The anglican diocese of montreal

Stewardship of the Environment

We take a leadership role in our communities. As part of the Anglican Communion, we encourage Anglicans to support sustainable environmental practices as individuals in their daily lives and throughout their communities. 

Environmental Checklist

Green Tips — In Your Garden

  1. Capture rainwater. Water treatment and distribution is a major energy user in the city and even if you have a well you probably rely on an electric pump. Collect rainwater in a barrel and put a tight fitting lid on it so it does not become a mosquito hatchery.
  2. Avoid using chemical fertilizers. If you leave the grass clippings on the grass and use your own compost you can reduce your reliance on chemical fertilizers. Another alternative is to buy natural fertilizers. Almost all chemical fertilizers contain nitrogen in the form of an ammonium salt. The first number in the fertilizer gives the percentage of nitrogen in the product. Nitrogen in a soluble form is vital for growth. In the production of ammonia, natural gas is split to form hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Thus the production of fertilizer, an important Canadian export, requires the release of million of tonnes of CO2 each year into the atmosphere. Cutting back on chemically produced fertilizers will help us control global warming.
  3. Another way of getting nitrogen into the soil is by growing peas, beans, lupines and other legumes which have bacteria living in their roots that convert the nitrogen in the air to a form that is usable by all plants. Crop rotation that has been practiced since agriculture was first invented relies on this method of fertilizing the soil.
  4. Avoid using chemical pesticides. Most chemical pesticides are made from fossil fuels and CO2 is usually an unwanted byproduct.
  5. Limit your use of powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers and snow blowers. If you only have a small yard, think manual. A typical gas-powered lawn mower produces 48 kg of CO2 in a season.
  6. Save energy with your pool. Use a timer to regulate the amount of time the pump is working. Use solar panels to heat the water and retain the heat with a thermal blanket.
  7. Trees are an effective way to shield church buildings from heat and cold. Broad leaf, deciduous trees offer shade in summer when planted on the south side of the building. When they loose their leaves in winter they allow passive-solar heating. Evergreens planted on the north side protect from cold, winter winds.
  8. Making optimal use of water used for irrigation makes sense. You can try the following.
  • Avoid watering in the heat of the day to minimize evaporation
  • Use drip irrigation and soaker hoses to make sure the water goes where it is needed.
  • Use mulch on the gardens to slow evaporation from the soil.
  • Plant native, drought-resistant plants
  • Keep the lawn height to a minimum of two inches to protect the soil from the sun.
  1. Try to reduce your consumption of disposable items e.g. Styrofoam cups, paper plates, plastic cutlery.
  2. Purchase items made from recycled materials.
  3. Purchase items that are durable, reusable or can be recycled.
  4. Try to minimize paper use.
  5. Reuse good one-sided paper.
  6. Buy paper with post-consumer content.
  7. Buy unbleached paper.
  8. Recycle everything you can.
  9. Make sure your recycling blue boxes are clearly visible.

Green Tips — In Your Car

  1. Drive 10% less. Do this by planning your trips to reduce the distance you drive, walking for trips less than a mile, carpooling or using public transport. Just a 10% reduction will make a major contribution to your personal CO2 production
  2. Use your vehicle’s air-conditioning sparingly. Using air conditioning in stop and go traffic can increase fuel consumption by up to 20%. Try opening the windows or fresh air vents and parking in the shade.
  3. Don’t idle. Idling for 10 minutes a day can produce a quarter tonne of CO2 emissions a year. If you are stopping for more than 10 seconds except in traffic turn off the engine.
  4. Drive at the posted speed limit. With most vehicles increasing cruising speed from 100 km/h to 120 km/h increases fuel consumption by 20%.
  5. On the highway use cruise control to maintain a steady speed.
  6. Use a block heater on a timer when the temperature drops below 0oC. A block heater warms the oil and engine coolant making the vehicle easier to start in winter and improving winter fuel economy by as much as 10%.
  7. Keep your vehicle well maintained. A poorly maintained engine can use up to 50% more fuel and thus produce 50% more CO2 than a well-maintained car. Remember to replace worn-out oil and filters as recommended by the car manufacturer.
  8. Use ethanol-blended gasoline if it is available near you. Although the benefits of bio-fuels are being hotly debated at this time, there is no doubt that for the same amount of energy ethanol produces less CO2 during combustion than does petroleum.
  9. Measure your vehicles tire pressure once a month. Measure tire pressure when they are cold and check them at the same time for foreign objects, cuts and cracks and other signs of wear.
  10. Remove roof racks when not in use. Even empty racks increase aerodynamic drag and therefore fuel consumption.
  11. Buy a fuel-efficient vehicle. Reduce your greenhouse gas production by one tonne a year and save money at the same time.

Earth Day Liturgy

The Stewardship of the Environment has put together a liturgy for Earth Day, which this year is on April 22nd. It is hoped that you will use this liturgy on that day, which happens to be Sunday, the Third Sunday of Easter. The PDF document prints as a booklet.

Download this PDF

 

For more information

If you are interested in the work of the Stewardship of the Environment Committee or can help, please contact Catherine Gillbert, Committee Chair at (450) 672 1519 or here.