Episcopal Life Convention Daily
Thursday, 13 July 2000  

This is a web version of the ECUSA General Convention Daily. Anglicans Online has produced this web version, from the official PDF edition, for your reading convenience. Other days' issues are here.

Greening of the Church urged

No offense to Kermit the Frog, but environmental activists hope to convince the Episcopal Church that it is easy being green.

With many states moving toward electrical energy deregulation, a resolution developed by the Episcopal Ecological Network of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (A048) is urging Episcopalians at all levels to choose environmentally safe and sustainable energy sources, especially those deriving from sun and wind.

"We've always said that we in the Episcopal Church are good stewards of creation," said the Rev. Sally Bingham, co-director of Episcopal Power and Light and chair of the Commission for the Environment for the Diocese of California. "This is a way to put our faith into action."

"People ask me, does it cost more? Yes," she said. "But it's hardly enough to scare people away from doing it." St. Luke's in Cedar Falls, Iowa, buys wind power for $2.50 more per month, Bingham said. General Convention is using electrical energy derived from wind power at a cost of about 10 cents a person extra per day, she said. "This is the first convention in the country to be powered by renewable energy. When 15,000 Episcopalians leave Denver, we won't leave a big imprint on the land or the air," she said.

"We're hoping to lead the Democratic and Republican conventions this summer to do the same thing," she said, noting the Democrats are negotiating the issue now in Los Angeles.

Consumers in several states already havetheoption of buying "green power." In California, churches can receive a $250 rebate for signing up for renewable energy with one provider, and churches receive $35 for every individual parishioner who switches. The hope is that the churches will use the rebate for an energy audit that will help them save money,Bingham said. "When you save energy, you save money."

Episcopal Power and Light is working on similar deals in other states and hopes to start a fund to aid parishes that can't afford the increased price of green power, she said.

The extra cost is an investment in the health of the future, she said, noting people already spend hundreds of dollars on things like airbags, and then don't want to spend 50 cents more to insure clean air for our children."

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