EcoTeam

EcoTeam members

The mission of the EcoTeam is to make our planet sustainable through reduced use of fossil fuels, recycling, and responsible living. We meet on various Sundays after church; contact Kevin Conley to find out our next meeting or to be included on our email list: e.kevin.conley@gmail.com. We welcome new members.

There are many ways that you can be environmentally responsible. Read the list of eco-tips, or check out our occasional bulletin boards on Sunday.

Community Solar

Common SolorNow you can go solar and help the earth. Common Energy has provided a link for you to enroll in community solar as the Church Council has already done for the church and parsonage. You won’t need to install panels on your roof, pay an up-front cost or lock yourself into a long-term contract. Yet, you will be able to derive clean, pure energy from the sun and combat greenhouse gas emissions and you will see savings in your monthly electrical bills. National Grid will continue to provide back-up electricity when needed. As an incentive for enrolling, when you are successfully linked to the solar farm, Common Energy will award both you and the church a $50 credit on future solar bills. If you would like us to email you the link or you have questions, please contact eco-team@fumceg.org.

Responsible Recycling

We support responsible stewardship of God’s creation through reduction, reuse and recycling of goods. Please use this list of Recycling Places in Rensselaer County to find places where you can recycle items.

Adopt a Highway

We are part of the Adopt-a-Highway Program of the NY Dept. of Transportation. Join us as we clean up Route 9 & 20 in East Greenbush & Schodack. We meet at the church on the first Saturdays in April, June, August, and October

Pickup truck loaded with styrofoam

Say “NO” to Styrofoam

What’s the problem with Styrofoam?  Most of us know that Styrofoam is bad news.  Here are just a couple of reasons why.

  1.  Like all plastics, Styrofoam is a petrochemical; it comes from petroleum, which is known to cause developmental, hematological, renal, and immunological disorders.
  2. Because Styrofoam is so light and crumbles easily, it’s almost too easy for it to end up out in our woods, rivers, and prairies. Once it’s there, it’s there to stay. Styrofoam will break down into microscopic styrenes and other harmful chemicals, and they will linger in the soil and water for centuries to come. It’s an especially serious problem in our world’s oceans.
  3. According to the EPA, as styrene leaches from landfills into our drinking water, it causes liver, kidney, or circulatory system problems. Minorities and people living in poverty are more likely to live near landfills and factories, and are disproportionately affected.  (See more at http://greendiningalliance.org/2015/10/8-reasons-to-ban-styro-foam/)

So what can we do?  The Eco-Team hopes that you will help us keep Styrofoam out of landfills.  Several dates are scheduled over the course of the year when styrofoam can be dropped-off dates in the church parking lot by the garage. Styrofoam must be clean, free of tape and staples. Styrofoam food containers are not accepted.. If you have questions, please contact Kevin Conley at 518-253-4907 or e.kevinconley@gmail.com.

Luke Garden

Luke 12:27: Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not, neither do they spin; yet I say unto you, Even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Luke Garden

In the Spring of 2017, we planted an attractive, low maintenance wildflower meadow as a neighborhood demonstration project to benefit wildlife, particularly native pollinating insects, on a portion of the church lawn that previously required regular mowing.

Big Green Box for Battery Recycling

Think inside the box. Cardboard box for recycling.

You are now able to recycle your alkaline batteries at church. Look for the box in the church foyer. Since the use of mercury in alkaline batteries was phased out, these batteries have become less of an issue when disposed in landfills, but they still contain materials that are completely recoverable and reusable in countless products. So, “go green” and bring your alkaline batteries in and drop them into the Big Green Box!

Remember that is important to recycle rechargeable batteries, which contain significant quantities of heavy metals that can leak into landfills and eventually reach groundwater. You can recycle rechargeable batteries at many hardware and building materials’ stores.

Global Climate Change

What are the facts about climate change? Many people look around, and dismiss the dire predictions, thinking that Mother Nature seems to be doing just fine. However, consider the fact that 477 documented vertebrates (therefore a conservative estimate) have gone extinct since 1900, rather than the nine that would be expected at natural rates (Ceballos G et al., Science Advances 1(5) 2015). The consensus that humans are causing recent global warming is shared by 90%–100% of publishing climate scientists, according to six independent studies, including surveys by non-experts. (Cook, John, et al., Environmental Research Letters 11(4) 2016.) The evidence is mounting that climate change is happening and is actually happening now. As time progresses, the success of repairing or slowing climate change diminishes. Therefore, action must be taken now to avert future harm. Read more facts about climate change.

When contemplating climate change, many people consider the task too big to tackle. Some easy ways to combat climate change are:

  • SPEAK UP by voicing your concerns to our legislators, especially concerning specific projects such as new drilling and gas and oil infrastructure. Signing on-line petitions literally takes seconds; google organizations like the Sierra Club and 350.org to get started. Phone calls and letters to the President, senators, congressmen, and the Governor go even farther and are VERY effective and well worth the time.
  • STEP UP by being proactive and support personal responsibility for climate change. For example, increase your consumption of plant-based foods, and especially decrease consumption of beef. The very potent greenhouse gas, methane, is released by cattle, and livestock production accounts for nearly 80% of greenhouse emissions from the agricultural sector; the contribution of meat to climate change is surprisingly significant. Your heart will love you for it, too. Refer to our eco-tips.

If you would like to know more about any of the activities of the EcoTeam, please ask any member of the Team or contact eco-team@fumceg.org