Churches and the Environment

Is it time for churches to think about the environment?

There's been a lot in the news recently about global warming - from Sir David Attenborough's Our Planet series to the BBC's War on Plastic. Alarm bells are certainly starting to ring... and there's very little time for us to change our ways.

Whose responsibility is it to bring about change? The Government? Business? Individuals? All have a large part to play, but as churches we should surely be taking the lead.

The problem is we've got all too happy with the status quo. Modern living tells us that we should always be wanting more. Over the coming decades we're going to have to learn where it's okay to want more, and when it's essential to expect less.

What has this got to do with church websites? Surely they contribute very little to global warming.

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The biggest thing to consider is electricity consumption. The more data that is needed, the great the power consumption. Large images, sermons and videos all require larger amounts of data. Bigger data means the batteries on our phones get used up quicker; the hosting of the website needs to do more, and more data needs to be sent via phone networks and WiFi.

The responsible thing is to consider how to reduce data.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Limit the number of sermons on your website. Many churches keep all their sermons on the website. The cost of hosting this increases over time. If sermons are only kept on the website for a set period of time - 1 month, 3 months, 1 year - you have the added benefit that you'd save on hosting fees also!
  • Get the website speed optimised. This involves doing something few churches like doing - paying an expert to do the job properly. It is good for the environment though!
  • Offset your carbon footprint by joining a number of schemes like Carbon Footprint's Tree Planting or 1% for the Planet.

At In The Flock we'd like to start taking measures to improve the environment. We're a small company and we already tithe, we can't do this without our customers wanting to help too.

If you'd like even more information, we recommend checking out the EcoChurch section of A Rocha's website.