By Ray Wilson, H-IPL Board Chair
Over a year ago, the steering team of Indy Green Congregations–an affiliate of Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light–was brainstorming about how we could make a bigger impact on central Indiana’s effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Someone remembered that the recently completed Thriving Indianapolis Plan had a goal of reducing CO2 emissions. So we invited folks from the Indy Office of Sustainability to come to our next meeting and tell us some of the ways we might be able to help.
As it turns out, there is an interim Indianapolis goal of reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2025. We found that to be a very modest goal compared to other states and cities. So several of us began to meet and discuss what we might do. We knew from our earlier work with congregations around the state that it is possible to reduce utility consumption by 25%. In fact, there are some congregations that have reduced their consumption upwards of 40% and saved money in the process.
We found out that there are approximately 1250 congregations in Indianapolis. After some back-of-the-envelope calculations, we figure that if all those congregations and their congregants reduce their energy consumption by 25% we could make a significant impact on the Indianapolis goal. And it could be done by 2025.
COVD 19 slowed our progress for several months. However, because of COVID 19, we have learned that we can serve a much wider audience than we dreamed of prior to the pandemic. So the H-IPL board has directed us to think bigger and invite all the congregations in the state to be part of the Thriving Faith Communities project. I don’t know this for a fact, but somewhere in my memory, I remember being told there are 30,000 congregations in the state of Indiana. Think of the impact if we could get a large percentage of them and their congregants to reduce their energy consumption by 25%. And think of the money that would be saved that otherwise would go up the chimney – wasted!
We need your help.
- Please get your congregation signed up with H-IPL’s Thriving Faith Communities now. Our goal is to get 50 congregations signed up by the end of the summer and at least 100 by the end of the year.
- We will need coaches to help and encourage congregations. Let us know how you want to help.
- Donate. We need funds for staff and expenses. We want to help support smaller congregations and those that may not have the resources upfront to be able to benefit from this program as well. If you know of any entity or person who has the resources and passion for this work, share what we are doing with them.
We are obviously excited about the possibilities of the good we can do. Let’s get about it.