Evangelical environmentalism is a movement in the church community that emphasizes biblical mandates to care for God’s creation called “creation care.” This movement is focused on reducing the impact that a particular congregation has on resources, indoor air quality, environmental quality, energy usage, water consumption, and resource depletion. The work done by creation care committees is a form of mission work for those that will be hardest hit by climate change in impoverished areas of the world as the church’s carbon footprint is diminished.
We have been working hard at our Park View Mennonite Church to cut the energy usage through various strategies. We have added insulation in key locations, changed to programmable thermostats, and even hired the Natural Garden to push mow our grounds to cut fossil fuel usage. However the biggest impact on our energy usage has been from lighting changes.
We are in process of replacing traditional 4 bulb – 4′ long, 60 watt fluorescent tube lights with two 25 watt LED bulbs in existing fixtures. That is a huge 190 watt savings per fixture and the quality of light has been improved.
As resources are scarce in most places, they are also very limited in the church. So to keep this re-lamp process as affordable as possible we are keeping the existing fixtures. This involves removing the existing ballast and re-wiring the fixtures to convert to LED bulbs. This not only cuts our cost per fixture by 50%+ versus installing entirely new fixtures, it also reduces the amount of waste material produced by this process to almost nothing. So fixture by fixture we are slowly making a difference. To date we have now cut our lighting wattage by more than 5,000 watts.