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

Watch the Energy Star Webinar Featuring Jerry Lawson Now!

Archived Energy Star Webinar Featuring Jerry Lawson Now Available.

Click "Read More" to watch the video stream now!

Original webinar post here.

Read more in the Action Workbook Summary and learn what's new in Portfolio Manager.

To learn more, you can download the ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Congregations now.
More resources are available in the Workbook for Congregations Appendix.

2014 Memorial Day Tax-Free Weekend on Energy Efficient Products

Announcing 2014 Memorial Day Tax-Free Weekend on Energy Efficient Products

This Memorial Day Weekend is a great time to invest in reducing your energy use. ENERGY STAR announces Memorial Day sales tax exemption for select energy efficient items. Eligible products meet the energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The tax-free weekend begins Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 12:01 a.m. and ends on Monday, May 26, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. 

All qualifying products will be labeled with the ENERGY STAR logo. They include:

  • Air conditioners ($6,000 or less)
  • Refrigerators ($2,000 or less)
  • Ceiling fans
  • Incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs
  • Clothes washers 
  • Dishwashers
  • Programmable thermostats

(Note, Clothes dryers are not included)

Please visit the ENERGY STAR website for more information.

Interfaith Environmental Network's Letter To Austin-Area Congregations

The city of Austin is beginning a conversation about its energy future, and TXIPL's Austin affiliate—the Interfaith Environmental Network (IEN)—wants to ensure that the faith community has the information it needs to participate in this important conversation.

On Monday, March 3, 2014, IEN mailed the following letter to over 300 Austin-area congregations:

Download the letter here. (Right-Click and choose "Save Link As...")

Houston IPL Presents an Interfaith Environmental Stewardship Event, March 30, 2014

People of all faiths, or no faith at all, are invited to join with Christians, Hindus, Jews, and Muslims to care for our shared environment on Sunday afternoon, March 30th, from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

We will engage in hands-on environmental stewardship by working to create a garden in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Houston. The garden is a program of Almighty Ministries, an organization that empowers at-risk youth from impoverished communities through free after-school programs and summer camps.

The after-school program, Youth Going Green Community Garden, educates youth on developing gardening, leadership and social skills, while providing nourishing food. The garden is located at 4706 Idaho in Houston.

This event will offer garden activities for all ages and skill levels, including building a tool shed, creating more garden beds and another compost bin. Sponsoring organizations include: Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church, Congregation Brith Shalom, GYAN (Green Yatra Action Network) – a project of the Living Planet Foundation, the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, and Almighty Ministries.

Contact Lisa at gcs.lrc@gmail.com or 713-372-7345 for more information or to sign up to help.

Webinar: Introducing ENERGY STAR's New Action Workbook for Congregations

The webinar is over, but you can watch the recording here.

Want to help your congregation be a faithful steward of God's creation and save money at the same time? The ENERGY STAR program helps congregations save money and prevent pollution. Join us for a special webinar to introduce the new ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Congregations from noon-1pm on Tuesday, March 25, 2014.

On the webinar, Jerry Lawson—National Manager of the ENERGY STAR Small Business and Congregations Network of the EPA—will guide us through the new Action Workbook, and will be available to answer your questions.

Read more in the Action Workbook Summary and learn what's new in Portfolio Manager.

To learn more, you can download the ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Congregations now.
More resources are available in the Workbook for Congregations Appendix.

TXIPL Goes to the White House to #ActOnClimate

On Tuesday, February 25, 2014, TXIPL staff Bee Moorhead and Yaira Robinson will attend a special White House "Faith-based and Community Leaders Addressing Environmental Stewardship and Climate Change" meeting. The event will be live streamed at www.whitehouse.gov/live between 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. central time.

In addition, you can follow the conversation on Twitter and post questions during the event by using the hashtag #ActOnClimate. Find Bee's twitter feed at @BeeMoorhead and Yaira's at @YairaRobinson. Feel free to send them your questions and comments throughout the program, too! 

TXIPL looks forward to participating in this meeting, and to bringing information back home to Texas.

A Plea for Climate Action from a Church on the Southern Leg of the Keystone XL

On Friday, January 31, 2014, the U.S. State Department released its final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL pipeline. As we wait now for President Obama to decide whether or not to approve the northern leg of the pipeline, oil is already flowing in the southern leg that cuts through East Texas.

We've raised voices of religious concern about construction of the Keystone XL for several years. Read about that here, here, and here. Now, one church on the front lines of the question—Austin Heights Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, Texas—is sending a plea to people of faith across the country to stand with them in concern about climate change and in opposition to this pipeline. Here is their urgent message:

"Most religions of the world insist that one of humanity's responsibilities is to be the steward or caretaker of the earth that was created to nourish us all. With that moral imperative in mind, our East Texas church wishes to encourage faith communities throughout our land to join us in being witnesses that this good earth is the Lord's and is not to be abused, exploited nor destroyed. We hope you’ll join us, too, in making an unmistakable plea to work for an earth capable of sustaining future generations.

For our family of faith, Austin Heights Baptist Church, the issue is immediate and personal. The Keystone XL pipeline lies within a mile of some of our members' homes, and a county school near us has the pipeline on the boundary of the school property, at some points less that 800 feet from the children.

President Obama will soon be making a decision regarding the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, and its delivery of toxic tar sands to Texas for refining—a process guaranteed to hasten further environmental destruction. One leak in the pipe, like in Mayflower, Arkansas or Marshall, Michigan (Kalamazoo River), can change a community forever. The toxic pollutants discharged into the air in the Houston/Beaumont area, too, will alter countless lives. 

We hope and pray that congregations of all faiths will join with us February 14-16, 2014 during the national Interfaith Power and Light Preach-In on Climate Change to make a public statement of this critical need. How your faith community might take this position is up to you—a prayer vigil, march, a demonstration, sermon, an earth-care discussion or other statement or witness.

After the Preach-In on Climate Change has come and gone, there will still be much work to do. Please join us. Time is of the essence.

If your congregation is interested in joining with us to make our united voices heard, please let us know your plans so that we might pray for one another.


Joe Richardson, Deacon
Kyle Childress, Pastor
Austin Heights Baptist Church
Nacogdoches, TX"

You're Invited! Austin's First-Ever Preach-Off on Climate Change

On Valentine’s Day weekend, 2014, religious communities across the U.S. will participate in the national Interfaith Power & Light Preach-In on Climate Change. Clergy and lay leaders from many different traditions will highlight the importance of religious leadership on one of the most pressing challenges of our time. It’s one of Interfaith Power & Light’s most-beloved annual programs.

In Austin, we’re taking it up a notch.

Austin’s Interfaith Environmental Network and iACT (Interfaith Action of Central Texas) are inviting religious leaders to share their tradition’s wisdom with not just their own congregations, but with the entire community. We are holding our first-ever Preach-Off on Climate Change—and we invite you to come!

Sunday, February 16, 2014, 4:00 p.m.
Congregation Beth Israel
3901 Shoal Creek Blvd.
Austin, TX 78756

What to expect: Learning, community-building, inspiration, and laughter! Our goal is to make this a playful, interactive program that doesn’t skimp on the gravity of the topic at hand or our traditions’ power to help guide us—but that doesn’t skimp on the simple joy and celebration of life and love, either.

  • Religious leaders from a variety of congregations and traditions will share brief teachings (3-5 minutes each) from the messages they delivered to their own communities as part of the Preach-In on Climate Change.
  • We’ll have “judges.” (You’ll have to come to find out what that looks like!)
  • We’ll have an announcer.
  • There may be prizes.
  • For sure, we’ll offer ideas about how you and your community can stay involved and take action on this very real challenge.
  • It will be family-friendly! We’ll have an activity table for kids, so feel free to bring the little ones.

We can’t wait to learn, laugh, and take action on climate change with you.

For more information, to R.S.V.P., or to ask about participating as a speaker, please contact Yaira Robinson or Sarah Macias.

Start the Year Right with Dallas Interfaith Power & Light

Help kickoff a year of meaningful community engagement and care for creation by joining Dallas Interfaith Power & Light for an informative program on Thursday, January 9, 2014. Chris Masey, Director of Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Marian Morris (MPH, RN), will offer insights from Texas' medical community about air pollution, human health, and climate change--and together, we'll explore ways to take action.

Thursday, January 9, 2014, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
White Rock United Methodist Church, Room 202
1450 Oldgate Lane
Dallas TX 75218
All are welcome!

More about the topic: Chris will speak about air quality as a crucial key to human health including fossil fuels background and information, specific toxic emissions, air as a carcinogen, climate disruption, and the shifting patterns of infectious diseases. Chris’s lecture will also include information about Texas PSR, and ongoing advocacy efforts to phase out and close coal-fired power plants and to advocate for stricter carbon emission standards.

More about our speakers: Chris Masey, MBA, is a eighteen-year environmental professional who has worked on a diverse set of projects throughout Texas focusing on public health, conservation, land stewardship, alternative energy sources, recycling, and environmental and solid waste planning. During the last two years, Chris has proudly helped guide Texas PSR (formerly Austin PSR) to become the largest environmental advocacy group led by healthcare professionals in Texas! Chris’ dedication to environmental sustainability is grounded in his love of Texas and the desire for his family to continue to enjoy clean air, clear water, and wide-open spaces.

Marian Morris (MPH, RN) is a public health nurse completing a doctorate at UT-Austin School of Nursing. Marian worked for 10 years in a primary care and reproductive health care clinic, in many different roles, in Santa Cruz, California, in the 1990s. While obtaining her MPH she worked for 5 years on a leadership development program for reproductive health leaders from 7 countries in Asia and Africa, through the Public Health Institute in Oakland, California in the early 2000s. Upon returning to Austin, Texas in 2005, Marian has worked for the UT School of Nursing's Center for Health Promotion Research, and her dissertation effort is now focused on increasing understanding of mental health promotion in preschool-age children.

To R.S.V.P. or ask questions, please e-mail Yaira.

Join the Preach-In on Climate Change: February 14-16, 2014

Interfaith Power & Light’s 2014 National Preach-In on Climate Change, Valentine's weekend (Feb. 14, 15, 16), is a great opportunity for your faith community to bring religious values into the conversation about climate change. Plus, when you preach or teach in your own congregation about climate change and love of Creation that weekend, you will be joining in chorus with thousands of religious leaders from across the country.

When you sign up here, you'll gain instant access to the downloadable Preach-In Kit, which includes activity ideas, printable postcards to senators, bulletin inserts, a global warming fact sheet, and other helpful resources.

You can also order a print version of this kit, which comes with 50 postcards, 50 bulletin inserts, and the other elements in this downloadable version, plus an option to order additional supplies, and the exclusive Chasing Ice access code to view online during Preach-In weekend.

Download the Preach-In Kit here.

For helpful religious resources from a variety of traditions, click here.

Texas folks, please let us know what you're planning for the Preach-In weekend! We'd love to help you spread the word, and help connect you with other participating congregations in your area. Together, we can make a difference!