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Environmental Stewardship



At TPC we have been growing in our understanding of stewardship.  We are entrusted with gifts and the beauty of creation itself.  Part of our stewardship is financial and part is environmental.  We need to do a better job as a church family in stewarding our utilities.  Please remember to turn off lights when you leave a room or meeting.  If you see a light on, turn it off or let staff or Session know it's on.  We now have timers on heating and air conditioning.  Don't let water run.  Recycle. We all need to do what we can to conserve energy.


Watch for future updates as we grow in our awareness of environmental conservation.



Earth Day


This is a good time to think about your personal impact on the environment.  Do you…


Avoid using plastic water bottles?

Conserve water at home?

Turn off lights when leaving a room?

Use energy-saving light bulbs?

Bring your own reusable shopping bags to the store?

Use environmentally friendly cleaning products?

Pay bills and/or read the newspaper online to save paper?

Avoid using Styrofoam cups?

Properly dispose of e-waste and used batteries?

Recycle plastics, paper and aluminum?

Buy organic foods?

Keep a garden or plant a tree?


If you do any of these, give yourself a pat on the back — and try adding a new “green” habit this year.



Green, Greener, Greenest


TPC has already put a lot of effort into making our campus green.  All of our indoor lighting is energy efficient, and we have installed timers on our light switches and outside light timers.  We have also placed receptacles for recycling throughout the campus.  Keep your eyes peeled, and help us be green.



Green Tip: "New" Green Slogan


This Depression-Era slogan might be recycled for today:

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”



Green Tip: Understanding "Organic"


There are lots of green hucksters out there these days, so when you’re shopping for organic products, careful label - reading is a must.  Here’s a handy key:

  • “100% organic” = 100% organic

  • “Organic” = made with at least 95% organic ingredients

  • “Made with organic ingredients” = made with at least 70% organic ingredients

  • “All natural” = nothing to do with organic whatsoever


Green Tip: The Virtue of Vinegar


White distilled vinegar is an effective household cleanser, killing most mold, bacteria, and germs, due to its level of acidity.  Cleaning with white distilled vinegar is a smart way to avoid using harsh chemicals, making it environmentally friendly and economical.  Go to for lots of ways to use vinegar in the home and garden.




Green Tip: Grocery Store Dilemma


We’ve all forgotten to bring our reusable bags to the grocery and been faced with the question:  Paper or plastic, which is the lesser of two evils? recommends choosing paper, because it will break down much, much faster, but the manufacturing of paper bags creates 70% more air pollutants and 50 times more water pollutants than that of plastic bags and requires more than four times as much energy.  So…remember to bring your reusable bags!



Green Tip: PB&J — A Great Green Lunch


Livestock create 18 percent of all greenhouse-gas emissions. Compared with a burger, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich saves as much as 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide, 280 gallons of water, and 50 square feet of land — even more if you wash it down with a glass of soy milk. It's a simple and tasty way to help the planet!



Green Tip: Fishy Business


Many believe that fish is a healthier, greener alternative to meat, but, sadly, our oceans are contaminated and over-fished.  Nevertheless there are some safe, responsible choices, such as wild salmon.  Go to and search “Safe seafood and responsible fisheries” for more information.



Green Tip: 544,000


This is how many trees we could save if every U.S. household replaced just one roll of virgin-fiber paper towels with 100% recycled paper towels.



Green Tip: Turn Off the Lights


We’ve heard it many times. “Turn off the light when you leave the room.”  Sometimes we forget just how much money and energy that little green action can save.  Leaving six 100-watt bulbs burning for 10 hours per day wastes about $200 annually.



Green Tip: Green Your Soap


For showers and hand-washing, skip the liquid soap in favor of a bar — less packaging, and just as much cleaning power.  Choose a mild soap made from organic and fair-trade vegetable ingredients, with no synthetic colors, fragrances or antibacterial additives.



Green Tip: What's Biomass?


Biomass refers to plants used to generate electricity or produce fuel, fibers, chemicals, or heat (e.g., switchgrass, hemp, corn, willow and sugarcane).  These renewable resources do release carbon dioxide when burned, but as biomass crops grow, they capture an equivalent amount through photosynthesis, keeping things in balance.



Green Tip: Grilling This Weekend?


A propane or electric grill burns cleaner than one powered by charcoal.  If you do use charcoal, choose lump brands made from invasive tree species or harvested from sustainable managed forests over briquettes, which may contain coal dust or other additives as binders.



Green Tip: Planning a Vacation?  Try the Train!


A transcontinental airplane flight that’s 80% full can generate 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.  Depending on the type of train and the length of your trip, train travel creates just 4 to 15 percent of the CO2 emissions, per passenger, generated when going by plane.  Plus it’s a great way to see the country.



Green Tip: Grow Your Own Tomatoes


Becoming your own tomato gardener will not only reduce food miles and save money, but will also help you connect with the earth.  See the wonder of God's creation as you watch your plant grow. And you won't believe the taste!



Green Tip: Green Doggie Bag


Dining out can be expensive. To get your money’s worth, and since portions come so large nowadays, eat only half of what you’re served, then take the leftovers home in a reusable container that you had the foresight to bring along.  Saves waste and provides another meal at no extra cost.



Green Dilemmas


Is it better to buy a product in a recycled plastic bottle or a glass bottle?


For a drink or food (especially if it’s acidic), choose glass, which is infinitely recyclable.  Eighty percent of glass containers that are recycled are made into new ones.  And glass is free of phthalates and bisphenol-A that can leach from plastic.  However, you might not want to use breakable glass around children.  And even though plastic is made of fossil fuels, its light weight requires fewer fossil fuels in shipping than glass.  Be sure to choose plastic marked “post-consumer recycled” (PCR) or “post-consumer waste” (PCW). Regular “recycled” plastic is usually made from factory scraps, which only encourages the continued production of new plastic.


What is the proper way to dispose of batteries?


The only good dead battery is a recycled one.  We Americans purchase three billion household batteries a year (according to the EPA) and throw 180,000 tons of these toxic time bombs into the trash.  Discarding batteries in the trash poses a clear environmental danger.  Batteries contain heavy metals, such as silver, nickel, cadmium, lead, mercury, lithium, manganese, and zinc, which can accumulate and concentrate in waterlife, wildlife, and humans.  An example of the danger posed by batteries is that one mercury battery contained in six tons of garbage exceeds the allowable limit for mercury in solid waste as established by the federal government.


Here in Orange County we have four collection centers for disposing of hazardous waste, including batteries and many other items such as paint and fluorescent light bulbs.  The collection center nearest TPC is located at 6411 Oak Canyon in Irvine.  Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (They are closed on rainy days for safety reasons.)  For directions, addresses of the other locations or further information, call (714)834-6752, or go to and click on “How do I dispose of household hazardous waste?” on the right side of the opening screen.



Recycling in the Kitchen Area


We have new, wheeled, recycling bins provided by CR&R, our Tustin trash service.  Anyone using the kitchen is asked to separate recyclable from waste items.  Look for the colored sign taped to each bin  for a list of items that can be disposed of  in that  bin.  Please note also the black boxes labeled for “cash redemption (CRV) cans & bottles only”.  These will be picked up by our recycling partner, Sean, from Foothill Continuation School.


All other waste, such as food, food stained paper items, used paper hand towels, waxy cardboard, dishware, cellophane wrappers, non numbered plastics, etc., go into the current black trash bins for placement in the dumpster.  The goal:  to decrease waste, and increase recyclables.  A big thank you to those who are already following these new guidelines in the TPC Kitchen!



A Green Message from the Past


Albert W. Palmer wrote a small book about a century ago titled “The Mountain Trail and Its Message.” Below is a “lesson of the trail” the author learned from the revered naturalist John Muir that is worth pondering today. Here are Albert Palmer’s words:


“There are always some people in the mountains who are known as ‘hikers.’ They rush over the trail at high speed and take great delight in being the first to reach camp and in covering the greatest number of miles in the least possible time.  One day as I was resting in the shade Mr. Muir overtook me on the trail and began to chat in that friendly way in which he delights to talk with everyone he meets. I said to him: ‘Mr. Muir, someone told me you did not approve of the word “hike,” is that so?’ He replied, ‘I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains — not “hike!” Do you know the origin of that word saunter? Away back in the middle ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages asked where they were going they would reply, “A la sainte terre,” “To the Holy Land.” And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not “hike” through them.’ And John Muir lived up to his doctrine. He was usually the last man to reach camp. He stopped to get acquainted with individual trees along the way.  He would hail people passing by and make them get down on hands and knees if necessary to examine some tiny seedling or to see the beauty of some little bed of flowers.


Now, whether the derivation of saunter just given is scientific or fanciful, is there not in it a parable? There are people who ‘hike’ through life. They measure life in terms of money and amusement; they rush along the trail of life feverishly seeking to make a dollar or gratify an appetite. How much better to ‘saunter’ along this trail of life, to measure it in terms of beauty and love and friendship! How much better to stop a while and let the beauty of the sunset possess the soul, to listen to what the trees are saying and the songs of the birds.”






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