This post reflects thoughts on how Christians can prepare and preserve a fitting, earthly place for God to dwell in and around us.
As I write this, my son has just returned from a college internship in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Wilderness Preserve in Alaska.
Many of us may not have heard of Wrangell-St. Elias, which is one our newer National Parks, albeit the largest, comprising an area larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Switzerland (which is not one of our parks!) combined. Continue reading
My name is Ben Wilkinson, and I am a rising senior at Dunwoody High School and a member of Dunwoody UMC. In June, I became a Sustainability Ambassador for the City of Atlanta. The Sustainability Ambassador program is a series of six classes, each one dedicated to a specific topic related to environmentalism, including food, power, water, waste, and weather. Each session features one or two speakers who work on projects pertaining both to the class theme and sustainability. For example, the speaker at the fourth class was the designer of forty miles of flood tunnels under Atlanta and specially-designed parks that can flood when needed to prevent dangerous sewer overflows. The second class featured representatives of the Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates some of the largest hydroelectric dams in the US, and an engineer tasked with designing and deploying windmills off the East Coast. Continue reading
A common theme among many of the previous Sightings blogs is that natural laws (physics, chemistry and biology) govern the planet and universe and that life has evolved from the basic elements released during the Big Bang. Each organism is part of a population of similar organisms and an ecosystem made up of other plants, animals and inorganic features. They also evolved from a common ancestor living about 3.5 billion years ago. Continue reading
by Rich Gittens, Green Team Lead for GIPL African American Clergy Engagement Pilot
The short, easy answer is … Valerie Hill-Rawls, who has the very long title of, “GIPL African American Creation Care Environmental Justice Pilot Community Engagement Project Manager.” Some months ago Valerie made a presentation at my church, Emmanuel Lutheran, and talked quite passionately about a phrase that I’d not heard used before that day. That phrase was, “environmental justice.” Now, I like to consider myself a fairly articulate guy. I understand “environmental” and I understand “justice” … but I’d not heard them used together. And while the implication seemed pretty clear, I wasn’t sure. So I raised my hand and I asked. From then on I was hooked. Continue reading
This article was originally published in the July 31, 2018 Global Growers e-newsletter.
Representatives from Creative Solar set up solar panels on the farm late June.
With the installation of 28 solar panels at our Bamboo Creek Farm site, Global Growers expects to be the first farm in the metro-Atlanta area to have walk-in coolers partially powered by solar energy. Many thanks goes to the Solarize Decatur-DeKalb Coalition for their support and partnership in this project!
Bamboo Creek Farm is a 15-acre property that is shared by international farmers who came to this country as refugees from the Chin state of Burma (Myanmar). It operates as an incubator farm program where Global Growers provides access land, resources, and markets to support the development of new farm businesses. “The solar installation is another example of our partner farmers taking the lead on innovative and efficient farming practices,” says Robin Chanin, Executive Director, “Too often, the focus is on helping marginalized farmers get caught up, rather than advancing in key areas like alternative energy systems on the farm.”
Cold storage is one of the most intensive energy users on Global Growers’ farm, but it is an essential component of a fresh market, diversified fruit and vegetable operation making deliveries 4-5 days/week around metro-Atlanta. Bamboo Creek Farm uses a converted shipping container as the primary cold storage facility, along with two smaller units, that together offer three different temperature ranges suited for different products. “This repurposed cold storage unit is mobile and offers us versatility. Whether we unplug it and transport it to another location, or repurpose it into an office or dry storage unit, the cold storage unit works, offers endless possibilities and informs the community on renewable, sustainable farming practices,” says Todd Eittreim, our Farm Operations Manager.
Global Growers continues to push the boundaries of sustainable farm design with low-cost, effective, and replicable infrastructure that will help small farms be more competitive in the local marketplace, while being compliant with food safety standards. In partnership with the USDA and City of Atlanta’s Office of Resiliency, Global Growers will soon publish 3D models in an infrastructure toolkit so that other small farms can more easily build out their own systems.
Learn more about the solar project at: http://www.gipl.org/donated-
Learn about opportunities to get involved with Global Growers.
Buying a lot of something all at once is usually cheaper than buying the same thing in smaller amounts over time — a concept known as “economy of scale.”
Now, some solar advocates in Atlanta are bringing the principle to a rooftop near you, and, in the process, bringing down the cost of installing a residential solar system. Continue reading
Forming a relationship with GIPL has become a solid ground in introducing me to the importance and practice of Creation Care. With the mission to partner with religious congregations becoming more sustainable in their practices and use of resources, GIPL offers a great understanding in what it means to engage God’s people in the importance of going green! Being fresh out of college, this is an area of ministry I aspire to follow in my vocational calling.
With a family background involved in the National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, I adopted a passion for environmentalism at a young age. Thus, when it came time to consider what I wanted to be ‘when I grow up,’ I favored the idea of sustainable development as a career path and chose to attend Georgia Southern University for their leading, awarded efforts in sustainability. Continue reading
GIPL partner, Roswell Community Masjid, celebrated a Green Field Day on April 28th as a part of their larger Earth Day celebrations. The event was open to the community and promoted sustainability through recycling and providing reusable water bottles. We are grateful for this reflection from RCM member Lubna Merchant:
We have been taught to believe that “If a Muslim plants a tree or sow’s seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.” (Bukhari) Continue reading
Are houses of worship prepared for the current and coming natural disasters caused by climate change? If not, they need to be. During 2017, the faith community was in the heart of the hurricanes in the east and the wildfires in the west. They provided comfort and support to their ravaged congregants and local communities. They need to be prepared to do more and not be lulled into complacency by lack of awareness or political bent. Continue reading
Our guest blogger today, Seema Ahmed, is a member of the West Cobb Islamic Center in Marietta, Georgia, sharing her practices during Ramadan that inform her commitments to Earth care.
Ramadan, which begins Thursday, is the holy month in which Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. This is a month where one can evaluate where they are in life and how to be a better person, while strengthening their relationship with God. It is also a reminder to count your blessings and to give charity to those in need. Continue reading