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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Five ways to go green

Beyond decorating the sanctuary with balsam boughs during Advent, conservation measures can make your church "green" year-round and save money.


Bethesda Lutheran, Ames, Iowa, is one of five congregations honored by the Environmental Protection Agency for its environmental stewardship (www.epa.gov). Over the past two years, Bethesda has switched to fluorescent lighting, computerized its heating and cooling, purchased energy-efficient freezers and installed storm panes over its stained-glass windows.

Lloyd Lockhart, Bethesda's business administrator, estimates the changes have saved $4,500 annually, which is reinvested in energy-efficient improvements.

Your congregation can save money and the environment by:

  • • Requesting an energy audit by your electric company. 

  • •Changing from incandescent to fluorescent light bulbs.

  • •Replacing drafty windows with energy-efficient ones.

  • •Making sure appliances run efficiently.

  • •Installing computer controls to heat and cool the building according to usage.

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