Make a Bigger Difference: Greening Your Life, Your Community, and Your House of Worship August 25

By Johanna Schweiss, Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator,
USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter

In his recent encyclical on ecology, Pope Francis stated that “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

While we can acknowledge the severity of the threat of climate change, sometimes it can feel daunting to confront it. It is easy to think that one person’s actions don’t make much of an impact, but that is so far from the truth. The work ahead starts with each of us, and there is so much that we can do to make a difference!

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 – 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.

On August 25, we are 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 lives, your communities, and your houses of worship.

Don Corrigan, Professor of Environmental Journalism and Global Communications at Webster University, will present a keynote address. Corrigan is a recipient of the Lewis C. Green Environmental Service Award in recognition for his decades of writing in the area of environmental journalism, as well as for founding the program for the Outdoor/Environmental Journalism Writing Certificate at Webster University’s School of Communications. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and has won numerous awards from the Missouri Press Association for his journalism on the outdoors and the environment.

Two concurrent breakout sessions about greening your house of worship and greening your life and community will follow the keynote. The greening your life and community session will include panelists on topics including local eco-communities, native plant landscaping, greening our schools, and becoming an environmental advocate. The house of worship session will focus on next steps beyond recycling and will include panelists from congregations that have taken major actions to incorporate greening into all aspects of their spiritual communities.

Make a Bigger Difference: Environmental Action For Your Life, Your Community, & Your House of Worship will take place August 25th at The Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Road 63117, from 6:45 to 9:00 PM, with light refreshments served.

The event is free, but registration is required at http://bit.ly/082515. For more information, contact Gail Wechsler at 314-442-3894 or gwechsler@jcrcstl.org.