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Caring For Creation at Camp Hanover

April 22, 2015 is Earth Day, and to celebrate, we are pleased to announce that Camp Hanover has received the 2015 Green Leaf Seal from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Environmental Ministries and the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association!

Green Leaf Seal

The Green Leaf Seal recognizes camp and conference centers that care for God’s earth by practicing sustainability and educating guests about environmental stewardship. With this designation, Presbyterian camps are showing their commitment to caring for God’s creation and spreading that message through action, programs, and communications. Through Camp Hanover’s GoodPastures program, we have committed to environmental education and programming as well as many “green” practices on our site and in our operations.

Celebrate Earth Day by joining us in this commitment to caring for the environment. Here are ten things we are doing at Camp Hanover that you can do at home:

1. Reduce! Send less garbage to the landfill. You can donate used goods, compost leftover food, and be mindful when purchasing new items to avoid waste. Do you really need it? Is it available with less packaging?

2. Reuse! At camp, we find new uses for old things all the time. We reuse leftover print outs for note paper, and we’re turning an old hogan into a greenhouse using leftover lumber we already had on site.

3. Recycle! We are able to put many things into our single-stream recycling bin to be turned into new cans, bottles, and boxes. Find out what you can and cannot recycle in your area. There are only so many resources on this planet– it helps to use them over and over.

4. Eat locally! We work with food service companies and producers near to camp and grow some of our own veggies to reduce the amount of fossil fuels needed to transport our food to us. This habit supports the local economy as well as the use of local varieties of plants, which will use way fewer resources to grow since they are adapted to the local environment.

5. Plant a tree or garden! We have about 100 varieties of fruits, veggies, herbs, and flowers going into our garden this summer, and we’ll be planting a few new trees around site soon as well. Plants help clean the air and support ecosystems.

6. Turn off the lights! Every little bit of energy counts. You could also try installing automatic sensors, programmable thermostats, energy efficient appliances, and on-demand water heaters. We have quite a few of those around site, and we’re all working on being better about turning off the lights when we leave the room, and shutting down the electronics completely at night!

7. Pick up litter! If not you, then who?

8. Eat your veggies! The vegetarian lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but meat uses a lot of water and land resources to raise. By reducing your meat consumption even by a little bit,  you can help conserve water, soil, air, and wildlife habitat.

livestock9. Learn something! Reading about current environmental events and issues can help build your awareness and motivation to do something. It’s easier to make little (or big!) changes if you understand why, and how they help. I’ve been reading Creation Justice Ministries’ Earth Day resources to learn more about Sustainable Food.

10. Spread the word! Get everyone involved. We all share just one Earth, so we all need to share the responsibility of taking care of it. We’re spreading the word about environmental care at Camp Hanover through our GoodPastures outdoor education and land stewardship program.

The Green Leaf Seal is a program of PC(USA) Environmental Ministries in cooperation with the sites of the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association (PCCCA).  Environmental Ministries works to inspire and equip Presbyterians to work for eco-justice for all of God’s earth.  PCCCA equips leaders for ministries of discipleship, community building and the care of Creation. For more information on the Green Leaf Seal go to www.pcusa.org/greenleaf.