Sustaining Earth, Our Island Home

Web-based learning and advocacy opportunity for climate solutions

sustainislandhome.org
 

To enroll your diocese in this program or join a training webinar, please email sustainislandhome@diocal.org

Upcoming Webinar schedule, all begin at 12 noon PST
  • May 29
  • June 12
  • June 26
  • July 10
  • July 24
  • August 7
  • August 21

Why are Episcopalians called to action on climate change? Click here.

 

Making New, Sustainable Life Choices Using sustainislandhome.org

In the face of this urgent reality, there is good news — each household can be part of reversing the trend towards climate disaster; and, together, our choices can make a significant impact. In the United States alone, 40% of greenhouse gas emissions detrimental to the climate are the choices made by households – not those by industry, agriculture, or land management. How we power our homes, transport ourselves on the ground and by air, nourish our bodies, and recycle our waste   all of this can be part of a powerful climate solution.

To help you understand how your current household choices are affecting carbon dioxide emissions, and to support you in making choices that are more sustainable and economic, the Episcopal Diocese of California has worked in partnership with Bay Area-based Climate Solutions Net on a web-based platform (soon to be app) sustainislandhome.org. This tool allows you to:

  • Measure your carbon footprint
  • Take individual Action
  • Aggregate impacts Church-wide
  • Advocate for climate protection

The utility of sustainislandhome.org was recognized and endorsed at the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church; the resolution describing the goals and support for this tool can be viewed here

Among a number of helpful features of the app:

  • A welcome letter on the landing page that connects you to the Episcopal Church Creation Care resources
  • Your personal data is protected
  • You will have a baseline for your energy use, and as you take actions, you will receive ongoing updates about your decreases in carbon dioxide emissions and dollar savings. Your household choices can be added to those of others in your church, so that the impact of Episcopalians by congregations, across the diocese, and across the Episcopal Church will be known.
  • A chat room for sharing and receiving advice related to climate solution choices
  • With 70 actions, ranging from easy to hard, everyone can do something to drive down their carbon footprint
  • sustainislandhome.org is easy to use – taking only 10 to 15 minutes to set up your household energy profile

 

Get Started Now! Episcopalians can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  

Using sustainislandhome.org, three million Episcopalians, or approximately 1.5 million households can reduce on average 4-5 tons CO2e/year, or 6-8 MT (MT = megatons million metric tons). This possible reduction in emissions by Episcopalians is equivalent to emissions of the following countries:

  • Uganda (5.2 MT CO2e)
  • El Salvador (6.3 MT CO2e)
  • Cambodia (6.7 MT CO2e)
  • Costa Rica (7.8 MT CO2e), among others.

Whether you are in the Diocese of California, or another Episcopal diocese, you can get started now with sustainislandhome.org!

  • In the Diocese of California, a team is available to “train the trainers” as well as make presentations to diocesan groups. To sign your church up, please contact sustainislandhome@diocal.org.
  • The Carbon Tracker is available for a rollout to the full Episcopal Church in Summer 2019. The process for introducing sustainislandhome.org to other dioceses is: 1) work with your bishop to form your carbon tracker team; and 2) contact sustainislandhome@diocal.org to sign up for a training on the carbon tracker and resources for introducing the carbon tracker. This approach is recommended so that there can be local knowledge within dioceses to move this important education and advocacy opportunity forward.
  • If your diocese has not enrolled, you can still use the Carbon Tracker by contacting sustainislandhome@diocal.org.
 

Resources: A Virtual Toolkit for sustainislandhome.org

Links follow for key resources on creation care for the Episcopal Church, and for presentation materials and guides that support use of sustainislandhome.org. This  “virtual toolkit” will be updated as needed.

Carbon Tracker Demo, Presentations, and Guides
The Episcopal Church & Creation Care Commitments
Formation and Worship

 

Climate Change – the “Long Emergency” that Calls Episcopalians to Action for a Sustainable Life

Climate Change was described by the scientist and climate change activist James Hansen as the “long emergency” due to buildup in the atmosphere of heat trapping, or “greenhouse” gases, such as methane, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and ozone. The release of these gases has been driven by human choices over time, especially over the last 50 years – choices that include “…fossil fuel extraction and burning, deforestation and forest degradation, intensive and animal agriculture, industry, transport, buildings and hydrofluorocarbons”.

As a result, Earth has warmed 1.80F (10C) since 1880, and if trends in worldwide greenhouse gas emissions and global warming are not reversed, the resiliency and sustainability of all life on Earth is ultimately threatened. Even now, catastrophic fires, coastal flooding, melting of Arctic permafrost and sea ice, extreme drought, and ocean acidification, among other impacts, are being experienced.

The “long emergency” sets the challenge of reversing climate change in the context of history – humankind’s past choices have brought us to this moment of serious climate change impacts, and we must change our habits today if we are to support life for future generations. Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in 2015, “Protecting our environment is an urgent moral imperative and a sacred duty for all people of faith and people of conscience”.  

Our own Presiding Bishop Michael Curry proclaimed at the 79th General Convention (2018) “The work of saving this creation, on one level, it is saving our own lives, and on another level, it is saving the world that God has made and God has created, and we dare not deface what God has made.” He further proclaimed “All of God’s creation is interconnected. The love that thrust the stars into the heavens themselves is the same love that gave birth and created the earth itself and all of the earth’s children, wherever they may be.” 

By Summer 2019, Presiding Bishop Curry, along with the Episcopal Task Force for Care of Creation (2019-2021) and bishops in dioceses that include the Dioceses of California, Western Massachusetts and Olympia will be taking a “Care of Creation” pledge for personal actions that can protect and renew the earth and all who call it home. Their choice of actions will reflect  a suite of inspiring environmental and social justice resolutions from the 79th General Convention, and among the actions available is engaging with sustainislandhome.org in your household!

Although each pledge is personal, and relevant to the local,it is the hope of our early pledgers that all Episcopalians will consider how they, too, can live into the loving, liberating, and life-giving Way of Love in our Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement. A link to a template for the Care of Creation pledge is given in the Resource section for this site.