Conference or Retreat Centre Letter
Have you recently attended a Christian conference or stayed at a retreat house? Did you notice things that could have been done in a more environmentally responsible way? Here is a sample letter for you to modify as you like and send to the establishment to encourage them in their discipleship. Simply download conference-centre-letter.doc (Which is the same text as below) and modify it as relevant
I have recently attended an excellent/interesting/enjoyable course/seminar/workshop at your establishment, and am writing to you with regards to your environmental practice.
As a Christian retreat house/college/conference centre I am sure you will agree that caring for creation is not an optional extra. We are called to take responsibility for God's earth as well as to love our neighbour as ourselves and nearly every time the earth is harmed, other people suffer. The only Christian response to the current environmental and spiritual crisis is to take steps in every area of life and business to minimise our contribution to the destruction of creation and to encourage and inspire others to do the same.
I was pleased to note that you have low energy light bulbs/use fair-trade coffee/use crockery instead of plastic cups/include the earth in your curriculum...
May I suggest some ways in which your establishment might improve your environmental practice, where you have not done these things already ?
- Switch to green electricity - a third of all carbon emissions in the UK come from burning fossil fuels to generate electricity, so the biggest difference you can make to combat climate change is to switch to a genuinely green supplier which you can find at
www.greenelectricity.org or through www.operationnoah.org .
- Switch to low energy light bulbs - just one can save £100 over the lifetime of the bulb - and they last up to 12 times longer than ordinary light bulbs.
- Switch off equipment and radiators when you're not using them. Try to keep windows closed when the heating is on. On average offices waste £6,000 each year by leaving equipment on over weekends and bank holidays. Just getting your employees to turn off their monitors when they go home can make a big difference. There may be grants available for insulation at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk .
- Recycle and compost more - many companies are now recycling their paper, but other products such as plastic and metal go un-recycled. Why not collect organic waste in the dining room and make compost to fertilise office and outdoor plants?
- Go LOAF in the kitchen! - as much as possible use Locally produced, Organic, Animal friendly and Fairtrade food. Eating together is such a Biblical thing to do - let's do it in a Christian way!
- Witness as to what you are doing and why you are doing it - a few words in the entrance hall and on literature will inform and inspire others, for example: " your establishment uses green electricity in response to God's love in creation"
These are very simple and practical ways your establishment can run according to God's kingdom values in our age of climate change. The Carbon Trust (www.carbontrust.co.uk) supports organisations like your establishment to undertake measures to reduce their ecological footprint and www.operationnoah.org and www.christian-ecology.org.uk are further resources for why and what we can do.
I hope you feel able to take on board some of these recommendations,