America’s faith communities care about God’s creation and are ready to act on climate solutions. Especially as Earth Day 2019 approaches, houses of worship are increasingly having conversations about climate within their congregations, and there is a robust trust in faith leaders as a source for information about a warming world. But faith leaders recognize that talking about climate solutions alone isn’t enough — they want to take action and want their places of worship to reflect a spirit of stewardship this Earth Day. This can include reducing energy use, replacing older equipment with energy efficient appliances, and even using clean energy sources like wind and solar.
As congregations work to implement these kinds of smart energy choices, they can also offset their energy use as well. To help faith communities take that next step, we are pleased to announce the launch of The Blessed Tomorrow Carbon Offset Program, created in collaboration with Cool Effect. The Blessed Tomorrow Carbon Offset Program empowers houses of worship with the ability to offset annual carbon emissions by helping others to reduce their energy use and carbon emissions. While Blessed Tomorrow encourages practices that allow places of worship to reduce their energy use and switch to clean energy sources, the Blessed Tomorrow Carbon Offset Program Provides a simple yet powerful way for congregations anywhere in the United States to confidently zero out their annual carbon impact for a year.
The custom offset calculator was designed specifically for houses of worship, and was developed with the help of The Carbon Institute with calculation elements confirmed by The Nature Conservancy. The program provides a simple, vetted, low-cost way for houses of worship to offset emissions by following these simple steps:
- Follow the link to the offset program.
- Find your congregation’s electricity and gas bills for the past 12 months. Total the usage information for electricity (in kilowatt hours) and natural gas (in therms) from the past 12 months of bills and enter into the calculator in the space provided.
- Calculate the total square footage of your house of worship and enter it into the calculator. This will automatically calculate your annual carbon emissions and cost for offset (at $6.04 per tonne).
- Click “offset now” to complete the transaction. Cool Effect will send you a confirmation of your purchase and a personalized certificate of your offset.
For example, a 5,000 square foot house of worship, with 25,000 kWh of annual electricity use and 5,000 annual Therms of natural gas use would have 52 tonnes of carbon emissions to offset. At $6.04 per tonne, the total annual carbon offset would equal $314.08 through the Blessed Tomorrow Carbon Offset Program.
Additionally, each carbon offset purchased through the program helps make and distribute affordable cookstoves in Uganda. Use of these cookstoves cuts carbon emissions from deforestation and reduces charcoal and wood use by half. The stoves offer a cheaper, cleaner, and healthier way for families in Uganda to cook for their families — a meaningful example of how climate action can lead to happier, healthier communities!
Learn more about the Blessed Tomorrow Carbon Offset Program here.
For more Earth Day resources for communities of faith, see Earth Day Network’s 2019 resources here.