Focussed on the world and the precept “think globally – act locally”, Eco-Congregation Scotland asks congregations/parishes to look out beyond their doors, to our own homes, our places of work, and our neighbours both near and far away.
The Ideas for Action under this section includes:
Greening our places of worship can only ever be a starting point. For greater change to happen it requires every member of a congregation/parish to take the same ideas into their homes and places of work. What goes for church buildings and grounds goes for our homes and workplaces as well. Small changes, bigger ones when the opportunity is right, all play a part in the work of change and renewal that Eco-Congregation Scotland encourages.
In this core area, therefore, the focus becomes all the places beyond our places of worship. Each member of a parish/congregation has a life where they have influence and authority in some form or other. Having changed our own lives through the work done in our congregations, we now seek to change the lives of others. We do this by influencing attitudes, by taking action in the local community, and by being committed to global citizenship.
This core area works at many different levels. We all have the power to make choices, and those choices determine many other things – what is produced, what is sold, what is conserved, what is wasted and so on. The choices we make also influence the lives of many others. A choice for fair-trade shopping, for example, is a choice which has a positive impact on the lives of people we are never likely to meet, but whom we will benefit greatly. At the same time, a choice to shop at a local farmers market reduces food miles, ensures fresh produce, and enhances the local economy. Re-using and recycling items we have purchased reduces demands on increasingly scarce natural resources. Living more sustainably both as individuals and communities enables us to express our solidarity with those parts of the world where the impacts of global change are already part of everyday life.
In addition to matters that concern our own lifestyle changes, changes in the local community, and our global concern for neighbour love, this core area offers practical advice on major issues such as climate change and calculating and reducing our own carbon footprint.
It is a core area that allows us to realise our congregations/parishes are a major force for good and for change; changes which begin but do not end with ourselves. It provides opportunities for eco-congregations to go out and to bear fruit that will last.