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Sustainable Living & Earth Care Concerns


Sustainable Living & Earth Care Concerns is a part of the Presbyterian Hunger Program

PC(USA) Sustainable Living & Earth Care Concerns exists to equip and connect you, your church, and your presbytery for your earth care ministry. Join us in this vital, meaningful work for God’s creation.

“…God’s work in creation is too wonderful, too ancient, too beautiful, too good to be desecrated…Restoring creation is God’s own work in our time, in which God comes both to judge and to restore…”

PC(USA) Environmental Policy


Presbyterians congregations are doing Christian education as it pertains to caring for God’s creation in classrooms, in Vacation Bible School, in informal outdoor settings, on mission trips, at camp, through book groups, webinars, and more! Here are some sample resources and publications for study as well as webinars on “Creation Care: Basic Bible” and “Earth Care in Christian Education.”


Young Adults


Books and Studies

From Westminster John Knox Press and The Thoughtful Christian


Downloadable Studies


Mission Trips

Resources for Greening Congregational Outreach


Sustainable food practices

General resources and suggestions for outreach

  • Visit urban parks, nature centers, wilderness areas for day or overnight trips
  • Organize an environmental justice/environmental racism tour of your community to explore blighted areas and work with justice leaders
  • Donate used materials instead of throwing them away
  • Share, speak with, or teach at another congregation, to encourage their Earth Care activities
  • Share or rent office space within the church with local nonprofit groups to reduce the building footprint
  • Include environmental action and education in your church mission trips, domestic and abroad
  • Network with other houses of worship and organizations in your area that are active in earth care
  • Share the Earth Care Congregations program by connecting with other congregations in your presbytery and/or by hosting informational tables and sessions at presbytery events, at community events, or in partnership with other churches or religious communities
  • Host an alternative transportation day (bike/walk/carpool to church)
  • Habitat for Humanity Restore collects reusable and surplus building materials
  • Become a group member of Presbyterians for Earth Care
  • Sponsor an e-trash recycling or household hazardous waste day for the community
  • Purchase Sweat-Free clothing (no sweat-shop labor used)
  • Contact the Presbyterians for Earth Care Regional Representative for your area to learn about opportunities to be involved in earth care
  • Volunteer with one of the community organizations supported by Presbyterian Hunger Program grants (look at this map for your area of the country)
  • Mission trips through Living Waters for the World, Solar Under the Son, PCUSA World Mission, and Presbyterian Hunger Program/Joining Hands reflection-action trips.

Resources for Greening Congregational Facilities

Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy, and Tips to Save

  • Contact your utility company to see if they offer free or low-cost energy audits for churches
  • Contact your local or state government to learn about incentive programs for energy audits
  • Determine how well insulated different parts of your church are, and add insulation where necessary and effective
  • Install an insulation blanket on water heaters seven years of age or older, and insulate the first three feet of the heated water “out” pipe
  • Install an energy-efficient electric or gas water heater
  • In areas of infrequent water use, consider “tankless” water heaters to reduce “standby” storage costs and waste
  • Set your water heater to 110–120 degrees Fahrenheit where appropriate (some local health codes require higher temperatures)
  • Install seven-day programmable thermostats
  • Install thermal shades for windows to conserve heat in winter
  • Install tinted windows to reduce solar heat gain in summer
  • Clean or change your HVAC filter once a month
  • Utilize natural light where possible
  • Utilize natural cooling and ceiling fans to avoid use of air conditioning
  • Check ductwork to ensure that joints are sealed
  • Include responsibility for best environmental practices in facilities manager’s job description or under the building and grounds committee
  • Establish a fund for energy improvements in the church’s budget
  • ENERGY STAR for Congregations: Environmental Protection Agency program to assist churches with energy efficiency. Participating churches receive technical help and may use the Portfolio Manager system to track and reduce energy.
  • Explore LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Certification
  • PC(USA) carbon neutral guide
  • Interfaith Power and Light congregation carbon calculator
  • Purchase ENERGY STAR products
  • Learn more about clean energy
  • Perform two preseason checks to maintain HVAC systems each year

Water conservation

  • EPA WaterSense: learn about faucet aerators and ways to conserve water
  • Repair leaking pipes, fixtures and seals and consider purchasing low-flow toilets and waterless urinals
  • Install controls that turn faucets off automatically, and/or put reminder signs near faucets to not let water run unnecessarily


  • Identify and use recycling locations
  • Purchase recycled paper and office products
  • Donate to charities that accept unneeded items that cannot be recycled
  • Use refill kits for ink cartridges and toner cartridges
  • Recycle ink cartridges and toner cartridges that cannot be refilled
  • Use labeled recycling bins for aluminum, glass, plastic, metal and cardboard





Climate Care Challenge

We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to reduce our energy consumption and switch to alternative energy sources that are less harmful to the environment. Prompt action and leadership can keep global climate change from causing its worst impacts. The Climate Care Challenge is a two part commitment that first asks participants to make a… Read more »
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