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.
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. Include a photo of the team.
In December 2016, Bethlehem installed a 54 kW 160-panel solar array to power our facility with clean renewable energy. To learn more about our array and the benefits of solar energy production, please visit our Solar Panel Array Dedication (link to dedication page) page.
Watch our solar energy accumulate! Here is a link to our array’s production:
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 with eco-friendly versions, such as low-flow toilets, CFL and LED light sources, and high efficiency heating/cooling units. We have also had a professional energy audit, improved our building insulation, and installed new windows to maximize our energy efficiency.
Bethlehem has a church-wide recycling program which collects plastics, paper, cardboard, and metals. Our Green Team has worked with local manufacturer Green Tree Plastics to produce benches for our property that are made from plastic collected by the congregation. Our team has also established a metal recycling system for collecting scrap metal and recycling it for proceeds that benefit other ministries of the church.
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 links below are resources used by our Green Team to help guide our initiatives. Please take some time to explore these resources and learn about the importance of environmental issues and how you can help!