The Green Team

The Green Team was founded in 2007 to coordinate activities around greening our parish. Over the past several months, the Green Team has been focussing on developing a green energy plan for St. Thomas's, as well as continuing with other green activities around the church.

Here's an article by Ali Symons of the Anglican Church of Canada, in which she discusses greening efforts by various parishes, including our own: Anglican "Green Teams" Unite Through New Network. That's our own Jeremy Rempel, verger, in the photograph.

Green energy technology

The current major activity of the Green Team is to develop a recommendation to St. Thomas's Corporation for a capital investment in green energy technologies and in building envelope maintenance (e.g., insulation, moisture control, temperature control). The goal is to find an affordable and environmentally sustainable investment that is in alignment with best practices for the conservation of historic buildings.

So far, we have had an energy audit performed on the rectory, and, through an RFP process, have engaged a firm to provide a full energy audit of the church, church hall and sexton's cottage to position us for prospective funding and/or grant applications. In addition, through the RFP, we are requesting a detailed plan that would enable us to:

  • cut the church's annual spending on heating and hot water by 25%;

  • demonstrate good stewardship by taking steps to measurably reduce CO2 emissions.

We expect the church energy audit report to be completed in the summer of 2009, at which time we will evaluate options for how to move forward with greening our facilities.

Other Green Team Activities

Coordinate "quick wins" to engage the congregation in going green. These include:

  • Arranging the purchase of organic, fair trade coffee for coffee hour and the Out of the Cold/Out of the Heat food program. We also offer "bulk-buy" opportunities to parishioners.

  • Participating in the Toronto Tree Canopy initiative led by the Huron-Sussex Residents Organization. We have assisted the Huron-Sussex Residents Organization in securing funding for its neighbourhood tree planting project, and we have planted three new trees on parish property as part of our own participation in the program.

Rob Kennedy, one of the Green Team's leaders, recommends this episode of "Ted Talks: How I Fell in Love with a Fish"

Likewise, check out this site Rob likes for some entertaining videos. Thefuntheory.com is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.

To that end, the Green Team asked the church school and youth group to have some fun with our energy conservation campaign. Check out their creative ideas here.