From the Advices:
Stewardship - Friends are advised to consider our possessions as God's
gifts, entrusted to us for responsible use. Let us free our time and our
abilities to be able to follow the leadings of the Spirit. Let us
cherish the beauty and variety of the world. Friends are urged to
speak out boldly against the destruction of the world's resources and
the difficulties that destruction prepares for the future generations.
Let us guard against waste and resist our extravagant consumption, which
contributes to inequities and impoverishment of life in our own and
other societies. Let us show a loving consideration for all God's
creatures. Let kindness know no limits.
traditionally maintained an active concern for the well being of the
planet and its finite resources and
Midcoast Meeting addresses these concerns directly.
Heating with biofuel
Midcoast Meeting currently heats the building
with a B20 (20%) biofuel mixture provided by
Seacoast Energy in Newcastle, Maine. The bio fuel is
sourced from locally sourced used vegetable oil so it is
completely recycled material that is not derived from plants specifically grown
to create biofuel.
There are three digital
programmable thermostats that can be set for up to four different times for each
day. We change the programming for these according to scheduled events
throughout the colder months. The building is set back to around
50°F when it is not in use.
We instituted a project in the fall of 2003 to replace all 25 of the
high wattage incandescent flood lights in the Meetinghouse with energy
saving compact fluorescent (CFL) lamps. The project
called for members and visitors to "sponsor" the replacement of each lamp.
Many members can still fondly recall which lamp they sponsored.
here to learn more
about energy-saving light sources.
As these lamps wear out we are replacing them with LED flood lights.
When we installed lights mounted to
8ft wood posts around our parking area, we
used compact fluorescent lights. We struggled with how to control them and
started with a standard 24 hour timer, but the lights were left on every evening
when they were not needed. We replaced that timer with a wind-up timer
switch by the front door that allows the lights to be activated for up to 4
hours as needed for evening events.
In 2012 we re-configured the kitchen to make room
for a dishwasher that reduces the amount of water required to wash
dishes. Our members are delighted with this labor saver!
We had previously made a commitment to reduce waste in our kitchen by
eliminating paper plates and adding separate containers for recyclables.
A compost bin was installed behind the building for kitchen waste. To eliminate paper cups members were
asked to bring in their old coffee mugs and a special shelf was built
usage for hot water
In the summer of 2008 we changed the plumbing in our building because the
water was being heated by the oil boiler that also heats the building.
This meant that the big oil burner was coming on throughout the warm
seasons just to maintain heat in a 40 gallon tank that is rarely used. So we
bypassed that system and installed a small 4 gallon electric heater
that is fed from the original oil heated tank which now tempers the
incoming well water. We installed a timer in the basement so
that we can still use the oil boiler to heat water on Sundays when we
need more hot water for cleaning dishes than the small electric
heater can provide.
We installed interior insulating window panels in 8 of the windows.
Guy Marsden lead a workshop to demonstrate how to make these windows
and the community made them all. These simple, inexpensive
panels will triple the insulation of the windows while still
allowing sunlight to enter and warm the building in the winter.
Detailed instructions for building them can be found
here on Guy's web site.
Replacing EXIT signs with non powered units
September 2010 we replaced 4 lighted EXIT signs that consumed nearly
30 Watts each with phosphorescent signs that use no power. The
new signs charge up from ambient UV light and glow for hours afterward.
Solar lights on the road sign
We have installed solar powered lights on both sides of the sign at the
driveway entrance. This inexpensive lighting system is carbon
neutral and saved the expense of running power over 100 feet to
the sign. The solar panels on the post charge batteries in the
day time. The bright LED lights come on at dusk and automatically
and shut off after 6 hours.
Electric Vehicle Charging outlet
In May 2012 one of our members acquired an electric vehicle (Chevy
Volt) and asked the Meeting for permission to install an
electric outlet on the front porch to be used as a charging station.
The Meeting supported this wholeheartedly and the outlet was
installed shortly thereafter. An electric vehicle can gain
approximately 5 miles range for every hour that it is plugged in to
120 Volts. The electricity costs around 25 cents/hour to charge
a Volt here in Maine. Many of our members drive hybrids or
We believe the human-earth
relationship in all its aspects inseparable from the divine. We are
convinced that the current economic system should be of urgent concern
to the Religious Society of Friends. It is intensifying economic and
social inequities throughout he world, causing structural and physical
violence, driving many species to extinction, and leading our own species
toward ecological self destruction.
Quaker Eco-Witness has prepared a series of questions
concerning the restoration of the earth's ecological integrity, and the
economic policies that affect us all.
Eco-Witness is a project of the Friends Committee on Unity
with Nature and the Environmental Working Group of Philadelphia
Yearly Meeting. The committee offers these observations:
- In the light of Friend's
testimonies, what is God calling us to do about the continuing and
increasing marginalization of so much of the world's population, the
extinction of the species, and other environmental degradation?
- How do we integrate our
human community within the natural world so as to provide for the
physical and spiritual needs of future generations?
- What chances in the institutions
of economy and governance are needed to promote effective stewardship
of the natural environment and caring for people and communities?
- What is it in nature and
human knowledge that we have the right to own?
- How best can we provide
the values expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and the Earth Charter?
- How can we promote the
understanding and awareness of the consequences of increasing global
interconnectedness and the urgency of addressing the dangers an opportunities
that these present?
- As we earn, spend, and
invest money, as individuals and as Meeting communities, how can we
live in the "virtue of that life and power" that leads us to treat
all humans and the Earth as a manifestation of the Divine?
- Are we aware of the true
cost of our consumption?
- Do we take into account
our concerns for social justice as we earn, spend, and invest money?
- What information, tools,
and skills do we need to equip ourselves to work effectively for public
policies that restore Earth's resilience, increase social equity,
and strengthen our community?
- How can we engage with
others in ways that help us discern God's will for us, at this critical
stage in Earth's history, as we labor with these concerns?