“Since we had such a large lawn, we thought that we want to set an example, not only for ourselves, but also for the community,” shared Brian Sheffield,  general manager of Los Angeles' Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After California Governor Brown asked for water use reductions, Sheffield determined that the 98,000 square foot lawn had to go.

Blessed Tomorrow Partner, Interfaith Power and Light president Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham shared that faith leaders all across the golden state are raising awareness from the pulpit and making changes to their buildings' practices. 

Actions both big and small are contributing to the fight against climate change induced droughts as Swami Mahayogananda of the Hollywood Vedanta Society recently began collecting water in buckets to reduce his personal use of water.

Way to go, California faith leaders!


California Religious Centers Go Brown For The Environment

By Carol Kuruvilla for The Huffington Post

Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are known for being surrounded by lush greenery — flowers, trees, and wide, expansive lawns. 

But the immaculate lawn of The Los Angeles California Temple is turning a rough, dry brown. 

When temple officials heard Gov. Jerry Brown call for a mandatory cut in urban water use to combat California’s ongoing drought, they decided to stop watering the iconic 98,000 square foot lawn.

Brian Sheffield, the temple’s general manager, said that the decision was “difficult” for his team, but that it seemed to be the best option. “Since we had such a large lawn, we thought that we want to set an example,” Sheffield told HuffPost. “Not only for ourselves, but also for the community.”

California is heading into its fourth consecutive year of drought. This January was the driest on record. The drought has already killed 12.5 million trees, according to Reuters.

Religious leaders have been at the forefront of calling for sustainable water usage. The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham is president of the faith-based environmental activism organization Interfaith Power and Light. She told HuffPost that religious leaders in the state are both raising awareness from the pulpit and making changes to their buildings’ practices — using compostable plates and cups instead of dishwashers, for example, or installing high efficiency low-flush toilets.

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