St Paul’s United Church, in Magog, Quebec, for example, needed to replace an older, gas-powered furnace. Staying with steam heat looked too costly, but what to do with the ancient, cast iron radiators? They found a local company to convert the radiators to standalone electric units. Converting to electric is projected to reduce the church’s carbon emissions by 15%, reusing the radiators kept them out of the landfill, and employing a local company helped strengthen the region’s green economy.
“This is literally a case of the church putting its money where its mouth is,” said Mardi Tindal, former United Church moderator and spokesperson for the greening program, known as Faithful Footprints. “We have long advocated for climate justice and greenhouse gas reduction. Integrity demands that we get our own house in order.”
St Paul’s United is one of 148 United Church communities of faith across the country seeking to reduce their carbon emissions, assisted by grants of up to $30,000 from the Faithful Footprints program.
By aggregating carbon impact data from these greening projects, the United Church will be able to track progress towards its climate goals.
A Sustainability Report of the Faithful Footprints program, tracking progress in the first two years of the program, has just been released.