Religious Places Go Green
Religious entities around the world are leading the way towards a green environment. Spirituality and sustainability goes hand in hand, so its not surprising to see that temples, churches, mosques are resorting to eco-friendly ways to have spiritually positive energy.
Vatican Goes Green
The Vatican installed 2700 solar panels to generate enough power to light, heat or cool the 6,000-seater where the pontiff holds his general audiences. Pope Benedict XVI has always criticized the unbalanced use of energy in the world, and how important it is to conserve earth’s natural resources.
It was decided last year to replace the cement roof with solar panels. With this the Vatican will avoid 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to 70 tonnes of oil.
Tirumala Temple’s Solar Cooking System
Moving from the Vatican to temples in India. The temple town of Tirupathi in Tirumala hills in Southern state of Andhra Pradesh, considered to be second most visited religious place after the Vatican, uses the world’s largest solar steam cooking system, thereby reducing its carbon footprint. Over 5,000 pilgrims a day visit this city of seven hills. The temple’s communal kichen, which can make 30,000 meals per day, uses steam cookers, as a result the temple has managed to drastically cut down on the amount of diesel fuel it uses. The richest temple has gone a step further, it also sells the emission reduction credits it earns to a Swiss green-technology investor, Good Energies Inc.
There are many more temples moving towards greener ways. Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi uses solar energy for cooking in their dining hall, where it offers food to the devotees. In the temple complex, biogas plant has also been installed to operate generators to produce electricity.
Sikh Temples take Action
UK-based Alliance of Religions and Conservation, which works with the UN to involve religious groups in environmental outreach, is working on getting the 28,000 Gurudwaras in India to reduce fuel consumption in langars (community kitchen) by switching to green technology. Langars feed nearly 30 million people a day, so using environment-friendly methods would make a huge impact.
An eco-friendly mosque has come up in Manchester, UK that runs on renewable energy. The mosque has solar panels, under-floor heating and low energy bulbs.
Religious places are always revered around the world, and such initiatives simply leads to spreading awareness. More and more of them will slowly and steadily switch to eco-friendly ways.
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