Why is a church interested in environmental issues?
In our faith tradition we believe that all of life on earth is inter-connected, and that God intended that all life is to thrive. For us, there is no division between the “spiritual” and the “material”: God is the Creator of all that exists. We are a part of the environment, and it is a part of us in this beautiful web of life.
The Environmental Imperative for Electric Vehicles
Transportation is a major contributor to carbon emissions in Ontario, at 36%. For anyone now driving a gas-powered vehicle, the biggest-impact single step you can take in reducing your individual carbon footprint is switching to an electric vehicle, assuming of course, similar driving practices. In making this case, we draw on evidence provided by numerous studies comparing the Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle (ICEV) with the Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) in regard to the operating and manufacturing impacts on the environment of the two types. The unavoidable conclusion, given the enormity of the climate crisis before us, is that this switch to a BEV has become an environmental imperative for anyone currently driving an ICEV.
Solar Energy for Beach Cooperative Inc.
You may have seen the solar collectors on the south facing roof of the church. The energy collected from the sun is converted into electricity; fed into the Toronto Hydro grid, and is a way for Beach United Church to contribute to a healthy, life-giving environment. Operation of the solar program is the responsibility of the Solar Energy for Beach Cooperative Inc. (SEBCI).
SEBCI is a not-for-profit, renewable energy co-operative, incorporated for the purpose of generating and selling renewable energy. This is a positive and deliberate action that has been taken to help address the climate crisis of our time. It is an attempt by SEBCI members to, “live with respect in creation”.
Members of SEBCI are from Beach United Church, and the local community. One other aspect of the operation of SEBCI is that revenue generated, after expenses, helps to support programming at Beach United Church.
For more information, or to join the co-op, contact Allan Baker at: email@example.com
We have reduced our carbon footprint by completely renovating our building in 2013, installing rooftop solar panels which provide clean, renewable energy and by designing our leading-edge permeable parking facility, using recycled materials.
Green Parking Lot
On April 28, 2019, Beach United Church inaugurated its one-of-a-kind environmentally friendly parking lot. Our parking lot helps reduce flooding and sewage back-ups after heavy rainfalls.
The water will drain through the permeable surface and a bed of gravel 30 centimetres thick which acts as holding tank and keeps the water on the property.
The water then filters down through the sandy soil and into the water table, thus diverting it from city stormwater sewers.
A 2019 web post detailing the many facets of the installation including a full account of the materials used and it’s unique grid system can be found at https://lidpermeablepaving.ca/case-study-beach-united-church/
Tending a garden can be a spiritual practice, as we become attuned to the energy of life which pulses within our earth home. Gardening involves not only the entire body in the physical act of planting but also the mind and spirit. As our muscles work, our hands get dirty, our minds are released from the commonplace – then our spirits are free to soar.
We have a wonderful garden that is maintained by BUC volunteers and features many native, perennial and pollinator plants. Recently, we added two accessible garden planters to our garden which allow people with mobility devices and wheelchairs to comfortably participate in gardening activities.
For more information on the Gardening Group and to volunteer, please contact Matthew Canaran at firstname.lastname@example.org.