Guide for waste management at parish events
Parishes and Catholic organizations celebrate many events on both a large scale and on a small scale. Care for God’s creation is an important value as we make decisions regarding the food and drinks we choose, the dishware and cutlery we use, and how we dispose of waste. Large events may include a parish dinner, volunteer appreciation day, annual parish social event, pancake breakfast, etc. Small events may include workshops, committee meetings, and small group socials where refreshments and snacks are served.
Parish waste management
Parishes may participate in the household waste management programme where there is a residence on the same property with no additional charges for pick-up. If there is no residence on the property, a Catholic parish may participate in the City of Ottawa’s green bin and recycling programs by joining the Yellow bag program. This can save a church a lot of money if efforts are directed at reusing and recycling. There is no charge for waste picked up in blue boxes, black boxes and green bins. There is a charge of $3.55 per bag of waste going to landfill which would be minimal where efforts are directed at recycling. Visit the City of Ottawa's website to learn more about the requirements of participation in the Yellow bag program.
Rod Muir, Waste Diversion Specialist with the Sierra club, has developed a practical program to encourage widespread use of the City's Green Bin program. Full details as to how we may best use this program and encourage our fellow parishioners to do so may be found on the Sierra club's website as well as on the City of Ottawa's website.
“The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole” (Pope Benedict XVI,
Caritas in Veritate
, 48). Lent provides us with the opportunity to reflect on our lifestyles. We pray, we fast, we share. The St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor provides many ideas for prayer, action and advocacy as we live out our faith during Lent and throughout the year. If you have not done so previously, please
sign on to the St. Francis Pledge
by going to the
Catholic Climate Covenant website
. Everyone counts!
The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace encourages us to create bottled water-free zones in our homes, our parishes, our schools and all public institutions where clean tap water is available. Bottled water represents the privatization of water - a consumer product rather than a requirement for life that must be publicly accessible. It creates extreme amounts of waste that degrades the environment. By choosing tap water over bottled water we show solidarity with people in the Global South whose water sources are being taken over by private interests and sold at unaffordable prices resulting in death to many. Let us accept the challenge and become bottled water free in our homes, our parishes and our schools.
Water for Life
Going solar: How your faith community FITs in!
How viable is solar power as an option for faith communities?
Renewable electric power generated by small-scale PV systems can be sold to the province's electrical grid at a price that is guaranteed for 20 years. This payment is known as a "feed-in tariff" (FIT). Ontario's new Green Energy Act provides the highest feed-in tariff for renewable energy in North America. For more information,
or contact John Dorner (
We have an opportunity to initiate actions at the diocesan, parish and individual level that show care for God’s creation. Faith & the Common Good, an interfaith network devoted to renewing the sacred balance with the natural world and with one another, offers many suggestions on its website as to how we can make a difference. Networking meetings are held regularly so that people of faith may learn from one another, finding common ground for the common good. Parishes are invited to become part of the Greening Sacred Spaces program that includes many resource materials as well as the possibility of low cost Green Audits of the Church buildings. For further information, contact John Dorner, Liaison for Environmental Stewardship with the Archdiocese at 613-738-5025, extension 251, or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Green Audit Call To Action by Stephen Collette
Faith and the Common Good delivers a Green Audit, which is a walkthrough audit that helps your faith community identify the potential areas of concern within the building with respect to the environmental impact it has, and makes recommendations, both short-term easy fixes and long-term capital planning solutions so that actions can be made on all levels, on all fronts, and involving more than just the building committee in your church.
If you would like more information about the Green Audit, please contact Stephen Collette at 705-652-5159 or
. Information is also available from John Dorner at the Archdiocese of Ottawa: 613-738-5025, ext. 251 or