Tools & Guides

Freshwater Stewardship Engagement Toolkit

The two-year Ottawa Faith Community Capacity Building program provides faith communities with the tools and resources they need to identify a freshwater stewardship need in their community and take action using the Freshwater Stewardship Engagement toolkit and a microgrant program. This program is possible thanks to generous funding from the Ottawa Community Foundation, and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

Access 150+ invaluable resources, case studies, and local knowledge for the Ottawa and surrounding area so you can learn about an issue and how to take action with your faith community. Topics include community gardens, community science, fish habitat, green audits & retrofits, Indigenous water education, invasive species management, natural shorelines, shoreline cleanups, stormwater management, and youth engagement.

The Presbytery of Ottawa & Greening Sacred Spaces Ottawa Resource Guide

This toolkit was developed by Greening Sacred Spaces Ottawa in collaboration with The Presbytery of Ottawa. It is a comprehensive guide that contains links to a variety of resources covering many different environmental themes. This guide aims to promote environmental stewardship through a spiritual lens.

It contains resources for energy audits & retrofits, gardening, food & waste, stormwater management, community advocacy, and more! Download below!

You can download ALL of the following resources and MORE for FREE on the Faith & the Common Good’s Website:

Green Building Audits

Faith & the Common Good’s sustainable building audit program is a fee-for-service program designed to help faith groups walk more gently upon our planet while improving the mission per square foot of their respective faith properties. The Green Audit  involves a minimum half-day walk-through audit of your faith community building by a trained professional Green Auditor and provides you with a comprehensive report tailored to your faith community, including recommendations for saving energy, money, heat, and water. The Green Audit also looks at air quality, food, waste, maintenance, heritage details, rental agreements and marketing to help address sustainability from all aspects of your building’s operation.

DIY Faith Building Energy Audit

This guide discusses low or no-cost measures to give operators of religious buildings a range of options they can apply to reduce their energy bills while adding comfort and attractiveness to their facility.  It includes a 14-page walk-through DIY energy audit.

Energy Star® Action Workbook for Congregations

ENERGY STAR® and FCG have partnered up to release an Action Workbook for Congregations. This workbook is intended to serve as a planning guide for clergy, staff, and laypersons who want to increase the energy and water efficiency of their facilities by implementing realistic and cost-effective improvement projects.

“It’s essentially a one-stop-shop to help congregations plan and achieve their energy efficiency objectives from start to finish,” says David Patterson, FCG Energy Coordinator. “This workbook is a useful tool for all levels of expertise, and all project sizes and complexity as it covers the major components of any efficiency project.  The workbook itself was developed by the EPA, an incredibly large and well-funded arm of the US government, and contains all of their knowledge, research, and best practices on energy efficiency for places of faith.”

Energy Treasure Hunt for Worship Facilities

Walk around YOUR building using this ‘Energy Treasure Hunt,’ checklist to help guide you on quick ways to save energy – many of which can add up to big savings and improvements that can be made immediately, and without significant expenditures. The guide suggests that such events have the potential to “strike a positive, optimistic tone,” that can be motivating and educational to employees and volunteers.

Only six pages long, “it’s the checklist that is great; an easy tool to start your process,” Stephen concludes. “The workbook, paired with our DIY Energy Audit is going to strengthen non-professionals’ ability to really make beneficial stewardship decisions.”

A Guide to Developing a ‘Green Team’ in Your Faith Community

Involve, organize, and motivate members of your faith community to take action towards eco-sustainability. This 14-page guidebook provides practical suggestions and steps for changes you could put in place to make your faith community a greener place. We know that talking about things is not the same as actually doing them; this guide will help you get things done by examining the processes and priorities to realize your green vision.

Native Plant Garden Guide

This guidebook is designed to help faith communities plan and maintain a successful native plant community garden. It was created by our Greening Sacred Spaces Toronto Chapter in 2018 with the assistance of the North American Native Plant Society.

Community Garden Guide

Greening Sacred Spaces has developed a community garden guide for faith communities creating a community food garden. This comprehensive how-to guide includes information on:

  • setting up a garden
  • forming a volunteer team
  • planting a garden, including depth and drainage, organic matter, container gardening, rooftop gardening, tools, and other options
  • maintaining a garden – weeding, watering, and pest control tips
  • harvesting the garden – picking, monitoring, and chronicling the crop, freezing and fermenting, storing and replenishing soil
  • a garden resource list

Greening Canadian Mosques Toolkit

Developed in partnership between EnviroMuslims and Faith & the Common Good, with generous funding from Olive Tree Foundation, the Greening Canadian Mosques program is the first of its kind in Canada, giving Canadian Imams and mosque management teams the tools and resources they need to embed sustainable practices within their facilities and engage with their local communities. 

You can access the toolkit HERE.

This toolkit provides Canadian Mosques with information on waste management, water stewardship, energy conservation, sustainable transportation, community engagement, and Ramadan and other events.

Catholic Eco-Investment Accelerator Toolkit

This toolkit was developed by the Mouvement Laudato Si’ Movement – Canada in partnership with Faith & the Common Good to inspire and help faith institutions align their investments with their mission, vision, and the climate crisis. This guide uses Catholic teachings to connect divestment actions and respect for the environment.

You can access the toolkit HERE.