Making A Difference

Our April newsletter is jam-packed with everything Earth Day in addition to our normal updates! Though April 22 is the official day in which we celebrate our planet and recommit to protecting our environment, our limited resources, and our rich biodiversity, every day is an opportunity to show kindness to the earth. We have curated a number of things you can do this month at different levels to support our incredible home habitat and make a difference through environmental stewardship. Also, be sure to check out the end of this newsletter for a graphic you can share with your community to inspire action!

As an individual:
Give what you can to our Restoring Mother Earth fundraiser. You’ll have a local impact by helping FACS fund our advocacy, education, and outreach efforts as we help local faith communities implement solutions to the climate crisis. You’ll also have a global impact; we’ll be donating a portion of the proceeds to Earth Sangha’s Tree Bank project. This project helps 70 farming families in the Dominican Republic restore and conserve 530 acres of threatened rainforest.

As a faith community:
You can receive FREE assistance in benchmarking your carbon footprint! FACS is partnering with the Sustainable Energy, Equity, and Knowledge-Sharing (SEEK) Project to help faith communities in their journey toward Net Zero. We have a bold goal of benchmarking the carbon footprints of 25 faith communities this month in honor of Earth Day. Sign up directly here!

As a citizen:
Sign up for a FACS Advocacy Team! Faith communities are uniquely positioned to deliver the message of acting on climate change as a moral imperative. When you show up to speak with a local official on the importance of climate action and you connect the dots between your faith and your desire for strong climate policies, they listen. FACS' Advocacy Teams offer webinars/training, programs/events, and chances to voice your values at public hearings and in meetings with elected officials. Learn more.

Finally, do you know of a climate hero whom you’d like to nominate as a 2021 Sustainability Champion? The deadline to nominate a Northern Virginia individual, faith community, elected official/public sector employee, or business for FACS’ Sustainability Champion Awards is TOMORROW, April 2. Learn more about the eligibility criteria and how to nominate someone. 

Tell FACS What You Think

FACS is soliciting feedback from our stakeholders as we update our strategic plan during an important period of growth. We welcome your input to shape our strategy! Over the next few months, the FACS board and staff will participate in several facilitated discussions in which your input is critical. The revised strategic plan will be released late June. The estimated time to complete the survey is 10-15 minutes and your responses will be completely anonymous.

Please submit your responses by Friday, April 9. Thank you in advance!

Volunteer Action for the Environment

Join the Sierra Club Great Falls Group on Monday, April 5 from 5:00 to 6:15 p.m. to learn and share ideas for protecting the environment. Scott Peterson, FACS Vice Chair, will talk about zero waste and why Fairfax County should join the movement. Next, Jolene Mafnas from Food and Water Watch will discuss the fight to stop an unneeded gas pipeline and how local governments can procure clean power. Finally, Mike Christensen from Quiet Clean Nova will talk about banning polluting gas-powered leaf blowers. Come be part of the solution! New activists as well as experienced and curious environmentalists are welcome to this interactive and collaborative event.

Hub Updates

Fairfax County

  • Fairfax County wants to hear from you! Take the Fairfax County Strategic Plan Survey (8 different languages available) to help inform prioritization of initiatives, participate in crafting a community-driven vision, and even influence future budgetary decision-making. 
  • The next Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Environmental Committee (BOSEC) meeting will take place Tuesday, April 6 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time. Materials will be posted here and the meeting can be viewed on Channel 16 or streamed online. 
  • The next FACS monthly advocacy webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, April 14 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. Email us if you need the Zoom link. Join our advocacy team and participate as we determine our priorities for 2021-22.
  • Fairfax County’s Department of Management and Budget is holding a series of public hearings April 13-15 to cover the FY 2022 budget, the FY 2022-2026 construction-in-process (CIP), and the FY21 Q3 review. Find dates/times under the department's Upcoming EventsStay tuned for details on FACS' testimony. In addition to calling for a study of a green bank and other innovative funding sources to move the county to net zero carbon, FACS supports funding for affordable housing. FACS believes that housing policy IS climate policy. Read the sign on letter with the Housing and Human Service Providers Coalition which includes an emphasis on energy efficiency. 

Statement of Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) Principles
The CECAP Working Group and the plan the Board of Supervisors adopts should include:

  • Short-, intermediate, and long-term goals. Especially important is what can be achievable by the County and Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) right away.
  • Authorities the county currently could use to achieve short-term and interim period goals, and authorities that require state permission.
  • Integration of the many county and FCPS climate and environmental plans (e.g., the Joint Environmental Task Force recommendations, Board Green Initiatives, FCPS net zero building plan) into the county’s master CECAP.
  • Requirement for biannual accountability reports by sector.

Prince William County

The next monthly meeting will take place Wednesday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time. Meetings occur the fourth Wednesday of each month. Sign up for the PWC advocacy team to get email reminders and meeting Zoom links.


This month the City of Alexandria will kick off its Energy and Climate Change Action Plan update, hold key meetings on the proposed budget for next fiscal year, and hear sustainability proposals for the Landmark redevelopment and Inova medical center project. FACS Alexandria will continue to follow these initiatives and advocate for strong and equitable climate solutions. Learn more and get involved.

Advocacy Updates

  • Exciting news for Virginia! On March 23, Governor Ralph Northam signed an executive order banning the use of single-use plastics by the state government, colleges, and universities. This is a big move to help reduce the waste stream.
  • Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl Grijalva and Rep. McEachin are introducing historic #EnviroJusticeNow legislation that addresses systemic environmental racism. The Environmental Justice For All Act is a community-driven set of solutions rooted in the moral principle that all people have the right to pure air, clean water, and an environment that enriches life. Learn more about this effort to advance environmental justice, health equity, and climate justice.
  • Transportation is the region's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions (42%), and we have a chance to make it a priority. The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) updates the region's long-range transportation plan every four years, and this month they will unveil a draft list of projects and programs. The previous plan would only reduce transportation greenhouse gas emissions 23% by 2045 relative to 2005 levels, while jurisdictions like Fairfax and Montgomery Counties are aiming for net-zero emissions by that time. Local elected officials oversee TPB and have indicated that they want to make climate a priority in the plan, but they will need to hear from constituents. Stay tuned for updates on how you and FACS can make a difference. For background on regional climate plans and the role of transportation and land use, check out this December article by FACS Alexandria hub coordinator Bill Pugh.

Interested in learning more about green banks? Sign up for a free webinar and hear about green bank basics, opportunities in Virginia, national green bank developments, and examples of  neighboring states' green bank initiatives. FACS Advocacy Chair and Vice Chair of the Board Scott Peterson will participate as a speaker. The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, April 14 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time.


Faith Community Spotlight

What is your faith community doing for Earth Day? We’d love to know! Email us photos/text if you’d like us to highlight them and/or tag us on social media (@FaithForClimate).


Community Partner Spotlight:
Earth Sangha

Interested to know more about the beneficiary organization for our Restoring Mother Earth fundraiser?

Founded in 1997, the Earth Sangha is a nonprofit public charity based in northern Virginia. Their mission is ecological restoration and native flora preservation as a form of socially engaged Buddhism (though staff and volunteers come from a wide variety of religious and secular backgrounds). They operate a volunteer-based ecological restoration program for the greater Washington, D.C. region. The program is designed to restore the native plant communities that are essential to the greater ecological health of the region. At the heart of the program is their Wild Plant Nursery, the region's most comprehensive source of native plants propagated from local, wild seed. The work of the Earth Sangha is designed for public participation as a venue for environmental education and involves over 600 annual volunteers who contribute some 11,000 hours to our restoration projects annually. They approach the problems of environmental degradation from three angles: direct restoration of damaged areas, propagation of restoration-quality native plant species to drive restoration throughout the region, and educating people of all ages about natural resources and how to protect them.

Free Resource: Earth Day Flyer

Share the flyer below with your community! We have a PDF and a PNG file available.

Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions
PO Box 2012  | Reston, Virginia 20195
703-239-3748 |

Follow Us

Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences