Church facilities can use a lot of energy, but with a few tweaks, this amount can be drastically reduced. Here are some ways for your church to “go green” and conserve resources.
1. Install Energy Efficient Lighting and Appliances
One of the biggest uses of energy comes from your church’s appliances and lighting. By making the switch to energy efficient versions of everything, you’ll be making an investment up front that will save you in the long run. Here is a brief checklist of items that can be energy efficient:
- Heating and air conditioning (HVAC) system
- Lighting (in all rooms of the church)
- Kitchen appliances (if your church has a kitchen)
- Audio and video equipment (monitors, microphones, etc.)
For lighting, consider not only switching to energy efficient bulbs, but also converting to a sensor-controlled system. This will ensure lights automatically turn off when no one is in the room.
Another great investment is a programmable thermostat that can be set to automatically adjust the temperature when the church isn’t in use.
2. Use Environmentally-Friendly Seating
Some church chairs, especially older ones, are made with unsafe materials that may be leaking into the air of your church. Some of these chair chemicals may even be carcinogens such as TDCPP (a flame retardant).
To protect your church, look for chairs that are certified safe by an independent laboratory. For example, many ChurchPlaza chairs have earned a certification from Materials Analytical Services, LLC. Look for the MAS Certified Green designation on our church chair product pages to know that you’re shopping environmentally-friendly chairs.
3. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
You’ve heard of the three R’s – reduce, reuse, and recycle. Take another look at how you can put this into practice at your church. Ask yourself these questions:
How can we reduce the amount that we’re using?
Look for ways to reduce the energy you’re using. Turn off all lights and appliances when you’re done with them for the day. Rework your schedule so that all classrooms and multipurpose rooms are in use at the same time.
What can we reuse?
Think of ways you can reuse what you already have, and invest in reusable versions of what you need. For example, instead of using disposable plates, cups, and utensils for church social events, purchase reusable dishware and silverware.
What can we recycle?
You probably already recycle anything that is marked as such, but go a step further and see how you can switch to recyclable versions of whatever you need. Also consider buying made things made from recycled materials. For example, print church bulletins and other materials on recycled paper.
4. Switch to Green Cleaning Products
Cleaning products may contain unsafe chemicals that will pollute the environment. You can avoid this by switching to only green-certified cleaning products.
5. Grow Your Own Produce or Choose Local
Does your church have its own food pantry or support a local pantry? Do you host a lot of meals? Growing your own fresh produce can help reduce the environmental impact of large-scale farming practices. If starting a garden isn’t feasible, then try to choose locally grown, organic produce when possible. Organic produce doesn’t use harmful pesticides that can pollute the environment.
These adjustments may cost your church money up-front, but the long-term effects will be well worth the investment. If you’re currently in the process of going green and you’re interested in green seating, check out the full list of ChurchPlaza’s MAS Green Certified chairs.