The St. Columba’s Environment Committee was formed by a small group of parishioners in 2001, with three principal objectives – understanding how our faith calls us to be stewards of God’s creation, encouraging the church and our fellow parishioners to lighten our footprint on the Earth, and educating ourselves about the environmental challenges we face and taking direct action to address them in the larger community.
Solar Cooperative The Environment Committee will provide parishioners and neighbors an opportunity to join a solar cooperative in March. We will organize a meeting in February to explain the benefits, which include a 30% tax credit and SRECs, in addition to free energy from the sun.
Plant Sale The Plant Sale to Benefit Sustainable Village Honduras will be held on May 14th, Mother's Day. This past year, St. Columba's contributed $1500 to support this effort to restore and enhance environmental practices in rural Honduras.
·Sara Via spoke on sustainable landscaping and ways to create a climate-friendly yard. Professor Via is an entomologist at the University of Maryland College Park and maintains a web site called The Climate Corner. She managed to cram a one-hour presentation into half that time, but I recommend the full-length version, which can be found here. My favorite bit of her advice: Don’t strive for the perfect weed-free lawn – if it’s green, mow it!
·Community organizer Sidra Siddiqui of the Washington Interfaith Network discussed what WIN is doing to bring affordable, healthy, safe, clean, and green housing to Ward 3. Her talk provoked a lively discussion with those present – and you can see it here on the St. C’s YouTube channel! It also provoked Dick Dowd to share this reflection from John Wesley:
“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”
Message from Environment Committee Co-Chairs
We invite you to join in the activities of the Environment Committee! Dip in your toes, by signing up for our monthly newsletter – or dig deeper, by getting into nature, participating in one of our activities, or suggesting a new one that speaks to you. There are many opportunities to learn and do: We hope to screen the film “The Biggest Little Farm” when the pandemic abates. We welcome partnerships with other ministries at St. Columba’s – from ensuring that parish events are eco-friendly to exploring issues of environmental justice. We are deeply grateful for the leadership of our own clergy, Bishop Mariann Budde of the Diocese of Washington, and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Church.
The Environment Committee has emphasized both learning and doing – sharing our concerns with the parish and encouraging individual action. We have promoted good environmental practices in the Common on many occasions, and every month or so 300 St. Columbans receive a newsletter about Committee plans, other environmental news and events, and spiritual reflections. Sign up here to get it!
Sustainable Villages Honduras
The Environment Committee works to protect God’s creation and ensure a sustainable environment for future generations both locally and globally. Sustainable Villages Honduras is a multi-church effort to help farmers in remote Honduran communities meet the challenges of environmental degradation and extreme weather patterns related to climate change. In 2021, the communities in Sustainable Villages were hit by two hurricanes in ten days. Staff and villagers have been working hard to recover -- building houses, restoring fields, and protecting water resources. Funds from the Plant Sale and donations are essential to this work to improve life in Honduras and reduce emigration from the villages. Sustainable Villages Honduras - visit their website!
Housing Up Garden
In support of St. C’s Family Homelessness initiative, members of the Environment Committee — and others — helped the kids in Housing Up’s Fort View apartment complex to plant and maintain a garden plot in the Fort View Community Garden. Over the course of the summer, children plant, water, and harvest the plants.
Members of the Environment Committee have joined varied park clean-up efforts, for example, pitching in with the Ward 8 Woods Conservancy. Outdoor projects like this have been both useful and safe ways to contribute to our community during Covid. Another clean-up is planned for the spring.
CONTACT: KAREN ABRAMS | E-MAIL
St C's Environment Committee - "Green Tips"
Starting in the summer of 2014, members of the Environment Committee produced a series of "green tips" - simple, everyday actions people could take to live a more environment-friendly life - for publication in the St. Columba's newsletter. Thanks to the support and efforts of Carol Janus at the National Cathedral, many of the tips were…Read More »
Over the course of two decades, the St. C's Environment Committee has worked to establish recycling, composting, solar panels, zero waste, clean-ups, nature walks, environmental films, Forums, letters to encourage environmentally-oriented voters to vote, a plant sale, a garden for Housing Up, support for Sustainable Villages Honduras, and now a partnership with WIN.
St. Columba'…Read More »
During Lent in 2019, St. Columba's Environment committee presented a series of five "Living Green" workshops with the goal of providing concrete and practical options to live a more Earth-friendly life. The five transformative topics included: The Son and the Sun, Green Homes, Green Community, Green World, and Green Gardens. Here is a summary by Kris Moore of the valuable informa…Read More »
St. Columba's has taken the next big step in its goal to become a zero waste church. In the good company of many major organizations (Subaru, GM, Microsoft, DuPont), St. C's has adopted zero waste as a guiding principle for our waste management, but for Zero Waste to be more than just an aspiration, we need everyone to take part!Read More »