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Kathryn Bauchelle, Houston, Texas, has shared one car with her husband for nearly ten years now. Both of them are committed to carpooling when possible in order to lessen their environmental impact. The couple also keeps reusable boxes in their car as a way of avoiding Styrofoam take-out containers at restaurants.
Kathyrn finds it energizing to watch for shifts on climate change at the national or state level around the world.
Brian Martin Burkholder, Harrisonburg, Va., reports that his household has worked hard to reduce household waste. Backyard chickens eat some of the table scraps and leaves that fall become garden mulch the following summer.
On the climate change front, the Burkholder household has limited the use of electricity for heating water by installing water heating solar panels and keeping the electric water heater toggled off as the default setting. This increases intentionality regarding heating water.
This year, they plan to add a solar array for producing electricity for the house. They were fortunate enough to get in a purchasing coop to help reduce the overall cost. The array is modest in size and will challenge them to limit their consumption to what they can produce.
Emma Childs is part of an ecumenical Christian community in Norwood, Ohio, that operates a sliding-scale pizza restaurant called Moriah Pie. The restaurant sources ingredients from neighborhood gardens and allows guests to pay as they can.
A related ministry that offers an internship is the Parish Farming School of Eucharistic Discipleship. Their website defines parish farming as “the prayerful tending of land, usually in an urban environment, to grow food on behalf of and with the people who call a neighborhood home.”
Amy Huser became Camp Friedenswald’s sustainability and outdoor education director in 2017. Projects like highlighting natural areas to encourage guests to get outdoors are part of her work.
Last summer, Amy had the chance to teach the sustainability merit badge at the National Boy scout Jamboree. The Boy Scouts added this badge in 2013 and require it or a badge on environmental science for those hoping to become Eagle Scouts. At home, she’s trying to reduce the amount of meat she eats.
Heather Wolfe, Taftsville, Vt., writes: “I went to a talk that was part of a community resiliency week and learned about permaculture. I then read about edible forest gardening and sought out mentors who introduced me to the concept of plant guilds. We have put in five so far in our organic apple orchard, switching from a monoculture to a more diverse ecology. It makes for a much more interesting landscape and should improve the health of our orchard and the ecosystem that it depends on.”