We know that climate change is upon us. The world is already starting to experience its effects – from extreme storms to floods, droughts, rising seas, and refugees on the move. What we may not know is that we have the power, in our own households, to make a significant difference in combating climate change. If all Americans made better choices in five areas (how we heat and electrify our homes; how we transport ourselves; what we eat; and how we deal with waste), our national carbon emissions would plummet by 40%!
The Episcopal Church is launching a new initiative, Sustain Island Home (www.sustainislandhome.org), which will give us tools to reduce our carbon emissions and make good choices in those five areas of daily life. It provides a “carbon tracker” to help us mark our progress and it aggregates our commitments, so that we can see how our personal life-style changes are contributing to the larger whole.
The carbon tracker was piloted in the Diocese of California and endorsed last summer by The Episcopal Church’s 79th General Convention (Resolution C008). The Diocese of Western Massachusetts is honored to be one of several dioceses – along with the Dioceses of Connecticut, Kansas, North Carolina, and Olympia – that will be early adopters of Sustain Island Home. We will lead the way in testing and refining the process of introducing Sustain Island Home to congregations. By Earth Day (April 22), all the dioceses of The Episcopal Church will be on board.
While everyone should feel free to explore the site, Sustain Island Home is intended to be used by congregations, not only by individuals. We have formed a diocesan team that would be glad to help introduce the carbon tracker to your congregation (perhaps at a coffee hour, Forum, or special event), and to diocesan groups. To bring a member of our team to your congregation for a demonstration of the Website and carbon tracker, please contact our Team Convener, the Rev. Eric Elley (phone: 860/394-8728; email: email@example.com).