Our land use and interaction with the soil under our care deeply affects our contribution to carbon pollution. Mowing grass and using water sprinklers and petroleum-based fertilizers not only costs money but increases our carbon footprint. But well-managed grounds designed to maintain soil moisture, filter rainwater, support trees, or grow edible plants can enhance not only our property's beauty, but also its sustainability.
Here is a helpful article by Norman Wirzba entitled "Carbon and Compost: Gardening in a Time of Climate Change." The amount of carbon your congregation's land emits or sequesters isn't directly measurable in the same way that utilities are. But you can use this calculator to estimate the benefits accrued by planting a single tree.
Indiana congregations are reevaluating their land use and turning congregational property into wildlife habitats, small urban forests, community gardens, and outdoor classrooms for creation care. Hoosier IPL offers two programs to encourage congregations with their land use. Find out more at the links below:
Leaves of Faith Canopy Project
In partnership with Indiana Urban Forest Council, H-IPL offers this program to provide up to 3 high quality trees per year for 3 years to Indiana congregations.
Our parent organization Interfaith Power & Light offers the Cool Congregations program to lead the way in environmental sustainability.