Green Tips

We look for ways to help build environmental awareness in parishioners and help you to make changes in your lifestyle to be more environmentally-friendly.

  • Be a fan-attic. Instead of reaching for the AC, consider the much underrated ceiling fan. It uses dramatically less energy than an air conditioner, costs less to buy, is a breeze to install, and cools like a charm.
  • Consume the cold stuff. Take advantage of your fridge by filling up some spare bottles with water and keeping them in there. And keep one in the freezer for those extra hot days. Eat small, light meals, and foods high in water content, like fruits & vegetables.
  • Turn off the hot stuff. Switch off your computer and lights when not in use (try to avoid incandescent and halogen lamps in favor of compact florescent ones), and forgo the oven if you can.
  • Check your refrigerator settings. The fridge takes heat out of your food and transfers it to your kitchen, so be sure you’re running efficiently. The refrigerator is best set between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the freezer around 5 degrees.
  • Pay attention to thermostat temps and turn off your furnace pilot light when not in use. You can always re-light it next autumn.
  • Build a garden and plant fruits, veggies, flowers, and native plants. Consider choosing native plants for your garden. Native plants are adapted to your area and require less water.
  • Replace inefficient appliances and other plug-loads that drain and waste energy.
  • Rain barrel. Set up a rain barrel to catch rain water for use in the garden during the days it is not raining.
  • Trickle irrigation. Watering from a hose held in hand is the most inefficient way to water, as some of the water is evaporated into the air before it reaches the plant. Soaker hoses lay on the ground throughout the garden. The water trickles out of the hose into the soil.
  • Use a water filter and drinking glass instead of drinking bottled water. Bottled water produces over a million tons of plastic waste annually.
  • Cut back on your meat intake and buy local and sustainably raised meats. Livestock production absorbs 16 pounds of feed for every pound that comes to the table.  Animals raised on pasture improve the welfare of farm animals, help reduce environmental damage, and yield meat, eggs, and dairy products that are tastier and more nutritious than foods produced on factory farms.
  • Shop at farmer’s markets; buy local and seasonal produce. 
  • Use reusable items.  Did you know that one kid’s average school lunch generates 67 pounds of waste a year? Pack your lunch in reusable containers, reusable bottles; metal utensils. Use a cloth napkin.
  • Limit printing, junk mail, and recycle!  Did you know that each year millions of trees and billions of gallons of water are used to create junk mail, most of which never gets recycled?  DirectMail.com is a free, quick way to get your name off commercial mailing lists; OptOutPrescreen.com opts you out of pre-approved credit card and insurance offers online or by phone: 1-888-5-OPTOUT; Catologchoice.org allows you to decline mailed catalogs.
  • Limit styrofoam and paper product use.  Use recyclable and compostable material.  Did you know that if every household in the U.S. replaced just one roll of 180-sheet virgin-fiber paper towels with 100-percent recycled paper towels, we could save 1.4 million trees, 3.7 million cubic feet of landfill space, 526 million gallons of water, and prevent 89,400 pounds of pollution?
  • Pay attention to and limit water use.  Use grey water systems.  Did you know U.S. office workers use enough water every day to fill 17,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools? Unfortunately, much of this water comes from leaky faucets. A leaky faucet that fills a coffee cup in ten minutes will waste an estimated 3,000 gallons of water a year.  Did you know that each time your toilet is flushed, it uses five to seven gallons of water? Fill a small plastic juice bottle or laundry soap bottle with water, put on the cap, and place it in the tank. Be careful that the bottle doesn’t interfere with the flushing mechanism.
  • Drive less, carpool more, and use proper vehicle maintenance.  Did you know that 50 to 80 percent of tires are under inflated? Under-inflated tires waste up to five percent of a car’s fuel. We would we save up to two billion gallons a year if we properly inflated our tires.
  • Bring cloth bags when you shop. Paper or Plastic? Plastic bags are more convenient than paper but they’re not biodegradable. Paper bags are biodegradable but are often made from virgin paper because heavy loads require the long fibers in virgin pulp.  Did you know it takes one 15- to 20-year-old tree to make enough paper for only 700 grocery bags?
  • Make the switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. Did you know that if every American household replaced one standard incandescent light bulb with a fluorescent bulb, the energy saved would be equivalent to the energy generated by one nuclear power plant running full time for a year?
  • Explore (and transition) to renewable energy in household energy consumption.  Consider a solar hot water heater, passive solar building construction, wind energy, geothermal, etc.
  • Use non-toxic household cleaners.  Did you know cleaning your home can be harmful to your health? Many common household cleaners contain toxic solvents, fragrances, disinfectants, and other ingredients that can pollute the air and cause respiratory, skin, and other reactions. Learn about green cleaning at www.ecos.co.

Green Cleaners

  • Furniture polish: 1c vegetable /olive oil, ½ c lemon juice, mix in spray bottle
  • Drain cleaner: 1/2c baking soda down the drain, followed by ½ c vinegar. Cover drain for 15 minutes, flush with 2 quarts of boiling water
  • Glass Cleaner: 1 gallon water, ½ c vinegar, ½ teaspoon liquid detergent
  • All-purpose cleaner: ½ tea soda water, dab liquid soap, 2 cups HOT water, combine in spray bottle