keith Hamilton, Charlie King, Tim Kluge, Lynn McMenamin, Maribeth Norton, Brad Steller
Get involved: See our bulletin board for ways to be environmentally conscious! If you are interested in joining our Earth Care Team, we would love to hear from you.
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