Greening Your Home and Your House of Worship

By Emily Andrews, Executive
Director USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter

Over the past few months, there has been a lot of attention given to climate change – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, recent proposed carbon emission regulations for power plants, and even comedians like John Oliver. It’s good to see the topic back in the news and being taken seriously – even by comedians!

But what will it take to make a difference? What will it take for everyone to live, work, learn and worship in a green building? It will take a lot of cooperation and hard work. But we can start by paying attention to our buildings’ energy use.

With over 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States coming from the building sector, we have a responsibility to act. We also have an opportunity to make a difference – in our homes, our workplaces, our schools and our houses of worship. Anywhere there is a building, there is an opportunity to measure its energy use and make changes to conserve energy, save money, improve building occupant experience, and protect the environment.

At the end of July, USGBC-Missouri Gateway is teaming up with the Jewish Environmental Initiative (a committee of the Jewish Community Relations Council) and Missouri Interfaith Power and Light to inspire you to make a difference in your homes and your houses of worship. Two keynote speakers will share their passion about the effects of climate change and actions you can take to get involved.

Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley is a civil rights leader and environmentalist from Atlanta. He serves on the national Interfaith Power & Light Board and is the former pastor at the historic Providence Missionary Baptist Church of Atlanta, where he served for nearly 25 years. In 2011, Rev. Durley was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame for his contributions during the civil rights movement. Mike Roberts is a weather reporter for KSDK News Channel 5. He’s been with KSDK since 1996 and has won Emmys for Best Weathercast-Weathercaster. Mike is an adjunct instructor at St. Louis University in the department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. He is also active in his church, which is working to install solar panels.

After Rev. Durley and Mike Roberts deliver their keynotes, we will offer break out groups where attendees can learn more about how to green their homes and their houses of worship. Make a Difference: Environmental Action in Your Home & House of Worship will take place on July 31, 2014 from 6:45 – 9:00 pm at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. It is free, but online registration is required at www.usgbc-mogateway.org/events.

Questions? Please contact Gail Wechsler with the Jewish Environmental Initiative at gwechsler@jcrcstl.org or 314-442-3894.