footprint

How much does our worship of the Creator cost Creation...
And what are we going to do about it?

A project commenced through the Scots Church ecofaith.org ministry, with the assistance of ecoconscious funded by Uniting Foundation
As of March 2008 this site is not being further developed, but should still be useful.
It may become part of my ministry to do more work on it in the future, but if you would like to take it on, let me know!

 

 

Every week all around the world, Christians and others gather to worship the God whom they call "Creator" amongst other things.

But this worship inflict an environmental cost on Creation. The construction and maintenance of a building, the power used to run the building, the fuel used to get to the building, the snacks eaten in the building, and so on.

So although the building itself might only occupy a tiny part of creation, everything that goes into maintaining it and getting us to it contributes to a much larger actual "footprint"

This project sought to measure the actual footprint of gathering to worship God in various churches, and to make the resources we produced available to any worshipping community which wanted them. Which is hopefully you!

This page contains resources which will help your worshipping community measure the ecological footprint associated with your worship, and to explain why that is important!
They were produced as part of a pilot project run with a small number of Uniting Church congregations in South Australia in 2007.

Here are some examples of measuring and graphically representing the Sunday worship footprints.

If everyone in the world was to live like the average resident of Adelaide (or Australia), AND if we left no productive land for wild creatures, we would need FOUR planet earths.

Anyone got a few Earths to spare?

Resources created as part of this project

Calculating your church's(or other place of worship) worship footprint.
You can download the excel spreadsheets (below) (the VIc government has dropped their support of the online ones)

download version 3 (23 Aug 07, with a minor bugfix Oct08) of the worship service footprint calculator (choose 'save' not 'run', and save it into the folder in which you already have the Victorian Environment Protection Authority calculators)

If you don't have those calculators (called schools_EF.xls and office_ef.xls, then you will also need to download this zip file which contains them.

"The Earth is the Lord's, but we need more than one" A one page reflection on Psalm 24 and the ecological footprint (word format or pdf ) Freely distributable.

An article about the footprinting concept and pilot, for congregational bulletins, news sheets etc. To cut and paste as is useful.

Two other versions of the theological illustrations

Poster Templates
The best idea is probably to hand draw large posters which can be put on a wall and filled in each week or month. Otherwise, these might help...
general
electricity
paper

Some other graph templates (excel): By Tiffany Schultz
Part A (breakdown of electricity, water use, travel etc)
Part B (overall footprint, Sunday Service and Individual)

 

External resources: Theological

A recent document, "Common belief" available from the Climate Institute of Australia, spells out the response of various Australian Religious communities to climate change. The Uniting Church contribution is a draft of what was to become a much fuller response, "for the sake of the planet," which can be downloaded here.

External resources: Practical

The Global Footprinting Network has plenty of background information and maps to illustrate and explain the footprint concept (here)
A short 3 minute video by Assoc. Prof George Ganf on the global footprint, climate change and population.

You used to be able to order information packs about the ecological footprint concept from the SA Government Sustainability and Climate Change Division (+61 8 8204 2999) but it looks like they have closed that down, or at least all teh web links are gone.

You used to be able to get a fantastic DVD/download which explains the concept, from the Victorian Government EPA. They have scrapped it. Go here to complain. However, someone has uploaded it to youtube so you can watch it there


Many calculators have been taken offline since I wrote this page, but you can find one for Australia here

Perhaps because climate change is becoming the most publicised environmental issue, there are lots of carbon footprint calculators now, including this one and a collection sent to me by Carla from doubleglazed.com as part of their "52 strategies to lower your carbon footprint" page- thanks!