If you have been participating in Creation Care’s Action of the Month Program during October, November, and/or December, we would like your feedback about your use of the program. The announcement of the January Action of the Month follows this questionnaire.
We are not asking for your name or any identifying information. We are interested in our levels of involvement across our group of participants for these three months. We would like to report back to the congregation the kinds of steps that are being taken by our respondents to care for creation by caring for the Earth.
There are five (5) items to answer. For each item, please click any of the checkboxes that show an answer that applies to you. You can check multiple boxes for each item if they apply.
Action of the Month for January
Choose to eat no meat on at least one day each week.
With drought conditions here in Montana, water conservation is so important. Did you know that It requires 2500 gallons of water and 5 pounds of grain to make one pound of beef? (Source: footnote #1)
Beef is one of the most water-intensive foods. Shifting away from animal products to a plant-based diet can shrink your water footprint significantly. (Source: https://learn.eartheasy.com/guides/45-ways-to-conserve-water-in-the-home-and-yard/)
If residents of the thirty-six countries who are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which includes North America, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel, practiced just one meatless day each week, the world would gain 120 million tons of grain which could be used to feed the hungry this year.” (Source footnote #2) Think of the difference weekly Meatless Mondays (or any other day of the week) could make to feed the hungry.
DID YOU KNOW...
Michael Pollan, well-known author, journalist, and Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism, observed that the average nine ounces of meat eaten per day per American is a significant part of the carbon footprint. While there is a place for meat eating, he says, it’s tinier than what we consume now. He recommends cutting down on meat, even if you do not eliminate it entirely. His opinion is that this change in diet is more important than anything else that you do to tackle climate change—and that we do need more vegetarians than we currently have. (Source footnote #3)
Advanced Action for those already eating meatless one or more days per week
If you already eat meatless one day or more a week and eat eggs and dairy, on one of your weekly meatless days eat a plant-based diet without eggs or dairy.
Find out more…
tips-about-eating-meatless.pdf Click here
Find out more about meat alternatives, plant-based proteins, and recipes on this tips page.
1 Rogers, Elizabeth, & Kostigen, Thomas, M. (2007). The Green Book, New York: Three Rivers Press. p. 69.
2 Jahren, Hope (2020). The Story of More. Publisher p.50.
3 Ebersole, Rene, (2014). Food Fight. Audubon Magazine, November-December, 2014, p. 61.
Action of the Month for December
Installing and using a programmable thermostat properly is one of the easier ways to save energy and money and help fight the global change of climate. It allows pre-programmed settings to regulate the temperature of your residence in both winter and summer. In winter, use one setting when you are home awake. Use a lower one when you are asleep or away from home. U The point of using heat is to keep people comfortable, not empty houses. Set it for colder when you will be sleep or away from home for 8 hours or more.
A WiFi thermostat, sometimes referred to as a Smart thermostat, can be used as part of a home automation feature to control heating, ventilation, and air conditioning in a home.
If you shop for a programmable or WiFi thermostat, look for a model with the EnergyStar label. You can view a video about choosing an EnergyStar thermostat ahead of your purchase.
If you are a qualified Montana NorthWestern Energy residential customer, you can look for either electric or natural gas rebates for a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat. Learn about their rebate programs for these thermostats, and download their forms from the above link to apply.
After installing your programmable or WiFi thermostat, experiment to find your best minimal heating needs for when you are home awake and for when you are home asleep. You can start your experimental settings with 68 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night. If you want, you can try moving it up or down from there. Many people set their heat to 55 degrees at night programming their thermostat 10 to 15 degrees lower for the eight sleeping hours.
If you use more than one thermostat in your home because you have heating or cooling zones, you will need a programmable thermostat for each zone. Your advantage is that you may be able to significantly reduce heating or cooling to zones that are not currently in use—for example, the kids’ bedrooms when they are away at college or a guest area not in use.
Switching from a traditional thermostat to a programmable or WiFi thermostat can leave you with the warm feeling of knowing you are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and taking a part in improving the environment for generations to come.
Advanced Actions for those already using a programmable or WiFi thermostat:
If you are running your sleep setting and/or away-from-home thermostat setting at 57 degrees or higher, try lowering your thermostat settings in the winter by at least 2 degrees lower than you used before. Check out the tips at the link above, too.
Help a friend install a programmable thermostat.
Action of the Month for November
Between Thanksgiving to New Year’s, household waste typically increases by over 25%. This includes food and items used to serve and eat with, gift packaging, decorations, and more.
It’s time to start preparing for the holidays. For this month’s action, look through the list of the six Basic Action categories below and select one to work on this month.
Basic Action Categories--Choose one with some items that are new for you
Gifts of service
We hear about shortages of items for sale or difficulties in finding some products this holiday season. Giving gifts of service bypasses difficult shopping for you and brings smiles to the faces of those to whom you provide your service. Examples of possible services:
Gifts of "stuff"--buy less, buy local, buy "green"
Freeing up space: Find good homes for good items you no longer will use
Some sustainable holiday ideas found here came from Gallatin County’s Reducing Holiday Waste webpage. You can see more there about cards, gifts, wrapping, and recycling Christmas trees and use their ideas as advanced action for November.
Action of the Month for October
Basic Action - Weatherize windows and doors to seal air leaks
On a chilly day, check around each window and external door in your residence to see if cold air is seeping in. If you see daylight where it meets the frame, or feel cold air coming in, weatherize those windows and external doors to stop air leaks. Losses due to air leaks are like leaving a window open.
Find out more about weather stripping. (Source: energy.gov)
Find out more about installing weather stripping. (Source: familyhandyman.com)
Check with your home store or a professional about caulk, weatherstripping, and door sweep products to use. If you are a renter and find your door needs weatherstripping, contact your property owner or property manager to ask them to seal the leaks around your door(s). Or perhaps you can take care of it yourself.
Weatherizing windows and external doors provides you these benefits:
Choose from these if your windows and doors are already weatherized.
DID YOU KNOW…
You can prioritize advanced actions by started with these:
Some content adapted with permission from materials produced
by Earth Care for Hoosier-IPL www.EarthCareIndiana.org
Action of the Month for September
To reduce its energy use, set your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees and insulate your water heater if it is in an unheated space. The water heater is typically the largest use of energy in the home after heating and cooling.
Setting the water heater temperature to 120 degrees gives you these benefits:
DID YOU KNOW…
If you are a NorthWestern Energy (NWE) residential customer, you can check the following link for their rebates and incentives programs for natural gas water heating, electric water heating, hot water tank insulation, hot water pipe insulation, and Energy Star rated purchases. Residential Services for Montana
You may want to bookmark or save this link as a favorite you can return to.
Members of their NWE’s Low Incomes Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) may also qualify NWE’s weatherization services like furnace, boiler, or water heater inspections, sealing air leaks, and wrapping water heaters for home or apartment. Contact them for services.
To save more energy used to run water heaters, consider replacing your unit with a solar water heater, tankless water heating, or geothermal pre-heating options. You can look into these options, as well as the Energy Star rated purchases, to see which may possible and work best for you. Remember to check NorthWestern Energy for possible rebates.
Note: If your water heater’s tank leaks, you probably need a new water heater.
Adapted with permission from materials produced by
Earth Care for Hoosier-IPL www.EarthCareIndiana.org
Action of the Month for August:
Install high efficiency/low-flow showerheads and aerators on faucets.
We urgently need to conserve water in our communities. Using low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators (that screw-on tip for the faucet) are an excellent way to start.
The city of Bozeman has several Free Swaps and Rebates programs to help its City residential water customers move to low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. Open the “Tips-to-reduce-your-water-usage.pdf” link found below the Advanced Actions section to find out more details about these programs. If you are not a Bozeman City water customer, you can look for both these items at home improvement, hardware, or big box stores.
DID YOU KNOW…
The typical household in the developed world uses upwards of 260 gallons of water per day. Installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators can reduce up to 45 gallons per day which means thousands of gallons saved each year. (Source: https://www.treehugger.com/how-to-go-green-in-the-bathroom-4857311)
Saving water also saves electricity. It takes energy to pump water to a water treatment plant, to make it safe for drinking and food preparation, and to get it to your house.
Our drought means this is the time to be an over-achiever by selecting one or more Advanced action(s) to do, too. Open the Tips link that follows this list to see more details about them.
· Repair water leaks and toilet runs.
· Install a low flush toilet.
· Minimize the time you let the water run, inside or outside. Find ideas in the Tips below.
· If your water comes from the City of Bozeman, download the DropCountr app or go to www.dropcountr.com/bozeman to create an account that shows you your current and previous water usage and provides a wealth of information about water usage.
· Parents: Involve the children with Water Conservation Activities from the City of Bozeman.
Adapted with permission from materials produced by Earth Care for Hoosier-IPL www.EarthCareIndiana.org
Action of the Month for July:
Take at least 10 minutes daily this month to spend time with nature in order to appreciate God's creation and delight your soul. Examples of ways include:
Convert part of your lawn to a pollinators garden to attract bees, birds, caterpillars, and butterflies. Watering a garden of native plants that attract these pollinators can require less water than watering a lawn. Avoiding using pesticides and herbicides for pollinator gardens. You can find tips on creating a Pollinator Garden space at the links that follow:
Jan Cashman's article Why Are Pollinators and Pollinator Plants So Important?
Lolo National Forest's document Attracting Pollinators and Using Native Plants
Action of the Month
Join our Creation Care’s Action of the Month Program to carry out a monthly task for the earth!
Purpose of the program:
Part of our spiritual calling for personal discipleship at home and work is to care for creation. Because the quantity of actions this implies can seem overwhelming, our Action of the Month Program provides one action to take each month. At the end of the month, you have a new habit. And if you find the basic action is something you already do, or if you find it not appropriate to your situation, or if you simply want to be a high-achiever, you can also find an advanced option to use as your alternative.