RI Interfaith Power & Light Newsletter
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September 2017      
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In This Issue

Film of the Month

At RI IPL, we are always adding new films to our Film Lending Library. All of our films are available for member congregations to borrow. Many of them come with discussion notes as well. In order to showcase the films we have available, we're adding a Featured Film of the Month column to our newsletter.   You can easily bring a movie to your congregation, too. Just contact Kristen Ivy at 
Ocean Frontiers II
Off the shores of New England, in a region steeped in old maritime tradition, comes a modern wave of big ships, energy industries, and a changing climate, now testing the limits of an already crowded sea. But in a pioneering trial of far-sighted planning-pushed by blueprints for offshore wind energy-old residents and new are coming together to keep their ocean and livelihoods alive. Includes footage of the Block Island Offshore Wind farm.
New England's experiences serve as an important milestone for all of us who care about the ocean.
Star Island
My Sustainable Summer Vacation
by: Kristen Ivy Moses

Star Solar Array Perry Smith
Star Island Solar Array

Earlier this summer my husband, son, and I drove up to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to attend a one-week religious education conference on Star Island. The summer camp atmosphere and family style dining make for a relaxing getaway. In addition to our conference activities, we enjoyed swimming, kayaking, tennis, hiking around the island, visiting the marine biology lab, feeding the chickens, and playing on the playground.
Established as a fishing village in the early 1600s, Star Island is one of the nine Isle of Shoals located off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. Owned and operated by the nonprofit Star Island Corporation, the island provides affordable individual and family retreats. While Star Island is founded on the liberal spiritual ideals of Unitarian-Universalism and the United Church of Christ, people representing a variety of beliefs attend conferences regularly.
One of the reasons we enjoy Star Island so much is the high level of sustainability they practice. Measuring just 38 acres, mostly composed of rock, and having only a thin layer of earth, Star's resources are limited. Yet the people of Star have long understood how to live within their means and the need for self-reliance has shaped the island's communities over time. In 2011, they established the Green Gosport Initiative- a program designed to educate the island and mainland communities about sustainability and to serve as a model for others. The efforts they make on the island are sometimes huge, such as boasting the largest solar array in the Northeast, but many are often easy to accomplish. They conduct daily tours to educate visitors about their sustainability efforts.
Sustainability on Star

In the fall of 2014, they installed the largest solar array in the northeast, with 420 photovoltaic cells (pictured at top). It provides 55% of their power in season and 100% out of season. Two diesel generators provide the rest.  They turn the lights off whenever possible. Although lights are left on in certain public spaces such as walkways, hallways, and the main lobby for safety, for the most part, the island goes dark at night. They're also swapping outdated bulbs (incandescents) for more efficient LEDs, and considering sensors for lights in areas that don't need to be lit when no one's using them at night (bathrooms, hallways, walkways). They even rely entirely on candlelight for evening chapel services.
Candles for Evening Chapel

Fewer lights mean less electricity, reducing the need to use as much diesel. When the back-up diesel generator is used, "waste heat" is reclaimed to heat water for several uses.
With limited fresh water on-island, toilets are flushed with salt water, and rainwater is collected in a larger cistern for filtration to use as drinking water in taps, showers, and laundry. 58% of their fresh water is provided through reverse osmosis of sea water, 41% is Portsmouth tap water delivered by boat, and 1% from rainwater filtration. Star has a shower schedule that provides 3 showers for both staff and guests each week. They limit showers because water on-island is so hard to come by. In 2016, a total of 441,670 gallons of freshwater were used on Star. That's about 2/3 of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
For comparison:
Daily water requirements per person: 10.5 gal
On Star: 10 gal
Average in the US: 110 gal
Replacing equipment with more efficient models has allowed them to reduce demands on the island's infrastructure. A recent example is the purchase of a new dishwasher, which uses less power during operation and also uses less water than the old one. Less water used means less drinking water treated and less waste water sent to the on island wastewater treatment facility. Water and wastewater treatment are also two of the three biggest electrical uses on the island, so the energy and water efficient dishwasher mean an overall reduction in energy use.

To cut down on waste, every bathroom has a basket of washable hand towels. Every paper towel dispenser has a sign reminding you to take just one towel. All used paper towels are composted. 
Rather than sending all "waste" off-island as trash or recycling, they're working to find beneficial uses on-island: crushing used glass bottles for sand/gravel fill, shredding cardboard and paper for compost and chicken bedding, composting food waste, integrating chickens into the compost cycle to process and provide food. They use 5 different bins for sorting waste: trash, glass, metal, plastic, and compost. Several years ago they collected used glass bottles to line the beds in the vegetable gardens.
Glass Bottle Garden Bed

They also reuse historic furniture and repair or replace small parts instead of replacing entire fixtures. Since things they need that can't be found on the island come by boat, and waste they can't use leaves by boat, this can help reduce demand on boats for importing and exporting materials. They do send metal, glass, and paper off the island to get recycled when they can't reuse it.
They run a boat back and forth to the mainland most days of the week and recognize the cost of doing so both environmentally and economically. By planning the boat schedule accordingly, they eliminate unnecessary or redundant trips and reduce the number of times needed to go back and forth. This means less diesel to power the boat. For example, the ferry boat brings water and the cargo boat delivers groceries and takes back trash.
Over the past few years, they've been generating more produce from the four vegetable gardens on the island, around 1,500 lbs a season. They also keep 60 chickens and two ducks. The produce and eggs supplement the food ordered from the mainland. By growing their own food, they are also able to serve fresher, more nutritious food while reducing the cost of the food bill. They serve a vegetarian option at every meal and even encourage you to try being a vegetarian during your visit.
You can learn more about The Green Gosport Initiative and the various conferences offered at Star Island HERE. Programs are offered through the end of September and they even offer discounts to new visitors. Happy travels!

The Rev. Dr. Anita Schell
Emmanuel Newport
Ray Frackelton, PhD
Newman Congregational
Marty Davey
St. Gregory the Great
Christine Muller
Baha ' i Community
Christine Cassels
St. Luke's
East Greenwich

Sarah Atkins
Emmanuel Newport
The Rev. David Helfer
Unitarian Universalist  
Congregation of
South County
Peace Dale

Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
First Unitarian Church


Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.
Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony,
with friendliness and fellowship.
So powerful is the light of unity
that it can illuminate the whole earth.

Dear Friends,

Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light's Board of Directors and I are devastated by the events we witnessed earlier this month in Charlottesville, VA. We are heartbroken over the demonstration of hatred and violence that resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, and we reach out with prayers for her family and all those who were injured, be it physically or emotionally.

We share the position of VA IPL: "The ideology that sources white supremacy is a dehumanizing vision that deems Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Native Americans, Africans and African Americans, Latinos and Latin Americans, Asians and Asian Americans, as well as LGBTQ people as subhuman. This myth also makes the rest of creation subject to its caprice, as it supplants the Creator's purpose for all life with the will of a few. We repudiate this myth."

There is a strong link between those who oppress people and those who deny climate change. Our fight for climate justice is strongly connected with working for social justice and the human rights of all people. 

Let us strengthen our resolve to work together and stand up for the truth that all human beings were created equal in the sight of God, regardless of their race, nationality, and religious background.
Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
TheImportanceofaSharedSolutionThe Power of Interfaith Collaboration
Christine Muller, RI IPL Secretary
Christine Muller

In October 2015, I attended the Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City. It was an amazing experience to see more than 10,000 participants representing numerous nationalities, races, tribes, and more than 50 faith traditions. The program centered on "Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity".
The Parliament of the World's Religions met for the first time in Chicago in 1893 as part of the World's Columbian Exposition. It was the first ever interfaith gathering in recorded history and its purpose was to nurture tolerance and respect for people of different faiths. The idea was revived one hundred years later with another Parliament of the World's Religions, also in Chicago, in 1993. Since then, the Parliament has come together every few years, meeting in different places all over the world and has increasingly broadened its scope, focusing now on tackling the immense global problems facing humankind today. At the 2015 Parliament, the Dalai Lama, whose health prevented him from attending in person, said in his video message, "Prayer is good for individuals. Actions are good for the world." Thus, the mission of the Parliament of the World's Religions is "to cultivate harmony among the world's religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world."
Among the main topics of the 2015 conference were climate change and hate speech. At first one may think that these topics have nothing in common. However, they do. They both come down to our attitude toward and treatment of other people. When we mistreat and exploit the Earth, poor people and future generations suffer first and the most.
Among the most impressive speakers were those that represented indigenous communities. Dr. Rangimarie Turuki Rose Pere, a Maori, said that we must "respect mother nature and have a sacred regard for creation." The Parliament of the World's Religions issued a Declaration on Climate Change which is a consensus statement and call to action that can be endorsed by adherents of diverse religious and spiritual traditions.
Since then, the Parliament of the World's Religions has engaged in several advocacy actions, for example, it joined together with Interfaith Power & Light to express deep concern over the current Administration's "deceptively-titled Executive Order on Energy Independence and Economic Growth". The statement includes that this Executive Order is "based on a flawed understanding of both economics and science", and that it "compromises Americans' health and safety, damages our economy in both the short and long term, and undermines our children's future well-being and security."
The next Parliament of the World's Religions will take place in Toronto in November 2018. Its topic will be "The Promise of Inclusion, the Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change".
Of course, you don't have to wait until then, nor travel that far to become part of an effective interfaith collaboration and climate action. You can become involved with RI Interfaith Power & Light!

At our upcoming annual interfaith conference on climate change at Providence College on Monday, October 16, 2017, 5:30 - 9:00 pm, you will have the opportunity to discuss different practical actions and to network with people of faith from diverse religious backgrounds. The keynote speaker Tim DeChristopher will speak on the topic "Transforming Prayers into Passionate Action".
Also, if you want to take climate action or raise awareness about climate change in your own congregation, you can rely on RI IPL to support you. We can provide you with speakers and films from our video library, and connect you with people who can share their knowledge and experience bringing environmentally sustainable practices to their congregations, initiating a "creation care team", and even putting solar panels on their roofs. In addition, you are always welcome to send us your ideas and to volunteer. Just contact Kristen Ivy, RI IPL's Executive Director at (401) 324-9142. Our strength comes from our members, which means from your active participation. We are looking forward to working with you!

Check out Christine's Online Course for Holistic Environmental Action below.

Host a Cool Harvest Potluck this fall
Holding a Cool Harvest Potluck is the perfect fit for faith communities that love food, and are also concerned about global warming.  RI IPL can help you plan and host your own Cool Harvest Potluck for friends, green team members, or for your entire congregation.  It's fun, it's easy, and it's a great way to address climate change. We can help you plan, publicize, and even recommend an appropriate movie to show afterwards.  Contact Kristen Ivy to learn more. Bon appétit!

For more information visit: www.coolharvest.org

An Inconvenient Sequel
Truth to Power

Ten years ago Interfaith Power & Light screened the Academy Award-winning documentary  An Inconvenient Truth to over 5000 congregations and helped build awareness of the climate crisis.  Now, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power makes a strong case for moral action and shows how close we are to a clean energy revolution.  It is time to show the world the faith communities' dedication to climate action.

An Inconvenient Truth brought the climate crisis into mainstream popular culture. Now,  An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power shows how close we are to a clean energy revolution.

This is a great opportunity for your faith community to gather together and watch a film and discuss the role faith communities have in fighting climate change. 

The film is in theaters everywhere now so be sure to get to the theater before it's gone. (Rating: PG).

This is a time for urgent action as our global temperatures are rising and the severe weather events have impacted vulnerable communities.  We must continue to educate our community about the effects of climate change and how to take action to stop it.

OnlineCourseOnline Course for Holistic Environmental Action
Wilmette Institute

Climate change is intricately connected to social and economic issues such as the extremes of poverty and wealth. Therefore it is helpful to put climate change in the broad context of sustainable development. RI IPL Board member Rev. David Helfer said this beautifully in his article on " The Importance of a Shared Solution" i n the last edition of the RI IPL Newsletter:  "Sustainable environmental progress can only be achieved in the context of more holistic societal healing."
The Wilmette Institute will offer an online  course on Sustainable Development with a spiritual perspectives. RI IPL Board member Christine Muller serves as faculty for this course. While the course is written from a Baha'i perspective,  people from all faiths will enjoy the spiritual approach to this vital topic. Here is some information about the course:

The Wilmette Institute will offer a 7-week online course on
Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind,  from September 10 to October 28.
This course explores the scientific and spiritual dimensions of sustainable development. We will learn to perceive the word prosperity from a new perspective, meaning the condition where the basic needs of all the people of the world are being met and where everyone has the opportunity to develop their full potential and is able to contribute to the well-being of humankind. We will discuss the urgent need to make a fundamental transition away from a society and economy that are threatening our planetary security. After looking at the origins and definition of sustainable development, we will study the economic, social, and environmental issues that humanity faces in achieving sustainability and discuss the spiritual principles that can help us find solutions. We will explore the implications of the new Sustainable Development Goals and of Agenda 2030 adopted at the United Nations. Finally, we will look at the importance, for sustainable development, of education reinforced with spiritual values as the basis for helping each of us detach ourselves from Western materialistic civilization; reexamine our present lifestyles; and begin to live more sustainably in accordance with spiritual teachings.
For more information and to register, click here

National Drive Electric Week

Ocean State Clean Cities, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Rhode Island Department of Transportation, Rhode Island Department of Health, and Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources are pleased to collaborate with the Misquamicut Business Association to bring you our fourth annual National Drive Electric Week event.
There will be a lot of great activities, as we are hosting this year's event in partnership with the Misquamicut Business Association's Fall Festival. After you take a test drive, check out the amusement rides, listen to the concert, and explore the beach.
This event will be part of the US Department of Energy's "Plug In Electric Vehicle Adoption In New England" award in partnership with Plug In America. National Drive Electric Week is presented by Plug In America, Sierra Club, and Electric Auto Association.
Registration is free and we strongly encourage plug-in electric vehicle drivers to attend!

Saturday, September 16
11:00AM - 3:00PM

Misquamicut State Beach
257 Atlantic Avenue
Westerly, RI 02813

CLICK HERE for more information.
Electric Vehicle event is free. Admittance to the fall festival is $8 for adults, children under 4 free. Free on-site parking.

by: People's Power & Light
Wind Turbine
People's Power & Light is not directly involved with the turbines off the South East shore of Block Island but they're enthusiastic supporters of the 1st offshore wind project in the nation and eager to tour the project with you!  Bring friends and family who are just as eager to learn more about green power and our state's clean energy efforts. PP&L will bring the fun, and will provide an informational tour, activities, and refreshments.

Saturday, September 23
9:30AM - 12:30PM

Block Island Ferry Point Judith Dock
304 Great Island Rd
Narragansett, RI 02882

CLICK HERE for Tickets: $15/adult includes refreshments

Sept. 8, 2017 | 6-9 p.m. | Fete Music Hall

Join our friends at ecoRI News to  celebrate their eighth birthday! Everything at this lively ultra-green party will be eaten, imbibed, recycled, reused, or composted. Enjoy live music from  Eric and the Nothing  and  Seatbelt , plus tasty food from  Julians  and raffle items from local businesses.

Ticket sales end on August 31st!

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is encouraging Rhode Islanders to leave their cars at home for the daily trip to work, to catch a flight, or to visit the capital city by making in-state travel free on trains between Wickford Junction, T.F. Green and Providence stations.

RIDOT is making commuter rail service free from July 3 to the end of the year to raise awareness about this convenient transit service. RIDOT hopes it will also help people decide to make the train a way of life which will relieve them of the burden of parking in the city. More transit riders also mean less congestion on the busy Route 4 highway and in downtown Providence.

"Rhode Island ranks on the bottom when it comes to the percentage of travelers who use transit as opposed to cars, yet we have the infrastructure and train service to make it easy for people to get around our state without a car," RIDOT Director Peter Alviti Jr. said. "Making it free for a period of time will make more people aware of this great service and provide them an opportunity to try it and use it on a regular basis."

Parking at Wickford Junction Station is free year-round. The facility - located minutes from Exit 5 on Route 4 in North Kingstown - includes covered garage parking, restrooms, a climate-controlled indoor waiting area, electric car charging stations and vending machines.

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Is your congregation or organization panning a climate change or environmental event? We want to know about it! Email us the details of your event and We'll share it on our webpage and in our newsletter. Please send newsletter submissions by the 15th of the month.  Send RI IPL related events or announcements to Kristen Ivy Moses, executive director, at kristenivy@ri-ipl.org .

Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
PO Box 15043, Riverside, RI 02915
www.ri-ipl.org  (401) 324-9142  inquiry@ri-ipl.org