Going Green at Good Shepherd: Sustainability The Church of the Good Shepherd is “Going Green”. This initiative is overseen by the Sustainability Committee which ensures that Good Shepherd is a model for sustainability (aka being Green) in our local community. The Committee meets several times each year to discuss and plan upcoming events and projects. See below for a list of some of the ongoing projects organized and overseen by the Sustainability Committee.
- The SC ensures that any building improvements are done in an energy efficient way. In 2010 we completed an Energy Audit of the church buildings. One major finding (obvious to anyone who spent time in the building in winter) was that the building was poorly insulated in terms of windows and through the roof. In 2011 we replaced the entire roof on the Church and Parish Hall buildings. The work was made possible by financial assistance from the Diocese of New York and the Bedell Fund at Saint Matthew’s Church in Bedford. A major component of that roof replacement was insulating the roof and ceiling for the first time in the history of the buildings (the original roof from the 1950s had never been insulated or replaced). The insulation in the attic areas was personally installed by members of the SC. In 2011 we also replaced the boiler in the parish, which had been leaking and was no longer efficient. In 2012 we replaced all of the windows in the Church (we hope to do the Parish Hall soon) with the highest rated energy efficient windows available. The result of these upgrades has been three-fold. 1) The building looks fabulous and the new windows allow in much more light. 2) The building is noticeably warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. 3) We are using energy in a more efficient way, using less heating oil and saving money on our energy bills!
- Many people do not know that recycling costs money for properties and buildings that are zoned “Commercial”. Businesses, as well as Churches and other non-profit organizations, are all zoned as Commercial and therefore recycling requires more than sorting paper, metal, and plastic, it also costs extra for a second container truck and a second outdoor receptacle for collection. In dollars recycling usually costs a minimum of $500 more per year, an “unnecessary” expense that most business and many non-profits decide is not worth incurring. At Good Shepherd we do recycle. Currently parishioners take the recyclables home.
- Coffee Hour is a standard at most churches and the standard coffee cup is made of non-recyclable styrofoam. In 2012 we phased out styrofoam and other non-recyclable utensils and food service items at parish events. We use Good Shepherd mugs for coffee, glass for other beverages, metal utensils, and biodegradable plates, bowls and napkins. We hope to transition the outside groups that use our space to the same standards: large AA groups that consume lots of coffee meet at the church two times each week.
- Composting and growing fresh vegetables is another initiative of the SC. In 2012 we built a vegetable garden behind the church and we sell the vegetables that we grow to raise money for our Outreach Fund.
If you are interested in joining the SC or for more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org