‘Every home can do better,’ she said, ‘and it’s simply about looking at what we can do.’ Jacquie speaks from recent experience. Her congregation – Emmanuel Church, Bungay – have just scooped the first Silver Award in the Eco Church scheme run by Christian environment charity A Rocha UK.
‘I’ve learned lots of lessons,’ Jacquie said of her church’s eco-journey, ‘things I didn’t realise. I learned it’s about what you can do with what you’ve got.’ Along with her neighbours, she’s now looking at changing her windows at home. Other simpler tips Jacquie has picked up include:
- use heavy curtains to keep in the warmth during the winter;
- use an energy monitor to check your power usage;
- take all electrical appliances off standby mode.
‘Little tweaks like that can bring your energy usage down,’ said Jacquie (pictured). ‘It’s good for the planet and it’s good for your pocket. It’s a win-win situation.’
Recipient of other environmental awards, Emmanuel is on a bigger scale than the average Society property. The church transformed its community buildings with a vast range of eco-fittings – from under floor heating to solar panels.
‘It’s hard to understand how the whole thing works,’ Jacquie admitted, ‘such as how we generate so much power that we sell it back to the national grid. We can’t do a lot to our church building because it’s listed, but what we produce in the other building pays for that.’
Among Emmanuel’s other accolades are the Suffolk Greenest County Award and East of England Energy Efficiency & Retrofit Awards. Emmanuel is a local ecumenical partnership between the Methodists and United Reformed Church.