Environmental Action at Village Church
In October 2002, at the urging of the Justice, Peace, & Environment Committee (JPEC), the church’s governing body authorized the formation of the Sustainable Sanctuary Task Force (SSTF), the goal of which was to reduce our church's environmental impact and to practice, model, and teach faithful and responsible stewardship of God's Creation.
In the fall of 2007, JPEC and SSTF evolved and coalesced so that all environmental initiatives and activities are now undertaken by the Environmental Action Committee (EAC). Based on an assessment of our church’s ecological footprint, EAC sets goals and commits to making changes to make the church more environmentally aware and sustainable as an institution.
Activities and Initiatives:
- Recycling (paper, cardboard; plastic bottles & containers (1 thru 7); aluminum cans, plates, & trays; metal cans; glass; CFL bulbs; fluorescent tubes; communion cups).
- Responsible Purchasing (copy paper, towels, & napkins with recycled fibers; Styrofoam alternatives such as reusable melamine dinnerware; fair trade coffee; nontoxic chemicals).
- Education & Advocacy (classes, articles, flyers, bulletin board, minutes for mission, Creation Care Earth Fair).
- Publicity (environmental steward awards presented to two adults, one college student, and two high school students).
- Worship: Earth Sunday sermon & presentation of Haydn's The Creation. (April 24, 2005); Handout of 1500 compact fluorescent bulbs after worship. (April 1, 2007); Use of fair-traded sustainably harvested Eco-Palms. (Palm Sunday 2008-10)
- Buildings (computerized control system, energy efficient HVAC equipment, fluorescent lights, motion activated lighting, 18"x18" carpet squares).
- Grounds (native plants, drip irrigation, composting, mulching) (no Cyprus mulch).
- Networking (SME Earth Fair, Heartland Earthkeepers, Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition, & Presbyterians for Earth Care).
- Adoption of PC(USA)’s Recommitment to Peacemaking & Earthkeeping (October 2008) and endorsement of Kansas Interfaith Power & Light’s Congregational Covenant (April 2009).
Food Pantry & Clothes Closet:
- Recycling of corrugated cardboard.
- Reuse of donated clothing and household items.
- Reuse of donated clear plastic bottles for liquid soap containers.
- Reuse of donated paper, plastic, and cloth bags.
Outreach Center (energy efficiency & other LEED criteria for new construction, geothermal heat pump, high efficiency lighting, natural lighting, heat reflective roofing, solar panels).
- Bridging the Gap’s Environmental Excellence Award for Non-Profit Organizations. (November 2005)
- Presbyterians for Restoring Creation’s Restoring Creation 2007 Service Award, a national award given annually to congregations and other groups whose work for the environment is particularly “praise-worthy and creative.” (October 2007)
- The Sierra Club’s 2008 "Faith in Action" Environmental Stewardship Award. (June 2008) (featured in their 2008 report entitled Faith in Action: Communities of Faith Bring Hope for the Planet)