2020 Environmental Pledges – ‘Saying Yes to Life’

Week 1

Electricity/ energy = affordable, clean, renewable,


  • switching to a renewable energy provider
  • Turn down the thermostat
  • Turn off lights when not in a room
  • Install low energy light bulbs / LED
  • Air dry clothes
  • Don’t leave devices on standby
  • Switch to a water flosser
  • Insulate your home
  • Get double glazing
  • Install solar panels
  • Use washing machine colder cleaning cycles
  • Use a fan in the winter to circulate warm air and reduce heating bills
  • Shut windows/doors when heating or air conditioning is running

Work Life

  • Turn off lights when not in a room
  • Install low energy light bulbs
  • Don’t leave devices on standby
  • Invest in eco friendly technology (high energy efficiency)
  • Unplug work computers/monitors at night



  • Take simple energy efficiency steps (eg switch to low-energy bulbs, put heating on a timer switch, eliminate draughts, improve insulation, service the boiler, turn off lights, switch off computer equipment)
  • Switch to a green energy supplier
  • Undertake an energy audit and monitor emissions
  • Install solar panels or other renewable sources of energy

Week 2

Water- issues around pollution for species and for humans, toilet twinning


  • Turn off the water when brushing your teeth
  • Switch to low flow shower head
  • Repair leaky taps etc
  • Take shorter showers
  • Wash fruit and veg in a bowl and reuse water for watering plants – also reuse water from boiling pasta/potatoes/veg etc (as long as not salted!)
  • Always fill the dishwasher (if you have off peak energy in the evening – run it then!)
  • Twin your toilet – at home/work/church
  • Collect rainwater to re-use in the garden


  • Harvest rain water (eg for toilets) and re-use ‘grey’ water for church gardens

Week 3

Trees, deforestation – reducing CO2


  • grow my own food
  • Leave part of the garden wild and plant bee friendly plants
  • Plant wildflowers
  • Put up bat/bird boxes
  • Plant a veg garden
  • Grow your own herbs
  • Plant a tree (or a few!)
  • Create a composting system


  • cycle instead of driving
  • walk more drive less
  • walk to work whatever the weather
  • offset my flights
  • choose an electric car as your next car
  • give up your car
  • rent a hybrid car when on holiday
  • car share where possible
  • empty the boot/remove roof rack – light cars use less fuel

Work Life

  • video conferencing instead of flying/travelling


  • Undertake a Carbon Fast for Lent
  • Travel
  • Encourage people to walk or cycle to church (install bicycle racks)
  • Outdoors
  • Start a compost bin and use it for church gardening projects
  • Plant a remembrance garden

Week 4

Environment and eschatology


  • spend more time in nature
  • Take part in environmental volunteering



  • Preach on creation care as central to the mission of the church
  • Preach on climate justice and how climate change is impacting those who are least responsible, stressing the need for simple, low-carbon lifestyles as part of Christian discipleship
  • Preach on the goodness of creation as a life-giving gift from God and our role as stewards to love and protect what God has made and to love our neighbours as ourselves
  • Give a talk at a PCC meeting or other local meeting or event about climate change and what the church can do.
  • Introduce environmental activities into children’s/youth work


  • Display materials on climate justice / caring for creation from the Christian charities supported by your church (eg Christian Aid, Tearfund, All We Can, CAFOD)
  • Screen film clips from Christian charities (eg Christian Aid, Tearfund) showing how climate change is already hurting our global neighbours
  • Start a ‘green group’ in your church which leads worship, carries out green actions, holds workshops on living simply, and writes green articles for church publications
  • Display a wide range of materials on environmental/climate issues from faith-led organisations (eg Operation Noah, Tearfund, Christian Aid, A Rocha, CAFOD), including actions people can take
  • Encourage church members to support the environmental/climate campaigns led by the faith charities supported by your church
  • Hold events or debates on environmental issues inviting external speakers, or show environmental or campaign films
  • Offer study courses or Bible studies exploring environmental concerns, such as Operation Noah’s Lent course Climate Change and the purposes of God
  • Make green issues a regular part of your church communications, eg parish magazines, newsletters, website or blogs featuring environmental concerns, green lifestyle tips and campaign actions and events
  • Disseminate information about climate change campaigns from environmental and faith NGOs
  • Publicise key national or local actions or events, such as the national climate marches, speaker events, etc


  • Go for walks as a congregation
  • Hold a service or have quiet times of contemplation outside
  • Hold a plant sale to raise money for charity


  • Work in partnership with the wider community on environmental projects or events
  • Lead a microgeneration project in your community
  • Work on environmental projects with local schools, perhaps using your church yard as a ‘field project’
  • Hold a ‘swishing’ event to swap clothes and encourage congregational sharing of goods (eg power tools, ladders) rather than buying new


  • Get your church and PCC to express their concern about an environmental issue (eg fracking, fossil fuel investment, airport expansion) to local government, MPs or Church decision-makers through writing a letter
  • Encourage your vicar to promote fossil-free church investment and pension policy with church leaders
  • Get your church community to raise environmental concerns through official Church channels, for instance by submitting a motion for debate at national Synod
  • Have members of your church or eco group contact senior church leaders, such as a bishop, to discuss environmental concerns and the role of the church
  • Encourage your church to bank ethically and ensure they have an ethical investment policy for savings, including avoiding investment in fossil fuels
  • Include the church’s role in care for creation and addressing climate change in your church mission statement
  • Make the importance of addressing climate change as part of Christian discipleship a stated aim of your church’s values and ethos


  • Contact your Diocesan Environment Officer (DEO) or equivalent to find out what is going on locally and to develop networks with other green churches
  • Become an Eco-Congregation
  • Start a Forest Church group

Week 5

Birds – buying organic helps birds habitats, Bird hunting – malta and Cyprus, Fish and over-fishing

  • Beach clean-up, Reduce plastic

Home Life


  • Use less plastic
  • Recycle more
  • Complete a waste audit of your home
  • Say no to junk mail
  • Switch to paperless bills/statements
  • Reduce food waste
  • Don’t take as many napkins/paper towels from dispensers
  • Use cloth napkins


  • Use reusable:  shopping bag, cup for tea/coffee, baking mats, water bottle, food storage containers, Beeswax wraps instead of cling film, safety razor, makeup wipes, nappies/baby wipes, sanitary items
  • Reduce what you buy – choose quality over quantity
  • Use a Bamboo toothbrush
  • Make own: cleaning supplies, zero waste toothpaste
  • Take reusable cutlery with you
  • Switch to an alum stone (zero waste deodorant)
  • Don’t buy anything new for a year
  • Don’t buy new clothes for a year (buy second hand/swap etc)
  • Recycled toilet paper / paper towels
  • Fix it don’t throw it away
  • Use eco-friendly cleaning products
  • Rather than using a stirrer in coffee/tea use spaghetti  - which then dissolves in water or can be thrown away without the guilt
  • Repair shoes and clothes
  • Use magazine pages etc as wrapping paper
  • Buy second hand furniture / electric items etc
  • Cut face wipes, cotton pads, make up sponges etc in half
  • Use non toxic nail varnish
  • Donate unwanted clothes
  • Use biodegradable cat litter (pine, corn or newspaper)
  • Borrow, don’t buy.


  • Do a regular litter pick
  • Pick up litter when I walk the dog
  • Downsize your home
  • Make eco bricks
  • Put a dash of vodka in cut flowers for them to last longer
  • Decorate with plants and use old scarves etc to reupholster cushions
  • Recycle batteries properly

Work Life

  • recycle more
  • Complete a waste audit of your work place
  • Reduce what you buy – choose quality over quantity
  • Say no to junk mail
  • Do a regular litter pick
  • Reduce food waste



  • Sing hymns celebrating God’s creation
  • Include prayers about environmental concerns in your church services
  • Use poetry/reflections which emphasise the awe and wonder we feel in response to the beauty of God’s creation; how we feel closer to God when we are surrounded by all that he has made
  • Celebrate Harvest
  • Hold a Harvest supper serving/displaying local food
  • Celebrate Creation Sunday
  • Mark special environment days such as:
    • Meat Free Monday
    • FairTrade Fortnight (February)
    • World Water Day (March)
    • Earth Hour (March)
    • Earth Day (April)
    • International day for biological diversity (May)
    • World Environment Day (5 June) and Environment Sunday (closest Sunday)
    • World Oceans Day (June)
    • Creation Time (September to October)
    • World Car Free Day / walk to church Sunday (September)
    • Good Money Week (mid-October)
    • World Food Day (October)
    • Buy Nothing Day (November)
    • Reclaim Christmas (December)


  • Encourage and protect biodiversity in your churchyard (eg by installing bird boxes, leaving wild areas, planting bee and bird-friendly shrubs and flowers).
  • Join the Living Churchyards project working with local conservation groups

Week 6

Extinction rates in animals, Die – in, Human equality, Food

Food & Drink

  • eat less meat
  • Try and buy less food containing palm oil
  • Have one ‘meat free’ day a week (or more!)
  • Buy local food
  • Eco/zero waste pet treats / food
  • Plan your meals – minimise waste
  • Don’t waste food
  • Have your food shopping delivered – one journey for multiple orders
  • Use the microwave - often more efficient than oven
  • Cook from scratch


Church Building/Food/Goods

  • Encourage the use of locally sourced, seasonal food for church meals
  • Reduce, re-use, recycle, and refuse (to buy something new)
  • Use washable plates, cups and cutlery instead of throw-away paper/plastic
  • Become a Fairtrade church
  • Get started on reducing the carbon footprint of your church: see the Church of England’s Shrinking the Footprint or the Methodist Carbon Reduction Programme
  • Use your LOAF (Locally produced, Organically grown, Animal friendly, Fairly traded) in all food and drink served
  • In addition to food, ensure your church purchase sustainably sourced, Fairtrade and environmentally friendly products, such as recycled paper, cleaning products, etc




Page last updated: Tuesday 24th August 2021 9:37 AM
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