Become a Cool Congregation!
Join the many faith communities across the nation that take seriously the call from their faith to care for their neighbor by caring for our common home. They are using Interfaith Power & Light’s unique Cool Congregations stewardship program resources to reduce the climate change emissions from their facilities, help their members reduce emissions at home, and serve as a leader in the wider community. They often save hundreds of dollars in the process.
Interfaith Power & Light’s Cool Congregations program offers resources to guide you every step of the way: taking a “before” snapshot of your carbon footprint, finding ways to reduce, educating your congregation, taking an “after” snapshot, and celebrating the success! Once you have your worship facility reducing energy use, get you congregants involved in reducing energy use at home. Get the Cool Congregations Contest kit soon!
The Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program estimates that if America’s 370,000 congregations cut energy use just 20% it would save nearly $630 million per year that could be applied to missions. These energy savings would prevent the equivalent reduction in climate pollution of eliminating emissions from 480,000 cars, or planting 60,000 trees every year!
Interfaith Power & Light’s Cool Congregations program offers many ways to help you cut the carbon.
5 Steps to Become a Cool Congregation
Use the Cool Congregations start-up kit for congregations to reduce the carbon footprint of your congregational facilities. 5 Steps to Become a Cool Congregation includes advice on how to start a green team, write a mission, form a plan for action, and more. Once you have a green team well-formed, come back and measure your congregation’s carbon footprint with the Cool Congregations calculator, take steps to reduce, measure again at the end of the year, and celebrate by getting certified. Look at the Success Stories under the Find Inspiration menu for ideas on projects.
Cool Congregations Certification
Use the Cool Congregations Congregational calculator to measure the footprint of your congregational facility. After you have taken steps to reduce, come back and measure your footprint again. If you have reduced by 10% or more you qualify for Cool Congregations certification and we will mail you a certificate suitable for framing to show your community you are leading the way in caring for Creation. Plus you can purchase an attractive eco-friendly plaque to be really classy. It’s a great way to encourage others to reduce too. Keep reducing your congregations energy use and come back and get certified again for a higher level and join the ranks of leading Cool Congregations across the nation. If you already have your energy savings data, apply today!
Cool Congregations Challenge – Win Prize Money!
If your congregation has already taken measures to reduce your emissions apply for the Cool Congregations Challenge! There are 5 categories with $1,000 first prize awards for each – Energy Saver, Renewable Role Model, Sacred Grounds, Community Inspiration, and Cool Planner for congregations who have made excellent plans to save energy. Entry deadline is December 15. Winners announced in February.
Run a contest! Order a kit! (Coming soon)
The combined carbon footprint of all your congregation’s members’ homes is probably larger than your congregational facility. Try out the Cool Congregations Household calculator to measure your own household carbon footprint, then use the Cool Congregations Contest kit (coming soon) and Household calculator to run a contest in your congregation. Give out prizes and celebrate! Add up the total reductions of your congregants and see if they can beat the worship facilities in lowering their carbon footprint!
Offset your remaining carbon footprint by donating to Interfaith Power & Light so we can continue to expand the number of congregations and individuals that we assist with carbon footprint reductions. Consider it an informal carbon offset – once you have reduced your own carbon footprint as much as you can, help others to do the same. Your dollars really make a difference!
Sign up to get news about Cool Congregations
Join the growing number of Cool Congregations nationwide! Thank you for providing inspiration and leadership to your congregation. By empowering your members to act, you will also bring more voices to the growing interfaith movement that is demanding accountability and leadership from world leaders on behalf of the Earth and the common good.
Cool Congregations is a program of Interfaith Power & Light. Sign up for email announcements about Cool Congregations.