Presbyterians for Earth Care


Examples and Resources for Four Categories of Earth Care Activities

General resources:

 WORSHIP (Worship Committee)

Earth Day worship services and other special days of celebration (blessing of the animals, garden blessing):

Hymns about the environment:

Scripture readings about the environment:

Sermons on earth care:

General resources for worship:


Find earth care curricula:

Vacation Bible School curriculum with an earth care theme:

Schedule earth care speakers or programs:

Books on earth care for your church’s library:

Earth care themed DVDs with faith-based guides:

  • “Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice” and “Cherishing God’s Earth”from PC(USA) Environmental Ministries
  • Earth Ministry suggested videos
  • Renewal: A documentary about people of faith working on environmental stewardship with tools for faith leaders
  • Earth Ministry Religious Study Guide and clips to accompany Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s
    Best Idea ken_burns
  • Dirty Business: A documentary about mountaintop removal coal mining with accompanying study guide from National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program
  • Deep Down: A documentary on mountaintop removal coal mining with accompanying study guide
  • Let There Be . . . Stuff? Six-session curriculum connecting faith, consumerism and environmental stewardship from
    GreenFaith and the Story of Stuff Project
  • Fresh: A documentary about sustainable food, with accompanying study guide from GreenFaith

General resources and suggestions for education:


Energy use, conservation, and renewable energy possibilities:

  • Perform a professional energy audit: Though not required, Earth Care Teams are encouraged to complete a professional energy audit of church buildings in addition to the ECC Environmental Audit. An energy audit critiques the energy efficiency of your buildings and recommends steps to make your buildings more energy efficient. A professional audit could be performed by a trained church member who volunteers his or her time, through a local energy provider, local government program, or other business or nonprofit. An energy audit will give you much of the information you need to complete the energy conservation section of the ECC Environmental Audit and help you set goals for the future. • Contact your utility company to see if they offer free or low-cost energy audits for churches
  • Contact your local or state government to learn about incentive programs for energy audits
  • ENERGY STAR for Congregations: Environmental Protection Agency program to assist churches with energy efficiency. Participating churches receive technical help and may use the Portfolio Manager system to track and reduce energy. and Portfolio Manager:
  • PC(USA) Carbon neutral challenge
  • Interfaith Power and Light congregation carbon calculator
  • Find incentives for renewable power and energy efficiency
  • Purchase ENERGY STAR appliances
  • Learn about options for buying green power See if your utility offers green power
  • Explore LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council
  • 10 Earth Care Congregation
  • Perform two preseason (one prior to using heat and one prior to using air conditioning) checkups to maintain HVAC systems each year c=heat_cool.pr_maintenance Suggestions for heating and cooling energy conservation:
  • Determine how well insulated different parts of your church are, and add insulation where necessary and effective
  • Install an insulation blanket on water heaters seven years of age or older, and insulate the first three feet of the heated water “out” pipe from your water heater
  • Install an energy-efficient electric or gas water heater
  • In areas of infrequent water use, consider “tankless”water heaters to reduce “standby”storage costs and waste
  • Set your water heater to 110–120 degrees Fahrenheit where appropriate (some local health codes require higher temperatures)
  • Install seven-day programmable thermostats
  • Install thermal shades for windows to conserve heat in winter
  • Install tinted windows to reduce solar heat gain in summer
  • Clean or change your HVAC filter once a month
  • Utilize natural light where possible
  • Utilize natural cooling and ceiling fans to avoid use of air conditioning
  • Check ductwork to ensure that joints are sealed
  • Include responsibility for best environmental practices in your church’s facilities manager’s job description or include this in the duties of the building and grounds committee
  • Establish a fund for energy improvements in the church’s budget Water conservation:
  • ENERGY STAR for Congregations
  • Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense: learn about faucet aerators and other ways to conserve water Suggestions for water conservation:
  • Repair leaking pipes, fixtures and seals and consider purchasing low-flow toilets and waterless urinals
  • Install controls that turn faucets off automatically, and/or put reminder signs near faucets to not let water run unnecessarily 11 Environmental Ministries Recycling/Waste:
  • ENERGY STAR for Congregations
  • Purchase recycled paper and office products Suggestions for recycling:
  • Donate to charities that accept unneeded items that cannot be recycled
  • Use refill kits for ink cartridges and toner cartridges
  • Recycle ink cartridges and toner cartridges that cannot be refilled
  • Use labeled recycling bins for aluminum, glass, plastic, metal and cardboard


General resources and suggestions for facilities:



Sustainable food practices:

General resources and suggestions for outreach:

  • Visit urban parks and nature centers
  • Organize an eco-justice tour of your community to explore blighted areas and work with justice leaders on these issues
  • Write a letter to the editor or an op-ed
  • Donate used materials instead of throwing them away Habitat for Humanity Restore collects reusable and surplus building materials
  • Become a group member of Presbyterians for Earth Care
  • Share, speak with, or teach at another congregation, to encourage their Earth Care activities

Environmental Ministries

  • Sponsor an e-trash recycling or household hazardous waste day for the community
  • Share or rent office space within the church with local nonprofit groups to reduce the building footprint
  • Purchase Sweat-Free clothing (no sweat-shop labor used)
  • Network with other houses of worship and organizations in your area that are active in earth care
  • Share the Earth Care Congregations program by connecting with other congregations in your presbytery and/or by hosting informational tables and sessions at presbytery events
  • Sign up to join the Environmental Ministries Action Network to stay connected with PC(USA) Environmental Ministries, others in your presbytery working on earth care and to be eligible to apply for grant funds for environmental stewardship projects at your church
  • Contact the Presbyterians for Earth Care Regional Representative for your area to learn about opportunities to be involved in earth care