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7 Ways Your Website Can Help You #GoGreen. #EarthDay

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is an annual awareness day observed on April 22 to focus attention on environmental protection and preserving our planet. It’s a good time for Christians and Christian organizations to consider what we can do to protect and care for creation.

What the Bible Says about Protecting the Environment

After God create human beings, the first job he gave us was to care for creation.

Genesis 1:28 says, “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.‘”

Just after that in Genesis 2:15 it’s recorded, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Clearly God has given us responsibility to care for creation and steward it wisely.

7 Ways Your Website Can Help You Go Green

There are lots of things Christian churches, schools, ministries and businesses can do to protect and care for the environment. Because we here at OurChurch.Com are focused on websites and online communication, we’re going to focus on the ways your website and online tools can help your organization be environmentally-friendly.

1) Streamline the Sunday bulletin.

Some churches go crazy with bulletin inserts for every ministry and event in the church. I strongly recommend a communications strategy that makes your website the hub of your communications.  When you do this, you don’t need to print every detail about every event. Just put the basic info for each event – name of the event, when, where and why someone would want to participate and then, “See the website for more info” Boom – end of bulletin inserts!

Some churches have even completely eliminated their print bulletins in favor of an online bulletin.

2) Do registrations and signups online.

Get rid of the printed signup sheets and registration forms lying around on tables in the lobby of your church or school. Online event registration will simplify your life, make it easier for people to signup anytime and anywhere, and save paper and ink. Online event registration can be done on your website with a plugin, or as we discussed earlier with Google Forms.

3) Use online forms.

Just as you can replace paper signup sheets with online signups on your website, you can also replace all kinds of paper forms with online forms. Online form builders are easy to use and can be used to create any type of form you currently have in print.

4) Put your manuals and handbooks online.

Do you have an huge employee handbook you print and give to each member of your staff? Do you have written policies and procedures for your church, school or business? All of these things can uploaded and placed in a staff-only section of your website.

Or even better, they can be put into an online file-sharing service like Google Docs. Another great feature of Google Docs is when a document need updating, you can do it quickly and easily online, and when you do everyone with access instantly has the updated version. No more need to distribute updates or wonder if everyone is using the latest version.

Putting instructions in Google Docs is also extremely helpful for training new staff and volunteers. No need to get people to remember everything or carry around paper instructions. Google Docs can be accessed anywhere on a smart phone.

5) Replace your paper newsletter with an online newsletter.

The printed monthly newsletter has been one of the most prevalent forms of communication for churches, schools and nonprofits for decades. Think about how many pages of newsletters you print every month. Depending on the size of your organization, switching to an online newsletter could save thousands of pages of paper a month. If you mail your newsletter you could save lots of money on postage (and the fuel used to deliver them.) Put an electronic copy of your newsletter on your website and send it out via email.

If you are a church with people who are older or don’t go online much, you may get some pushback. So, you may need to compromise a little by mailing the printed newsletter to those who specifically request it or having a handful of print copies available in the foyer of your church.

6) Put your sermons online instead of on CDs.

Most churches that record their sermons have already made this transition, but it’s worth mentioning for those who have not. As with newsletters, you can still make CDs for those who request them, but only make them when they’re requested.

7) Partner with a Green Web Hosting Company.

We at OurChurch.com love the outdoors and do everything we can to protect the environment and care for creation. We have already taken all of the steps above (except for the sermons and bulletin inserts which are not applicable).

Additionally, our entire team works from home offices, which means no corporate office to build, furnish, heat, cool and clean. We’re also not consuming gasoline or polluting the environment on our commutes to work.

The bottom line…

How you use your website can have a big impact on how you care for creation.

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If you share our concern for the environment, we hope you’ll consider the 7 ways to protect the environment listed above and consider OurChurch.Com for your Christian web hosting, web design and SEO.

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  • How are you using your website to reduce pollution and protect the environment?
  • What other ideas can you share?

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    About the author

    Paul Steinbrueck

    Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.

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