Earth Care Update

Earth Care Notes

Click here to see our Earth Care Certification! We are very proud to be an Earth Care Congregation!

Update: March 2017

So much is going on! We’ll celebrate Earth Day Sunday on April 23; Earth Day itself is Saturday, April 22.

Two marches in Washington, D.C.: Is anyone going to either?

Saturday, April 22: March for Science / Saturday, April 29: People’s Climate March

Recycling: We’ve improved our storage system for all those recyclable items you’ve been bringing in. Bins for smaller items are located downstairs off the Ridinger Room. We’re also improving the signage, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

We have an unidentified TV. There’s a charge for recycling TVs. We need to hear from the person who dropped it off, and we won’t take it to the recycler until we do.

We’re now accepting BINDERS for recycling.

Please don’t leave plastic bags with us, but take them to a Giant Eagle bin. Thanks!

ALCOSAN storm water project: ALCOSAN has announced that it will distribute $9 million for green infrastructure projects around the county. We’re glad about this, but it is only a tiny portion of the total to be spent and needs to be increased. Vincent asked that we register our support for green infrastructure through a link to PWSA’s website.

EPA governance: We need to be watching decisions by the new leader of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt. The EPA is supposed to be protecting the health of each one of us by protecting our air and water, our forests and wildlife. When we see signs that the interests of big energy or real estate concerns are taking precedence over the public interest, we need to make our objections heard. is a new website being developed by Mary Radcliffe to provide current information on activist events in our area.

Update: January 2017


Our recycling program is going well: please continue to think of us as you accumulate the things we’re collecting. Take a tour of the Men’s Choir Room to locate our recycling bins: that’s the door to the right off the Narthex as you come into the church from Forbes Avenue. Our collectors are continuing to gather hard-to-recycle items and will take or send them to recyclers as they accumulate. Carol Emerson has received a large quantity of batteries: keep them coming to keep them out of the landfill! By the end of the October, Keith Gillogly had taken 3 laptop computers, 2 desktop computers, 3 computer monitors, a television, and 41 pounds of other electronics to Evolution E-cycle on the South Side, and there have been more deliveries since then. Don’t forget to bring in those Scotch Tape dispensers, the many Natural Care items, the Snack Bags and Energy Bar Wrappers, the Techno Trash, and the Writing Instruments!

Green storm water management

Here’s some great news: on December 2, 2016 PWSA released a complete “Clean and Green” plan for Pittsburgh. The citywide plan, based on data from ALCOSAN, will create a city-wide storm water management plan that will prevent flooding, clean our waterways, revitalize neighborhoods, and fight climate change locally. Utilizing green infrastructure, such as permeable streets and sidewalks, green roofs, trees and rain gardens, the City will be able to manage rain water when it falls, rather than dumping the rain water with sewage into our rivers. Through our network of churches for justice, Sixth Church is advocating for ALCOSAN to adopt a region-wide plan so that we can employ a 21st century technology to a perennial problem. If you want to learn more, contact the Clean Rivers Campaign, or Dr. Kolb.

Update: March 2016


The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare (Read the article HERE) – Rob Bilott was a corporate defense attorney for eight years. Then he took on an environmental suit that would upend his entire career — and expose a brazen, decades-long history of chemical pollution.

People and Environment In Partnership with National Geographic Society (Read the article HERE) –  How do we survive in a natural world we are increasingly out of touch with? How has our sense of our surroundings changed? How has the role of government in preservation changed?

Update: February 2016

Click here to see our first post explaining this process from January 2016.

EarthCareSealThe Earth Care Team met on Sunday, January 3, and we discussed how we should approach our environmental focus in this new year. Even if you weren’t there you’ll recognize people’s responses to the request to share their feelings about why they are concerned about the earth’s environment. Everyone had a deep-rooted concern for the earth and its creatures and our role as stewards. A big motivation was the threat to life on earth by global warming and concern for our children and grandchildren. Many of us have been involved in some way in groups, and many have taken action in our private lives to decrease our carbon footprint and reduce our consumption. Some were motivated by their parents’ support for environmental integrity. In the awareness that environmental degradation often hits the poorest and most fragile of us, justice was a general concern.

In a free- and wide-ranging discussion, we talked about how Sixth Church can go forward in 2016. Indeed, we have much to celebrate already: in 2015, our Christian Education Committee included a number of earth-care based activities in its curriculum, and the House Committee has been steadily at work improving our building’s efficiency.

Discussing our worship life, we considered devoting one or more Sundays to earth care, basing the planning on the Church calendar, lectionary, or psalms, and connecting the visions of resurrection and earth care. We could have a worship service outdoors, perhaps in a park. This could be in addition to the church picnic, or we could devote the picnic service to earth care. And we could expand our use of our own home-grown flowers.

To expand our education program, we could develop our web site. Reaching out to the whole congregation, rather than have Earth Care the focus of only one committee, is important. Working with the Director of Christian Education, a youth group trash pickup project could be organized. As we thought about used materials, we focused on collecting used batteries for recycling.

The big concept for our building would be to conduct an energy audit, because that knowledge would give us some parameters when we approach improvements in our insulation, our use of renewable energy, and our lighting and heating. It was noted that we’re currently looking for grant support for improvements. We mentioned documenting projects such as our new trees along Murray Avenue, as well as replacing non-native with native plants, and installing a rain barrel and a bike rack.

When we discussed our outreach to our wider community, we talked about considering financial support of environmental groups, using our location on a transit hub in some way, and continuing to take part in developing green infrastructure for storm water improvements. It was suggested that we find a way to pick up trash while we take part in the CROP Walk, and that we get involved in the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition trash pickup campaign.

There are many ways we can practice stewardship of the earth as a church congregation. Please let us know your ideas! You don’t have to come to meetings to have your voice heard: You can email your thoughts to us here, and we’ll get them into the discussion. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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