Environmental Care for the Campus
The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth have in their mission statement to “care for the earth” and to work for the poor. We, along with Pope Francis and others, consider the Earth one of the poorest of the poor now. These statements have translated to a robust effort to “tread lightly” on the planet and take care of Nazareth as a home for all of the species who live here. Below are just a few of the things the Sisters are doing for the environment at Nazareth:
- 75 kW of rooftop solar power. This, along with energy efficiency efforts, is supporting the sisters’ congregational goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2047.
- 99% of lightbulbs on campus have been replaced with high-efficiency LEDs
- Hot water heaters in David Hall and O’Connell Hall were replaced with tankless on-demand heaters, which use less energy.
- Electric vehicles are driven by Housekeeping and some Sisters, and EV charging stations have been installed in the David Hall and O’Connell Hall parking lots.
- The Grounds Department has replaced some gas-powered landscaping equipment with electric battery-operated, which are cleaner and quieter.
- Water for irrigation is drawn from Peter’s Puddle rather than using treated city water.
- The natural areas on campus are managed in a way to maximize wildlife habitat, including habitat for a federally-threatened bat species and a state-listed rush.
- We actively remove invasive plant species and plant around 40 new native trees every year.
- Our kitchen garden supplies the Motherhouse kitchen with fresh produce. In addition, there is a community garden that residents of Bardstown and Nazareth Villages may use.
- We recycle most items in our recycling program and compost not only food scraps but also paper towels from public bathrooms.
The Sisters consider Nazareth sacred land, a place where spirituality and healing can be nourished. They also hope to take care of Nazareth in a way that may be a model of sustainable and regenerative living for others. We invite you to join us in this effort both here at Nazareth and at your own home.
Director of Ecological Sustainability
February 2, 2023