Environmental Stewardship

The Environmental Stewardship Work Area helps us become responsible stewards of God's creation, and care for humankind. We

  • Provide environmental education
  • Encourage individual and corporate green living habits
  • Help the church take steps to make our facilities more energy efficient and earth friendly
  • Provide avenues for environmental social action

Running Your Electric Meter Backwards

New alternate energy technologies have an important role in helping the nation become energy independent, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, as fossil fuel energy costs increase, reduce residential energy costs. Whether you design a new home or wish to improve the energy efficiency of your existing home, solar energy and other technologies are rapidly developing into cost effective sustainable energy resources. Among these technologies are solar collectors, solar hot water systems, heat storage vaults, photovoltaic electricity and solar panels.

Michael Moats has built a showcase solar home within a block of the church featuring many of the above technologies. Lois Vitt Sale, an architect and nationally recognized leader in the application of private and commercial green technologies and sustainable planning and 2011 LEED Fellow, designed this small home in 2009. Lois and Michael will join us at 11:00 A.M. in room 213 on January 15, 2012 to describe Michael’s home and discuss considerations/tradeoffs made during its design and construction. Yes, Michael’s electric meter actually does run backwards when his home generates more electricity than it needs.

 Installing solar devices on existing homes is also becoming popular as they become cost effective against the rising cost of fossil fuel energy. They also increase home value. The class will discuss solar devices, installation considerations, financing options, rebates, tax credits, and how to find installers.

Location: 
Room 213
Date: 
Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 11:00am

Environmental Stewardship Corner

On Sunday, October 9, some of us heard a presentation regarding electrical supply options that you can choose now. In fact, you can pick an electrical supplier that is less expensive and that uses more renewable energy sources than is currently in the mix for the supplier you most likely still have. If you switch electrical suppliers, you still will receive your bill from your current utility, but the place on the bill where you are charge for your energy, will be passed through to the supplier. After you change electrical supplier, you will notice nothing, except probably a less-expensive supply charge and a lower bill.

To evaluate your options, you can go to the website: http://www.pluginillinois.org.

We were encouraged to learn that Illinois is requiring all electricity suppliers to have an increasing, albeit still small, fraction of their supply to come from renewable sources. Currently, in Illinois, most of this is from wind turbines. However, beginning in 2016, utilities will be required to start having some of their electrical supply from solar energy. I recently selected a supplier that was more than 15% less expensive than my current electrical supplier and produces most of its energy from renewable wind energy. Also, important to me, was flexibility in my supplier. The electrical supplier that I selected does not have any guarantee period or contract period, so if I want to change my supplier, I can easily change. Selecting an electrical energy supplier with a large portion of its supply from renewable sources will help bring about cost-effective change for all and will help lessen our impact on the environment. 

How to Select Your Electricity Energy Supplier

Environmental StewardshipSave Money ... Support Renewable Energy Sources

Yes, you can choose your money-saving electricity supplier! Even through ComEd.

Join us Sunday, October 9th at 11:00 a.m. in Chapel Hall, to hear Dean Nicol, Regional Director of Integrys Energy Services, present the "how-to's" of selecting your electricity energy supplier. He will present many energy options, outline the kinds of savings that are possible, and provide a listing of numerous traditional and renewable (wind and solar) electricity suppliers that are available to Illinois household consumers.

Selecting your own money-saving supplier for electrical energy is supported by ComEd, which would remain your electrical power distributer (from the alternate source). ComEd would bill you as they do today, as well as continue to respond to any electrical power issues you might have.

A question and answer session will follow the presentation.

Location: 
Chapel Hall
Date: 
Sunday, October 9, 2011 - 11:00am

Church-Wide Day of Service

Lend a HandLend A Hand!

Church and Society, Missions, and Environmental Stewardship Work Areas invite everyone, members and friends, to join in a Church-Wide Day of Service 8 to noon, Saturday, September 10th, with lunch at FUMC immediately following. You can choose to help at one of three external sites, or join in activities at DGFUMC by registering online or signing up in the Parlor on a Sunday.

The external sites to volunteer at are:

People's Resource Center

At People's Resource Center in Wheaton, volunteers will serve as "personal shoppers" for PRC clients, guiding them through the food pantry. Others will stock shelves, help clients find parking, or push carts to and from cars. Children 10 and up are welcome accompanied by an adult.  Please see their website.

(12 volunteers needed)

Downers Grove Park District

Help improve our local natural resources! Volunteers can help by mulching in Patriots Park/Barth Pond. Families are welcome! Youths under 13 years old are welcome with an adult. All workers should bring gardening gloves, and will need to sign a waiver. Volunteers under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the waiver.

(20 volunteers needed)

Almost Home Kids

This organization aids families who are transitioning their child from hospital to home ensuring they are prepared and comfortable with new skills and equipment needed to care for their child. Additionally, respite care is provided for families caring for a medically complicated young person. Volunteers of all ages will garden, work on the grounds, and wash windows.  Please see their website.

(15 – 30 volunteers welcome)

DGFUMC

Many hands on deck from young children to super seniors. Volunteers will more likely than not participate in more than one station at FUMC since individually they may not take the full four hours. Volunteer stations will be:

  • Share Our Skills (SOS)

Volunteers will bring luster to the pews and give the church an overall face lift in preparation for Rally Day, the start of the year’s new programs.

(50 volunteers welcome)

  • Friendship letter writing

Volunteers will write letters to FUMC members who cannot make it to church, reminding them that they are with us, and we are with them. If your child is a budding artist, this is an event for them!

(10 volunteers welcome)

  • Culinary Creation of Chicken Soup

Volunteers will assist in preparation of chicken soup to be given to FUMC members who have difficulty leaving their homes. Great for our future and seasoned chefs!

(10 volunteers welcome)

  • A friendly and compassionate phone call to our members on the prayer list

Volunteers will need to bring your cell phones and the gift of conversation.

(10 volunteers welcome)

  • Create fleece tie scarves for the homeless

Volunteers will create Fleece tie scarves to be given to PADs guests to warm the hearts of all.

(25 volunteers welcome)

Sign-up sheets will be available in the Parlor before and after the 10:00 am service or register using the form below.

Thank you for lending a hand!

Date: 
Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 8:00am to 12:00pm

Help our church protect the environment

Donate your used cell phones & small electronics!

The Environmental Stewardship Work Area is conducting a recycling fundraiser. There’s nothing to buy. We are simply asking you to protect the environment by donating your used cell phones and small consumer electronics. Your used item(s) may be tax deductible and will be recycled in accordance with EPA regulations. 100% of the proceeds will help fund the First United Methodist Church’s change over to more environmentally friendly and economical light fixtures and lighting.

We are currently collecting the following items:

  • Cell Phones
  • Digital Cameras
  • Digital Video Cameras
  • Laptop Computers
  • Electronic Book Readers
  • Handheld Game Systems
  • GPS Devices
  • MP3 Player

Note: Please do not include any accessories (rechargers, earbuds, etc.) with your donations.

Drop off any of the above items you would like to recycle at the Collection Bin in the church office.

Biggest Carbon Loser: Week 4

Biggest Carbon Loser

Commit to as many actions as possible to reduce your energy consumption and in friendly competition see who can score the most points in moving you and your family toward a lower carbon footprint. Report your score using the DGFUMC Contact Form (choose 'Environmental Stewardship' as the category). Here are the final action items.

Action Items

  1. Limit the length and temperature of showers (a family of 4 limiting shower time under 5 minutes can reduce 1,000 lb/ yr. CO2 - 2 pts.
  2. Install a motion detector on outdoor lights - 3 pts.
  3. Pull shades/ close drapes to reduce heat loss overnight- in summer pull shades to prevent direct sunlight through windows - 2 pts.
  4. Eliminate or reduce use of weed killers and fertilizer in the yard (the average American lawn uses more pesticides/ fertilizer per acre than any commercial crop) - 3 pts.
  5. Add more insulation to attics (and walls if accessible)- majority of homes are under- insulated - 10 pts.
  6. Car pool if mass transit not feasible - 2 pts.
  7. Keep car properly tuned- filters replaced - 3 pts.
  8. Take shorter driving vacations rather than flying - 3 pts.
  9. Buy electric or hybrid fuel efficient car getting at least 40 MPG (consider life cycle cost including increasing fuel costs over life of vehicle) -  20 pts.
  10. If eating out prioritize local restaurants - 1 pt.
  11. Choose concentrated and bulk items where appropriate - 1 pt.
  12. Avoid purchase of gifts that are neither wanted or needed just to have a gift - 1 pt.

Biggest Carbon Loser: Week 3

Biggest Carbon Loser

During this month, commit to as many actions as possible to reduce your energy consumption and in friendly competition see who can score the most points in moving you and your family toward a lower carbon footprint. Report your score using the DGFUMC Contact Form (choose 'Environmental Stewardship' as the category). Here is the list of action items for week 3. Previous weeks can be found on the Going Green page.

Action Items

  1. During the summer, open windows overnight whenever temps drop below 70 degrees for free air conditioning - 1 pt.
  2. Replace all conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED - 1 pt/ bulb replaced
    Clean or replace furnace air filter regularly - 2 pts.
  3. Unplug cell phone and other chargers when not in use (a continuing energy loss is wasted if left plugged)- turn cell phone off overnight to reduce charging needed - 3 pts
  4. Close off any rooms and close heat registers for rooms not in regular use - 2 pts.
  5. Eliminate use of leaf blowers and power spray cleaners (rakes and brooms have worked successfully for thousands of years) - 1 pt.
  6. Caulk and weatherproof around windows/ doors to reduce air leaks - 4 pts.
  7. Bike to locations within a few miles when weather permits - 2 pts.
  8. Keep car tires inflated to 40 lbs. or at least recommended pressure - 2 pts.
  9. If more than one car in family, drive most fuel efficient car whenever possible - 2 pts.
  10. Return used batteries, CF bulbs, etc. for recycling while out - 1 pt.
  11. Bring your own re-useable bags to grocery store - 1 pt.
  12. For holidays and birthdays give your family and friends the gift of donations to a favorite charity - 1 pt.

Biggest Carbon Loser: Week 2

Biggest Carbon Loser

During this month, commit to as many actions as possible to reduce your energy consumption and in friendly competition see who can score the most points in moving you and your family toward a lower carbon footprint. Report your score using the DGFUMC Contact Form (choose 'Environmental Stewardship' as the category). Here is the list of action items for week 2. Previous weeks can be found on the Going Green page.

Action Items

  1. Adjust your thermostat- recommended heating settings are 65- 68 degrees during the day and 55- 60 degrees overnight.  Recommended cooling temperature is no lower than 78 degrees (setting thermostat at these recommended temperatures can reduce CO2 by 1,500 lb/ yr. - 5 pts.
  2. Do full loads of laundry and dish washing.  Use cold water wash/ rinse for laundry (90% of the energy  in doing laundry goes to heating water and only 10% to powering the machine) - 2 pts Replace all conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED - 1 pt/ bulb replaced
  3. Turn down  hot water heater temperature to 120 degrees or medium temp. setting - 2 pts.
  4. Install electric outlet insulator pads on all outside walls - 1 pt.
  5. Add perennial and native plantings to the yard to gradually reduce lawn areas - 2 pts.
  6. Install a programmable thermostat to help with (1) above - 10 pts.
  7. Walk to any locations less than one mile - 2 pts.
  8. Turn car off if idling for more than 15 seconds (other than at stoplights)- reduces emissions as well as wear on car - 2 pts.
  9. Accelerate slowly- maintain MPH- can save 1,000 lb/ yr. CO2) - 2 pts.speed limit (20-30% energy savings driving 55 MPH vs. 75
  10. Combine trips- shop at closest stores - 2 pts.
  11. Buy products that use recyclable materials - 2 pts
  12. Avoid buying bottled water- get everyone in the family a water bottle to fill and take along when travelling - 1 pt.

Biggest Carbon Loser: Week 1

Biggest Carbon Loser

Given the ever increasing impact of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions, we invite everyone to join in a program to reduce our energy consumption, save money and protect the health and well- being of people and our planet - all at the same time.

During this coming month, commit to as many actions as possible to reduce your energy consumption and in friendly competition see who can score the most points in moving you and your family toward a lower carbon footprint.

Here is the list of action items for week 1. Report your score using the DGFUMC Contact Form (choose 'Environmental Stewardship' as the category). More details can be found on the Going Green page.

Action Items

  1. Turn off lights, TV and other electronics whenever you leave the room for more than a minute - 2 pts.
  2. Clean or replace furnace air filter regularly - 2 pts.
  3. Reduce waste generation and recycle all aluminum, glass, plastic, paper, etc. (reducing half of a standard size garbage can per week can reduce about 2,000 lb/ yr. CO2 - 2 pts.
  4. Plant new trees to commemorate births of children/ grandchildren- they not only sequester carbon but also provide shade, retain water and purify the air - 5 pts.
  5. Tune-up furnace/ A/C at least every other year (saves 300 lb/ yr. CO2) - 3 pts.
  6. Replace attic fan with solar powered fan (free energy for life- easier installation) - 10 pts.
  7. Consider organic cleaning products such as vinegar, borax, baking soda - 1 pt.
  8. Eat less meat (for each day of the week switching to vegetarian can save 700 lb/ yr. CO2) - 5 pts.
  9. Buy foods locally - 2 pts.
  10. Remove unneeded heavy objects from trunk to improve mileage - 1 pt.
  11. Combine car trips while you’re out to reduce vehicle miles travelled (with planning most people can reduce VMT 20% saving 1,500 lb/ yr. CO2) - 3 pts.
  12. Use mass transit whenever feasible, especially commuting to work-  5 pts.

Biggest Carbon Loser

Biggest Carbon Loser

Given the ever increasing impact of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide (CO2), producing more forest fires, drought conditions, severe weather occurrences, extended heat waves and the spread of destructive pests and disease, all of us need to help protect God’s creation through actions to reduce our energy consumption and thereby to reduce our carbon footprint.  Join in a program to reduce our energy consumption, save money and protect the health and well- being of people and our planet - all at the same time

During the next month, commit to as many actions as possible to reduce your energy consumption and in friendly competition see who can score the most points in moving you and your family toward a lower carbon footprint. Report your score using the DGFUMC Contact Form (choose 'Environmental Stewardship' as the category).

Let’s all work together to see who can be the biggest carbon loser and best protect God’s creation.

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