After noting a lack of forage and habitat for butterflies, Monarchs in particular, and lack of forage for pollinators like bees, Nacoochee Presbyterian Church decided to take action. Bees sustain much of our natural food supply, therefore we must find ways to help sustain their living environment. By planting both a butterfly garden and a pollinator garden, project participants were able to provide a habitat for butterflies and bees, bring awareness to church members of all ages about the importance of these insects to the ecosystem, and provide beauty as well.
The gardens use plants as well as bushes that attract butterflies and bees. Because the church is surrounded by a pasture as well, they were able to establish a pollinator wild flower garden. The first wild flower area is near the playground at Nacoochee Presbyterian, and they hope to expand this wild flower garden each year in areas at the edge of the pasture to ensure there are always nectar and pollen producing flowers for bees and other pollinators. With current development and landscaping near the church campus, places that in the past were allowed to grow up in “weeds” are now nicely manicured. While they look pretty, the native plants that provide forage and shelter for butterflies, bees and other pollinators are greatly reduced. These gardens are one way we can help in this problem.
GIPL is proud to support a project that is helping sustain the ecosystem already in place, despite the challenges of development near the church. We look forward to seeing Nacoochee Presbyterian’s wild flower and pollinator gardens grow over the years. Click here to view images of the gardens.
To qualify for funding from the Four Directions Fund, you and others from your faith community can sign up for a Sacred Activism workshop offered by GIPL. All participants that complete the workshop are eligible to apply for a seed grant of $300 which can be used to fund your special project. To learn more, visit http://www.gipl.org/four-directions-fund-workshop-grant/.
GIPL held our second annual Green Team Summit on Sunday, January 27, 2019. We are grateful to The Temple for hosting us again this year! To celebrate the end of our 15th Anniversary year, John Anderson Lanier, Executive Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation offered a keynote address during dinner. Continue reading
Washington, DC (January 16, 2019) – The Climate Reality Project announced today that former Vice President Al Gore, Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, and Reverend Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, and other faith leaders, will lead A Moral Call to Action on the Climate Crisis, an interfaith mass meeting on March 14. The meeting will take place at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia at 7pm, and is open to the public. Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIPL) is a proud partner and organizer for this interfaith dialogue. Continue reading
In Less than a Year Solarize Atlanta Nearly Doubles Residential Solar in Atlanta Program will bring 143 more solar roofs to Atlanta
Atlanta, GA- The organizers of Solarize Atlanta celebrated more than just the New Year last week as the deadline to sign a residential solar contract with the program came and went. After the dust settled more than 143 homeowners had signed contracts to install over 855 kW of photovoltaic (PV) solar and 534 kWh of battery capacity that will help homeowners store their solar power and use it later. The installed solar will cut over 1.6 million pounds of global warming pollution annually. Continue reading
After researching and writing 20+ blogs over two years on climate change and the faith community, several themes and actions have organically emerged. They will be summarized below to pull together the threads identified through the Sightings blog series. These suggestions hopefully will help the faith community understand the current state of creation and steps they can take to prepare and adapt to changing ecological conditions occurring across the planet now and in the coming decades. This period is commonly referred to as the Anthropocene epoch, the age of the humans. Continue reading
GIPL Board member and frequent guest blogger, Susan Varlamoff offers her favorite eco-friendly tricks for the holiday season:
Make Natural Decorations: Rather than buying plastic ornaments, wreaths, and decorations shipped from overseas, make your own from pine cones, holly, seashells, river stones, and evergreen branches. Christmas tree lots often will give away branches they’ve trimmed off the bottom of trees. Continue reading
Solarize Newton-Morgan is a community-based solar photovoltaic group purchasing program that helps homeowners, businesses and nonprofits save on the cost of solar by leveraging the power of bulk purchasing — the more that participate, the greater the savings! Sara Vinson is one of our Solarize Newton-Morgan Ambassadors. She reflects… Continue reading
On October 20, the GIPL team gathered with forty Creation care champions for the first ever Coastal Green Team Summit. The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Ayres from Candler School of Theology kicked off the gathering reminding us that we are “profoundly located.” And indeed, we were profoundly located at First Baptist Church Saint Simon’s Island. For that we are deeply grateful! Continue reading
Last week was a real doozy. I was just beginning to digest the intense news that came from the United Nations’ IPPC latest report on rising global temperatures and the fact that we have far less time to turn this ship around. Then came Hurricane Michael, delivering a catastrophic blow to people and places I love along the Gulf Coast & South Georgia. I join countless others now feverishly praying for those enduring the intensity of this massive storm. I am shaken by the profound vulnerability of the world in this moment.
Pema Chodron, Buddhist teacher & author, writes of the power of such vulnerability, “This tenderness for life [called bodhichitta] awakens when we no longer shield ourselves from the vulnerability of our condition, from the basic fragility of existence. It awakens through kinship with the suffering of others. We train so as to become open and take in the pain of the world, let it touch our hearts and turn it into compassion.”
Using the lens of this spiritual teacher, I now think it is quite possible to see the dire news from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as an opportunity for the human family rather than a death knell. Our exposed vulnerability can move us towards hopeful action on behalf of G-d’s fragile planet.
I can attest through the hundreds of people and houses of worship with whom I connect through GIPL on a weekly basis that much of what is needed for course-correction by 2030 is already underway. And yet, we need to move faster. That’s the most important aspect of the report. We can no longer deny that the climate is changing rapidly and having negative impacts on vulnerable communities across the globe.
The collective actions required to keep us from warming the planet by another 2+degrees (Celsius) fall on industry and individuals, governments and NGOs. It’s not a matter of when, but HOW.
Fortunately, IPCC scientists didn’t just hit the panic button. They provided concrete steps forward for us. It’s as if Mother Earth called to say, “Install solar. Plant trees. Eat your veggies!”
Now I do not intend to make light of the IPCC report’s serious warning to us about our fate on this suffering planet. I do wish to highlight an encouraging word embedded in that historic document — our consumer choices matter. As people of faith, we must see ourselves as more than consumers. We are citizens of this world.
We are neighbors sharing a common home. All of the world’s major religions teach the value of showing care for our neighbors. Adopting the IPCC’s recommendations and embracing climate action shows love of neighbor.
Today, love of neighbor looks like:
– a new energy plan that provides affordable, renewable energy;
– a more sustainable, plant-focused diet that wastes less;
– planting trees one grove at a time; and
– engaging our elected officials to adopt climate action plans for all communities.
All of these climate actions can be practiced as individuals, as congregations, and as entire communities. GIPL has the resources to support you in making these changes – whether you join one of our Solarize campaigns, get serious about reducing food waste or support reforestation projects in Georgia or beyond.
Remember, “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” (with thanks to David Orr) In the wake of this game-changing climate report, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to hope!
(Connect with GIPL Team today and share with us ways that your faith community is responding to the United Nation IPCC’s call to action. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rev. Kate McGregor Mosley is GIPL’s Executive Director and Chief Officer for Hope.