Greening our Sanctuaries

Why Green Our Sanctuaries?

As faith communities, we affect the awareness, beliefs, motivations, and actions of our members. When we care for the earth by cutting energy use in our sacred space, we model that commitment to members and spur them to action.

Earth Care Green Teams: May we help?

Does your congregation need help thinking through some aspect of greening your building? To assist you, Earth Care is assembling a knowledgeable group of its members, a “Green Team,” to consult with congregations and provide information on local resources on any of the following topics:

  • Your Carbon Footprint –energy conservation
  • Heating & AC- fans, air leaks, heat pumps, geothermal
  • Lighting – light shelves, windows, curtains
  • Passive Solar – windows, insulation, heat sinks
  • Active Solar – photovoltaic, solar thermal, thermal storage
  • Appliances – high efficiency, low maintenance
  • Local Materials – carpet, recycled materials, stone, tile
  • Landscaping – native species, trellises
  • Instrumentation – sensors, computer control
  • Food – energy costs

What’s most effective?

Some actions to make your sanctuary more sustainable are more effective than others. Here is an ordered checklist of actions according to how much time it will take to recover your investment in them through savings in your utility bills.

Need more help getting started?

Here are links to several manuals for congregations that want to green themselves.

Earth Care Greening Our Sanctuaries Booklet

Congregations Guidebook, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Green Sanctuary Manual, Unitarian Universalist Association.

The Lord's House: A Guide to Creation Careful Management of Church Facilities, Evangelical Environmental Network. $5.00. Call 1-800-650-6600 or email

Guide to Resource Efficient Church Buildings. Call (800) 762-0968 (Order No. EJ9204)

Greening Synagogues guidance.