Earth Care

A Group Shout on Climate Changeclimate change

Click HERE to read the New York Times article.

St. Andrew’s Chorus for the Planet

Click HERE to view the video.

Wells Branch Solar Fair

wells solar fairOctober 18 from 12pm to 2pm
Wells Branch Recreation Center, 3000 Shoreline Drive, Austin, TX 78728

For event details & useful links check us out at:    http://wbna.us/community/solar-energy-fair/

With Solar Energy each one of us has the POWER to:
  • Improve the quality of our air
  • Contribute to our energy independence  (using directly sourced distributed, safe, clean, green energy)
  • Boost the community by contributing to good local jobs
  • Save the water which would otherwise be used to process dirty energy (which once contaminated is stored).
  • You can do this practically free with low interest loans (which offset your old utility bill) coupled with big rebates
  • Set yourself up for free energy in the future
Wells Branch MUD with the help of the St Andrew’s Earth Care team has lined up a great, no pressure, informative meeting where you can explore what it’s all about and what is required.
Check out it!  What do you have to lose?   Come and see what you have to gain!
Here’s what we’re planning:
* Two leading industry experts to speak:
      – Keynote address -  Kaiba White, president of nonprofit Austin Solar & Energy Policy and        Outreach Specialist in Public Citizen’s Texas Office – a passionate advocate & industry expert
      – Secondary speaker – Cathy Redson – president of nonprofit SolPower People - she’s a dynamic force in the solar PV industry
* Austin Energy and ONCOR will speak about the rebates and solar information.
* Several approved/recommended installers will be present to provide information for interested residents.   Bring a year’s tally of your electric usage if you’d like to estimate what size system you might be interested in and get a rough cost.  Going solar for a portion of your usage contribute.
  • WB MUD Architectural Control Committee with information on getting ACC approval.
  • Information booth with important, helpful facts and a cool Utube on the solar industry
  • Solar financing will be addressed.
  • WB neighbors with Solar Energy will be available to answer your questions.
  • WB soccer team will be selling refreshments as a fundraiser.  Come hungry!
SPREAD THE WORD!

Earth Care Tips

1.  Start COMPOSTING & earn a $75 rebate!  Reduce the landfills & associated greenhouse gases while making yourself rich fertilizer for your plants by composting your yard and food waste.  Under the new Home Composting Rebate program, the $75 credit now applies to most Austin residents – all curbside customers, even apartment and condo dwellers! (You’re eligible if you pay the “Clean Community Fee” on your monthly utility bill), and allows residents to use a $75 coupon up front when you purchase a home composting system. Support three of the five approved retailers who are Austin EcoNetwork partner businesses:TreeHouse at 4477 S. Lamar Blvd. (512-861-0712); The Natural Gardener at 8648 Old Bee Caves Rd. (512-288-6113); Microbial Earth‘s Bokashi Bins (Indoor composting systems) at multiple locations (512-870-8062)

2.  Install a RAINWATER collections system to collect free water.   Rebates of $0.50 per gallon (non-pressurized) and $1.00 per gallon (pressurized) are available to customers of Austin Water or a qualifying water provider for installing rainwater harvesting systems. http://www.austintexas.gov/department/rainwater-harvesting-rebates   The Treehouse Home Improvement Store has a great collection of rainbarrels: http://treehouseonline.com/products/rainwater-harvesting/

3.  Replace your water guzzling grass with a wildlife habitat and earn a water wise rebates.  Choose from alternatives such the blend of grasses developed by the Ladybird Wildflower Center and UT/Austin called Habiturf (http://www.wildflower.org/habiturf/)  or select plants from the GrowGreen.org resource guide which lists native and low water plants which support local wildlife and earn a rebate for replacing your grass: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/waterwise-landscape-rebateEarthCare

St. Andrew’s Speaks Up for Renewable Energy Options

Members of the Earth Care Committee advocating renewable energy as the alternative to “fracked gas” as well as promoting the sanctity of life and our spiritual responsibility to protect God’s creation!

Becoming Carbon Positive

Making Progress Towards Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

We’ve been making great strides towards lowering out carbon footprint.  Recently we received a letter from the President recognizing our efforts to become energy efficient.

Click HERE to read the letter

Earth Has FeverEarth Has a Fever

Earth Has a Fever is a song about the effects of climate change and about how we need to do our best to fight it. It is one of an upcoming album of environmental tunes called EARthworms. “Catchy tunes about saving the environment.” A portion of the proceeds from sale of this MP3 will benefit the environmental group Climate Buddies.  You can download the MP3 for only $0.99.

Walk to the Park 2013

Earth Care Committee’s Walk to the Park event on November 10, 2013 was a huge success.  Participants got to enjoy a tour of the Katherine Fleischer Park, music by Rev. Jim Rigby & Matt Hiland, as well as a tree ceremony by Rev. Ilene Dunn.

Article about A Walk to the Park

A few years ago, a friend came to dinner, shaken, as he had just learned of the devastating impacts climate change is having on wildlife who forced to respond to the changes in their natural habitat. My friend, a very calm and tech-savvy fellow, had cried all the way home after learning this shocking and urgent news, delivered by accredited and well-respected scientists. At our dinner table, we discussed our sadness and vowed to work together to link global science with grassroots-level actions in order to reverse this threat to our children’s future, to make a difference.

I didn’t have the slightest idea what to do, but I made a commitment to expand my knowledge and work with anyone with the same determination. Though I may be a very small piece of the puzzle to mitigate the impacts of climate change, I figured if humankind had created this threat, I could join others to reverse it.WalkToThePark7

Perhaps similar to many endeavors of the soul, my commitment led me straight through the doorway into a very deepen spiritual journey. I was certain that my commitment would be similar to other creative endeavors and I would be led to meet others of like soul, heart and mind. It brought me into a stimulating work that deepened my connection with my home congregation and linked me with many people of diverse faith-traditions. I am humbled and inspired by the knowledge and passion of my “teammates”. I am so comforted that they share and amplify the same awareness, that we are one with the Earth, our only home: She protects and nourishes us, and we share the sunlight, water and soil with all living creatures.

The ancients were right, our Earth is not an “it”, an object to be coldly manipulated. Our Mother Earth calls for humankind to reside in a loving and reverent relationship, but She does not negotiate or excuse ignorance. Her health, and the health of all our fellow creatures, are essential for humankind to continue, experience joy, and thrive.

WalkToThePark8That dinner table discussion (mentioned earlier), resulted in the formation of Climate Buddies (www.climatebuddies.org), an organization whose mission is to empower people to incorporate climate change considerations into every decision they make, that is to say: Think globally, act locally – in community. We’ve found that the focus on measurable actions that impact our carbon emissions ensures us to “thinking globally”. I invite you to visit our website or join us in meeting the global energy challenges!

My journey led me to the Interfaith Environmental Network (http://www.interfaithenvironment.org), an organization where people of different faiths come together. They helped us connect with other congregations to strengthen our communities through learning, influencing public policy, and reducing are carbon usage at home and where we gather. To further our positive action, we formed an Energy Action Team whose purpose is to accelerate our actions through helping Austin, faith based organizations develop energy programs while fostering of a sense of community and connection across Austin.

And, at my home church, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, in Wells Branch, we not only gather to nurture our spirituality and faith, we gather to appreciate and nurture our climate. And, I’m very proud of accomplishments. We are deepening our faith, appreciating God’s creation, and taking our journey together of love and responsibility as stewards of the Earth by decreasing our use of coal and oil energy, and increasing renewable energy (all while saving money!!).

WalkToThePark6We are celebrated Mother Earth, Sunday, November 10th as we Walked the Talk to the Park. Our walk, a one-mile journey from our place of worship to the Katherine Fleisher Park, located in Wells Branch, enabled us to enjoy each other’s company while we celebrated what the community is doing to enhance parkland and learn more how to preserve our future tied to our Mother Earth’s.

So my journey, starting out with tears of sadness is turning to one of forgiveness, compassion, hope, fortitude, and resiliency. Along the way, I have made invaluable connections with our land, our wildlife, and human kind. I have learned that I am not alone, and while our job as protector of God’s creation is challenging, but not impossible.

Becoming Carbon PositiveGreen Right Now

Austin’s Interfaith Environmental Network (IEN) in collaboration with Climate Buddies have created a new manual “Becoming Carbon Positive”.  It provides a road map for faith organizations to develop and implement environmentally-friendly practices.                        To learn more, visit the featured article

Earth Care Sermon Series

Jim Rigby, Keeper of the Flame (Part 1)

Jim Rigby, Earth (Part 2)

Jim Rigy, Water (Part 3)

Jim Rigy, Wind (Part 4)

Reduce your carbon footprint. Join a Low Carbon Group!

Calling Ordinary People – Let’s do all we can, where we are, with what we have! Learn more about what you can do.  Click here.

Measure Your Water and Watts!

Learn about energy and water monitors.  Check for phantom loads.  Click here.

Waste Reduction & Recycling Ideas

Every pound of solid waste that goes into the landfill generates 2 pounds of greenhouse gases.  Learn more about ways to reduce your wastes.

Water and Energy & Resource Conservation

There are simple things you can do to help preserve our limited natural resources.  See our Resource Conservation page.

Earth Care Links

UCCInterfaith Environmental Network -
Inspiring the Austin area faith community to live out the common call of environmental stewardship.  St. Andrew’s is a member of and financially supports IEN.

NCC Eco-Justice Programs - Working to provie an opportunity for the national bodies of member Protestant and Orthodox communions to work together to protect and restore God’s Creation.

Union of Concerned  ScientistsSt Andrew’s does not necessarily agree with all the statements found on these Web sites.

Presbyteriansearthcare

http://txipl.org/creationstewardship

http://climatebuddies.org/