About the Cool Planet Group
Our group was founded in Fall, 2006, when several of us were called to action after a screening of the film “An Inconvenient Truth” at First Pres. Here are some of the ways that we’ve been encouraging change by individuals, our congregation and the larger community, so that we can live up to our statement that “We are a green church, committed to environmental action”:
Encouraging personal changes to a more sustainable lifestyle
- Participating in holiday fairs at First Pres where we promote the 4th R: Reduce, reuse, recycle, Regift!
- Encouraging carbon offset donations to Canopy for air travel.
- Partnering with Acterra to engage the church congregation in a six-month “Cool Campaign”.
- Distributing Advent and Lenten devotionals with readings and actions on Creation Care.
- Holding an Electric Vehicle Expo and investigating EV charging stations.
- Hosting forums on individual divestment from fossil fuel companies.
Working to green the church facility
- Arranging for energy audits and being re-certified annually as a Presbyterian Earth Care Congregation, which involves working with the Facilities and Family Ministries.
- Obtaining free bike racks from VTA and a rebate from the county for native plant gardens.
- Working with the Church Administrator and Worship Committee to reduce paper usage, such as promoting electronic versions of various publications.
- Organizing annual Earth Day worship services that include children and youth.
- Sharing relevant articles on our Cool Planet Palo Alto Facebook page and on our church website.
- Producing four Adult Education series, entitled “Cleaning Up Eden: The Challenge of Climate Change”, “The Challenge of Climate Change: What We Can Do”, “Creation Care: Responding to Climate Change” and “Divestment 101: Why Your Money Matters to the Earth”.
- Showing films such as Climate Refugees and A Fierce Green Fire to the wider community.
- Promoting a First Pres lectureship by Dr. Larry Rasmussen on the theme of Earth-Honoring Faith.
Promoting political action
- Providing informational materials and letter-writing opportunities about legislation.
- Making annual donations to climate justice causes as part of our Social Justice ministry
- Participating in rallies to advocate for divestment from Fossil Fuels, to protest the Keystone XL pipeline and to call for climate legislation and climate justice.
Coordinating with other faith groups
- Working with Fossil Free PCUSA, Presbyterians for Earth Care, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and Green Faith on overtures for Divestment from Fossil Fuels to General Assemblies in 2014 and 2016. We advocated with Presbyteries around the U.S. and many of us attended GA to staff the FFPCUSA booth.
- Promoting local legislation and action as part of Peninsula Interfaith Climate Action (PICA).
- Partnering with California Interfaith Power and Light on Preach-Ins and Carbon Covenant projects. They have given us three awards for Education and Advocacy.
- Joining groups such as PICA (Peninsula Interfaith Climate Action)