I’ve recently become weary of media gimmicks like “Earth Hour” which are funded by wildlife people and don’t really accomplish much besides create occasions for parties and concerts. In my ministry as pastor and working with parishioners on how to make our church more ecologically responsible I have discovered that it’s not always the “Sexy” stuff that has the greatest impact. Yes, wind turbines and and solar panels are nice, but unless you make a huge commitment of money and space it doesn’t really accomplish much. It’s often much more effective to invest is something that most people can’t see… like insulation! I knew that when our church had to replace its roof we invested a lot of money in a roof that was “cool” meaning in reflects the sun. It is also “metal” which means it is made from 85% recycled material and can by recycled! But most important, the new roof includes some substantial insulation.
Now, occasionally someone is able to do something that makes a symbolic statement AND actually is effective. The Vatican has announced the possibility of installing the biggest solar panel project in Europe. Good for them!
Let’s not get lost in the “fad” of Earth Day or Earth Hour but focus on “real” and “meaningful” changes that we can make. Let me tell you, in this economy, when our church speaks of sustainable choices, which do cost more, people do push back a little bit. It’s not always comfortable to go from “talk” to “action”.