A timely focus on Care of Creation during Lent 2013 led to some big improvements in sustainability for St Peter’s.
Through liturgy and after church seminars they looked at a range of issues including climate change and the environment and how faith impacts on our lifestyle choices. The comment was that they, “generated much interest and we have already begun to make a few changes”. After the Lent season they invited the Sustainability Field Worker to assess their buildings and operations to learn more practical steps they could take to improve their sustainability. For more on liturgical and educational resources go to the Links to church and religious organisations page if the Cherished Earth website.
Since then they have completed the refurbishment of their bathroom areas. This was an opportune time to include sustainable features such as improving natural lighting and installing energy efficient lighting, dual low-flush toilets and low-flow taps. Their old hot water cylinder was very large, with long uninsulated pipe runs. They changed to smaller localised hot water cylinders, thereby improving efficiency. For more on recommendations to consider when carrying out a renovation go to the DIY Sustainability Surveys page of the Cherished Earth website.
Another area is making better use of natural light. Some older skylights at St Peter’s had problems with leaks, which is not unusual. An alternative, modern solution for bringing light to dark internal spaces is to install a tubular skylight such as a Solatube. Maximising daylight is a simple way to reduce energy consumption from artificial lighting. St Peter’s did this by relocating an external sign that was blocking light to a window.