Eco-Ministry News:

Scarred Lands Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War will be shown at the  Homewood Carnegie Library on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 2:30.

“The environmental damage occasioned by war and preparation for war is routinely underestimated, underreported, even ignored. In Scarred Lands Wounded Lives we discover that the environment remains war’s ‘silent casualty.’ 

The documentary is sponsored by the Women’s Internat’l League for Peace and Freedom, Veterans for Peace of Western PA, Chapter 47, and Izaak Walton League.

For more information call: 412.298.7589

A new project of the Eco-Ministry Team is our Carbon Offset Project

Ecology looks to understand how all the systems of the natural world work together and depend on one another, communicate and commune with each other. You could say, in a way, it is the science part of World Communion. We know by now that the big problems we have created, specifically as members of an over-consuming society, already caused and will continue to cause massive disruptions in the global ecosphere. Among those disruptions, the rapid warming of the planet’s climate arguably is the most concerning.

As a congregation that cares about being part of the solution of climate change, we need to ask ourselves, each one of us, what we can do to help with good stewardship of our planet. At the same time, we should think about what, as a congregation, we can do to address this issue.

The heating of our church with natural gas produces carbon dioxide (the most talked-about of the greenhouse gases) to the tune of over 160 metric tons a year. There is a growing community of people and institutions that try to counteract the impact emissions such as these have on the atmosphere. You might have heard the term carbon offsetting or carbon offset. This activity is facilitated by organizations specifically sponsoring such projects, both domestically in the US, but also in other places of the world. Examples are supporting the use of wind turbines on farms for generating electricity, converting farms to grassland and thus sequestering (storing) large amounts of CO2, capturing methane (a particularly potent greenhouse gas) from landfills and converting it to local energy, or even helping to build a water purification project in a developing country that is low greenhouse gas emitting.

In the spring, the EcoMinistry Team found an organization, NativeEnergy, that supports a set of specific projects under the name of HelpBuild™. We now would like to partner with NativeEnergy to financially support such projects. Since they calculate a price of $15 per ton of CO2 offset, our goal is to raise an amount of $2,430 (that is 162 x $15.-) in total over the next few weeks as our carbon offset initiative. In a way, you can think of it as our own carbon tax. Your contribution will give us the opportunity to make an authentic statement that we care about our own impact on the environment.

If you have any questions whatsoever, please ask any of us. Next week, we will present the two projects that we selected to be supported by your contributions. Please mark any gifts for this project clearly as “CO2 Project”, whether you plan on giving online, with a check, or in an envelope.