Comprehensive Environmental Guide for Buildings and Grounds


We encourage organizations to be comprehensive in their efforts to green their organizations. Here are three resources that you might find helpful in this regard. They are geared to congregations but are also applicable to social ministry organizations.


1. Comprehensive Environmental Guide. This is a 110 page comprehensive guide adaptable for many organizations: Environmental Guide for Congregations, Their Buildings and Grounds. It covers both technological suggestions and green practices. It deals with the following subjects: Worship, Education, and the Office; Coffee hour, Potlucks, and Events; Energy Use, Paper and Wood Products; Water Use; Cleaning Products; Food Choices; Transportation; Indoor Air Quality, Nature Inside and Out; Recycling and Waste. Each chapter includes relevant biblical passages, theological reflections, a statement of the ecological problem, the human justice issues at stake, suggestions for buildings and grounds, suggestions for activities at home, and resources of relevant books and websites.

Download pdf (496k) of Environmental Guide to Congregations, Their Buildings and Grounds, ed. by David Glover and David Rhoads. View Download
2. Comprehensive Checklist. Click here for a Checklist of practices for your building and grounds based on the Environmental Guide. This is a handy way to do an overview of greening equipment and practices. It is organized for congregations, but can be easily applicable to other organizations.


3. Comprehensive Model for Your SMO as a Green Zone. Here is another model for thinking comprehensively about buildings and grounds. Think of your property as a green zone, dedicated to being earth friendly in every way. Take inventory of everything that comes into your zone and seek to minimize anything toxic or unnecessary; then take stock of how everything is used so that it is used fully, efficiently, and for a long time; and then take an inventory of what goes out of your property so that recycling and reuse can be maximized and waste can be minimized. Click on the heading for a chart of this model with some suggestions.


4. Do an Environmental Audit. Make Decisions based on Time and Finincial Resources. All of these resources enable you to do an environmental audit, not just an energy audit but a comprehensive environmental audit. Be sure to list all the things you have already done and are currently doing to be Earth-friendly. Announce these and celebrate them. Build on them. As you develop a list of new items to work on in various areas, make note of those that can be done with no money and little efforts, little money and little effort, little effort but a lot of money, little money but a lot of effort, and long term project that may take a lot of money and a lot of effort. Begin work on what can be done and keep at it. The goal is to incorporate care for creation into all that you do until it becomes part of the ethos of your organization and your community.

David Rhoads,
Aug 22, 2011, 8:06 AM