J500 Media and the Environment

A Feather in Your Hat by michellec1
October 30, 2008, 9:45 am
Filed under: Art + Religion, Energy + Climate, Society + Media | Tags: , , ,

I am an eldest daughter, a graduate student, a corporate employee…the list goes on. In the midst of my busy schedule I find myself wearing several different hats as I cross things off my list and prioritize my life. For my group’s project we had the faith group and did our field work at a local church that has assembled a very active “Green Team”. It was comprised of a very diverse group of people, from different backgrounds, careers, and neighborhoods. However, they all have two things in common, they are active members of their congregation and they care about the environment and climate change. The people that we interviewed wore many hats, but they all seemed to have a “green” feather in them. They shared ideas to reduce their carbon footprint that have been implemented in their homes or offices and proposed doing the same things at their church.


I think the most powerful thing about community is that each individual brings their own experiences and perspective and shares them with everyone else. When it comes to communities based on faith, there is an added element of passion that people bring to the table. When they feel that God is holding them responsible for taking care of His creation, they are much more inclined to take action than when the request is coming from the government or their boss. The conversation that is going on about climate change in politics and the business world often contains a lot of spinning for personal gain or financial reward.  When it comes to taking actions about climate change because of faith based beliefs, there is a new level of purity in the conversation. Hopefully this purity will draw in a new group of people who might have been turned off to the issue of climate change in any other situation.



Image from Soul Harvest


-Michelle C.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Religion can be a great tool for talking to people. It gives them a starting point, a “place at the discussion table” as we talked about in class. But, people who volunatarily join a group typically are more passionate about the issue than others in the same community. Do you think the reactions you got from your field interviews with the “Green Team” are representative of the faith community as a whole? Or, do you think the
Green Team can channel their energy to convert the others in their faith?

Comment by susang09

Michelle, nice post! You bring some great insight into the green efforts of faith based groups.

I have always thought that this earth was a gift from a greater power – whether that be God or some other being. It’s impossible to have hiked up to the top of a 15,000 foot mountain in Colorado and not think that there wasn’t another “hand” in the making of this incredible, beautiful and bountiful earth. I love that you have brought up this point.

Looking forward to your groups presentation on the 8th.


Comment by rebeccaly


Thanks for your comments. You bring up a great point that the Green Team was full of volunteers who were already interested in enviornmental issues and the rest of the congregation might not be 100% on board right away. Even if it takes people a little time and convincing, I still think they will be more open to the message because they know there is no political or financial gain for any of the Green Team members. It might just be a small step in the right direction, but I think it’s an important one. Hopefully some people who have been turned off by enviornmental politics or greenwashing will take a second look at what they can do to help when it is brought up at their place of worship.

Comment by michellec1

I love the way you identify yourself in this post. It reminds us that we all exist in multitudes. In regards to people answering to a higher power, rather than a higher up, how does this shape the notion of environmental stewardship? Are we dominant over God’s creatures or stewards of the Earth or both? And how do we make this case to those who are NOT connected to faith/ spirituality?

Comment by j500

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: