It is a common misconception that communities of faith and environmentalists have little in common. In the United States today, 67% of Americans say they care about the environment because it is "God's creation" - and close to half of our members say they attend worship services at least once a month. Most of the world's major religions have long-standing traditions and teachings that inform how humans should interact with the natural world.
So make no mistake - "creation care" is certainly a growing movement. In the face of unprecedented environmental challenges like global warming, people from all walks of life are coming together to make a difference.
We recently released our "Faith in Action" report, which highlights one exceptional faith-based environmental initiative from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The report illustrates the growing momentum of the "creation care" movement.Lyndsay Moseley, of the Sierra Club's Environmental Partnerships Program, said these initiatives are worth recognizing. "We are inspired by the faith community's leadership in working to protect the planet, and this report is our way of saying 'thank you' to the many people of faith working on creation care initiatives across the country."
Moseley added that she hopes the many successful initiatives encourage others to take action.
The national faith appreciation report is a project of the Sierra Club's Environmental Partnerships Program, which works actively with faith groups around the United States to broaden support for environmental protection.
While there are 52 stories in this report, I thought I'd highlight a few of my favorites:
-Wisconsin - The Islamic Environmental Group of Wisconsin is engaged in helping mosques and Muslim families reduce their carbon footprint.
-Louisiana - The Mary Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church in East New Orleans is fighting hazardous waste landfills opened hastily in their neighborhood after Hurricane Katrina.
-Nebraska - An Omaha United Methodist Church is helping to start urban gardens around the city so that impoverished neighborhoods have access to locally-grown vegetables.
-New York - A Jewish environmental organization, "Hazon," organizes community bike rides and educates about sustainable living in New York City.
Those are only my favorites, but every single initiative in the "Faith in Action" report is a great story about faith communities joining together to make a difference for the planet. The Sierra Club is deeply grateful to these religious communities and the many others who are bringing renewed interest, energy, and unique perspectives to the environmental conversation while also taking the lead on finding solutions to our environmental challenges.