We believe doing things that are good for the environment go beyond dollars and cents, and is part of our responsibility in caring for God’s creation.
When we decided to build an addition in 2011, we not only used energy saving items in our new area, but upgraded many other parts of our building to minimize our overall increase in energy consumption. As parts of our church have worn out and need to be replaced, we are replacing them eco-friendly versions, such as low-flow toilets, CFL and LED light sources, and high efficiency heating/cooling units. We are also in the process of adding building-wide single-stream recycling to reduce the amount of waste we contribute to landfills
In conjunction with the United Church of Christ’s Mission 4/1 Initiative in 2013, we formed a Green Ministry Team of people who have a passion for environmental issues. They meet monthly to discuss ideas for how Bethlehem can continue to minimize their carbon footprint. Many ideas and suggestions for improvements in our church have come from this group. They also help educate the congregation about ways we can change our habits at church and at home.
From time to time, different groups lead an effort to minimize the amount of things we contribute to the landfill. Our children and youth programs often collect certain common household items for craft projects. In the spring, the youth group collects a wide variety of household goods and clothing for their annual Rummage Sale. This not only serves as a fundraiser for them, but gives new homes to unwanted items that might otherwise be thrown away. The Motley Crew (a group of young adults) organizes electronics recycling. They collect small electronics (cell phones, laptops, tablets, mp3 players, digital cameras, and ink jet cartridges) and ship them to a responsible company in the US who repurposes or recycles these items that are toxic to landfills. The Motley Crew also receives a small amount of funds from this that they use toward their mission work.