UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science and Management

Bren School Santa BarbaraIn the past three years four houses of worship were selected by ECOFaith for sustainability projects; and the UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science and Management formed a team to develop those projects. The Bren team worked to educate congregations and assess the steps needed to step up their sustainability efforts. The Bren team also assisted with the implementation of the chosen sustainability actions and recorded the differences before and after these projects. This type of partnership between ECOFaith and the UCSB Bren School followed the pattern of ever-increasing circles of sustainability benefits — what begins with a small effort of one congregation, like widening ripples of water, have a positive impact on the entire community’s climate change efforts.

The UCSB Bren School Project assessed the early efforts of ECOFaith to improve energy efficiency and conservation in worship places and to encourage congregants to adopt sustainable lifestyles. The ECOFaith-Bren School Project developed a ECOFaith-Bren Partnership-Assessing Environmental Impact¬†as an interfaith model for all congregations, called the ECOFaith Path of Sustainability. The project quantified the water, energy, and greenhouse gas reductions achieved in ECOFaith’s initial four pilot projects (2008-2010), reviewed its educational components, and helped ECOFaith develop tools to enhance continuing sustainability efforts in its interfaith outreach beyond the geographic area of Santa Barbara.

For more information about the projects, its actions and results, please visit the Bren School’s ECOFaith Project website at www.bren.ucsb.edu/~ecofaith/about.html