Green Team


“All creation is the Lord’s, and we are responsible for the ways in which we use and abuse it. Water, air, soil, minerals, energy resources, plants, animal life, and space are to be valued and conserved because they are God’s creation and not solely because they are useful to human beings. God has granted us stewardship of creation. We should meet these stewardship duties through acts of loving care and respect.” From Social Principles: The Natural World in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church

Emmanuel’s Green Team takes stewardship of God’s Creation very seriously. We sponsor a variety of educational and recycling programs throughout the year. If you would like to get involved, or get more information, please contact the Green Team.

Green Team Mission Statement

To guide Emmanuel United Methodist Church on a path to greater environmental responsibility through education and ecologically-sustainable practices, that recognizes our stewardship of God’s creation.

Green Team Goals

  1. Educate our church community about the necessity of nurturing and preserving God’s creation.
  2. Develop practices to protect God’s creation and ensure a healthy environment for all people.
  3. Serve our community with programs that support these goals.

Creation Care at Emmanuel

Emmanuel is a church that practices sustainability and strives to be good stewards of God’s creation. We recycle at Emmanuel and we use only reusable dishware for our events – disposable dishware and serving ware are not permitted. We have implemented many energy efficient upgrades – HVAC systems, smart thermostats, lighting upgrades, and motion detectors.

Emmanuel is powered by 100% Wind Sourced Electricity

Since before 2009, Emmanuel has been purchasing renewable energy to help offset the carbon footprint of our church community. Emmanuel began by purchasing landfill gas and then in 2009, purchased 100% wind sourced energy through Clean Currents, a local energy supplier. In 2011-2012, Emmanuel joined the Non-Profit Energy Alliance to access lower electricity rates through the collective purchasing power of the alliance. Emmanuel has also partnered with Groundswell, Interfaith Power and Light – DMV chapter, and to access discounted rates for 100% wind sourced electricity in more recent years. We not only saved money but we are helping to protect the environment and build a greener economy by supporting clean sources of energy.

Check out the feature 2015 article by Groundswell on the Green Team at Emmanuel.

Emmanuel is a Certified Cool Congregation

Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) officially announced that Emmanuel is one of the first 20 congregations nationwide to be designated a Certified Cool Congregation in 2014. We achieved a 30% carbon reduction certification! Check out IPL’s press release which is posted at our recycling center in the Fellowship Hall or online at along with a short description of our accomplishment.

Community Solar Campaign

Emmanuel promotes Community Solar – a pilot program launched in Maryland that allows anyone who pays an electric bill enjoy the benefits of affordable, clean local solar energy without installing anything on your roof. It doesn’t matter if you rent, lease or own your home, you can subscribe to a local community solar farm in Maryland and receive a credit on your electric bill each month for the energy produced by your share. Learn more here about Community Solar.

Capture The Wind Campaign

Thank you for supporting our Capture the Wind Campaign in the past and still we encourage members to sign up for 100% wind power for their homes. We raised $150 in 2014 for our green initiatives at church and appreciate all the members who signed up for 100% wind power.  Groundswell ran a program and negotiated discounted rates for 100% wind power. Read more here about our current Capture the Wind Campaign.

Global Ministries Earthkeeper Project By Liz Feighner and Mary Jo Fisher 

Because of the interconnected climate crisis and plastic pollution crisis, we organized a six-month campaign (2019-2020) to reduce single-use plastics that culminated with #PlasticFreeLent.  During our campaign, we had guest speakers, held workshops, provided tips, offered alternatives and encouragement in an effort to help reduce our plastic use. We held mini-challenges encouraging people to demand corporate responsibility and government policy to provide alternatives to plastic. Read more here about our #breakfreefromplastic campaign – a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution.

Fair Trade through Equal Exchange

Something as simple as the kind of coffee we drink reflects our values. At Emmanuel we only serve Equal Exchange Fair Trade Coffee at all of our events because we believe small farmers should be paid a living wage and coffee should be grown in ways that protect the environment.  Watch Video: Equal Exchange: Who We Are and What We Believe In

Our Green Team sells Equal Exchange Fair Trade products so you can vote with your dollars by purchasing fair trade coffee, tea, chocolate and more. Simple things matter. Proceeds benefit Emmanuel’s missions. Read more HERE.

Annual Community Recycling and quarterly Styrofoam/Packing Material Recycling

Our annual Community Recycling event is held in the fall and Styrofoam & packing material is collected quarterly in Jan, April, July and Oct. Please place items in designated bins under the carport of the ministry center.

Please click here for next Styrofoam collection date.

Please do not drop off Styrofoam at the church until our next collection as there is no place to store it. You can take Styrofoam to EPS Recycling in Crofton, MD (designated bins behind the SECU building) and packing material to The UPS Store or the Post Office when we are not collecting, but call to see if the location is accepting packing material.

During our collection, we accept:

  • Hard Styrofoam with recycle code 6 – Please remove all labels and tape
  • CLEAN Styrofoam food containers like egg cartons, cups, take-out containers, & veggie trays – please rinse thoroughly and dry. Please be considerate of the green team members and thoroughly clean the food containers – food staining is OK but please remove all food particles. Styrofoam must be kept separate from packing material.
  • Not accepting at this time (2021): Packing material such as packing peanuts, bubble wrap, air pillows and soft foam. Must be kept separate from Styrofoam as this is taken to the UPS store for reuse.

Please follow the directions on the Styrofoam recycling bins. Thanks for recycling!

Trees for Sacred Places and Rain Garden

In 2017, Emmanuel participated in the Trees for Sacred Places sponsored by Interfaith Partnership of the Chesapeake and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. This project was important to Emmanuel to care for God’s Creation by helping heal the planet through watershed restoration and creating community beauty. We held a tree planting instead of our regular second Sunday service supplying the volunteers and planted 60 trees on the hill behind the cemetery. View the photos from this event.

In our commitment to good stewardship, the Green Team participated in Interfaith Partnership of the Chesapeake‘s Faithful Green Leaders Training program and were trained in rain garden maintenance. Volunteers learned how to keep our rain garden projects functioning properly for local stormwater management and how to come up with a maintenance plan for scheduling and recruiting volunteers. See photos from our events here and here.