If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.
--Lyndon B. Johnson

Rev. Sally Bingham Visits Austin Soon

We are thrilled to announce that the Reverend Canon Sally Bingham, President and Founder of the national Interfaith Power and Light, will be in Austin for a series of events, October 21-23, 2011. Rev. Bingham's visit presents the Central Texas community with a unique opportunity to connect around issues of environmental stewardship and explore religious responses to global warming. Below is a basic outline for the weekend; we invite you to participate, and invite your friends!

On Friday evening, October 21st, at All Saints Episcopal Church, 6:30 p.m. All are welcome to join in a celebration of life and the planet that we share, “Arts and the Environment: Under the Same Sky,” a family event complete with art, music and activities. This event will be open to the community. Local artists and musicians, including the Drumsistas, will participate.

On Saturday morning, at All Saints Episcopal Church, from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., a workshop focusing on global warming with Rev. Bingham as the keynote speaker. The event will feature a morning panel presentation and conversation--including Rev. Sally Bingham, founder of Interfaith Power & Light; Dr. Camille Parmesan, Associate Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin; Amanda Robinson, Coordinator of Texas Interfaith Power & Light; and Ilan Levin, Associate Director of the Environmental Integrity Project--followed by a light lunch and an early afternoon session of small group discussions. Click here to register for this event.

Staff Member Amanda Robinson Tapped for National Leadership

Amanda Yaira Robinson Joins GreenFaith's National Fellowship Program 

Amanda Yaira Robinson, Coordinator of Texas Interfaith Power & Light, the environmental program of Texas Impact, has been named a GreenFaith Fellow and will join the 2012 Class of the GreenFaith Fellowship Program. Robinson will join a class of 25 Fellows from diverse religious backgrounds. The Fellows represent over ten religious denominations, including Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Evangelical, Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, and Unitarian Universalist. 

"I look forward to the opportunity to deepening my training in religious environmentalism and to helping create an environmentally just and sustainable world," Robinson said.

Statement on the Keystone XL from Interfaith Power & Light

The national office of Interfaith Power & Light recently released this statement about the propsed Keystone XL oil pipeline. Here in Texas, we are coordinating a religious response to the pipeline. If you would like to be involved in any way, including attending and/or testifying at the State Department public hearings (September 26th in Port Arthur or September 28th in Austin), please let us know.

Keystone XL Tar Sands Oil Pipeline Not in the National Interest

TCEQ Website Offers Texans Computer Recycling Options

With back-to-school shopping lists in hand, many Texans are looking to replace their computers this semester. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's TexasRecyclesComputers.org website provides consumers with free options to recycle their computers.

Thanks to a state law, computer manufacturers that sell in, or into, Texas must offer their consumers a free and convenient recycling program for personal and home-business computers. Reusing and recycling conserves natural resources by recovering valuable components and materials that can be used to make new products. Once a computer manufacturer submits a plan for recycling that is approved by the TCEQ, they can be added to the manufacturers list maintained on TexasRecyclesComputers.org.

August Interfaith Conference Call: Keystone XL Pipeline & 2011 Cool Congregations Challenge

Our August interfaith environmental conference call is scheduled for Wednesday, August 24th at 12:00 p.m. On this call, we'll cover two important topics: the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would bring heavy oil from Canada's tar sands to Houston, and this year's Cool Congregations Challenge.

For the Cool Congregations Challenge, we'll share information about how to enter and what prizes are available, and some ideas for ways to get things done in congregations. Bill Carter, a member of Parker Lane United Methodist Church in Austin, will talk about his experience of coordinating a rainwater collection system and doing erosion control work in congregations.

At 12:30 p.m., Ian Davis, Senior Regional Organizing Manager for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, will join our call to brief us on the Keystone XL pipeline currently under consideration by the U.S. State Department.

Canada’s Tar Sands and the Keystone XL Pipeline: What Faithful Texans Need to Know

The U.S. State Department is currently considering whether to approve a request from TransCanada to construct the Keystone XL pipeline, that would carry bitumen 1,661 miles from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada down to Houston, Texas. In September, the State Department plans to hold public hearings in the states through which the pipeline would run. Two hearings will be in Texas: one in Port Arthur on Monday, September 26th; and one in Austin on Wednesday, September 28th.

The mining of this kind of oil in Canada’s pristine boreal forests is incredibly destructive for habitat, wildlife and human life—and it significantly increases greenhouse gas emissions at a critical time in our effort to combat global warming. In addition, the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would run through environmentally-sensitive areas in the U.S., including the Ogallala Aquifer. The Ogallala provides 30% of the groundwater for American agriculture—as well as about 80% of the drinking water for people who live within the aquifer’s boundary; a spill here would be disastrous.

We’ve created this page to be a resource for you and your faith community to use as we engage on this important issue. As more information becomes available, we will update this page. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page for ways to take action.

Water Tips for Your Home and Congregation

It is always good to save water, but especially now when we're in the middle of a severe drought. To help you and your congregation focus on and conserve this precious, life-giving resource, we've compiled some ideas, organized into four categories: Stewardship, Worship, Instruction & Mission (SWIM). If you have other resources or ideas to share, please let us know!

Stewardship

  • Fix leaky faucets, pipes, and toilets (they can waste 20 to 200 gallons of water each day!).
  • Install low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads.
  • Install motion-activated water faucets on sinks.
  • Use native and drought-tolerant grasses and plants. These require less watering and maintenance. (Lawns use up to 20 times more water than native and drought-resistant species.)

Texas Interfaith Power & Light on the Radio!

On Thursday, June 30, 2011, Texas Impact Executive Director Bee Moorhead and Texas Interfaith Power & Light (TXIPL) Coordinator Amanda Robinson spoke as guests on the "Shades of Green Energy" radio show on KOOP 91.7 FM in Austin. The show is archived for listening here.

Host John Hoffner asked Bee about the interfaith nature of Texas Impact's work, its approach, and the people and communities involved. Bee also spoke about the 82nd session of the Texas Legislature and how some new programs will help strengthen community-government partnerships.

In Amanda's interview, the conversation focused on interfaith religious environmentalism and the educational and outreach work of both TXIPL and the national organization, Interfaith Power & Light.

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