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St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More is a Catholic church located in Chapel Hill, NC. Yes solar installed their 64.68 kW rooftop system using 147 CertainTeed panels and 1 SMA inverter. See the amazing drone footage they shared on YouTube.

This is one of many impressive phases St. Thomas More has completed in their goal of harnessing solar power on the many beautiful buildings located on their property. Solar is one of many sustainable sources they have included in their long-term commitment for a better enviornment.

St. Thomas More sustainability practices.

The Environmental Stewardship Committee page on their website is an impress group committed to the following and we can only imagine what more they have added recently.

  • Waste reduction/recycling – Initial efforts were on helping the school establish a recycling program that was then implemented on the entire campus. For more than five years, we have recycled more than 30 tons of material annually. In addition, we have added a monthly “re-use” table at the weekend Masses to collect small items. This has permitted us to have a visual reminder to the parish while collecting corks, eye-glasses, batteries. As part of our waste reduction efforts, in 2017 the parish invested in a composting service. It picks up our compostable waste weekly and brings a clean bin. These multiple approaches to reduce waste, we are now removing more than 35% of total waste from the landfill. 
  • Reduction of energy use – We continue to work on energy use reduction via HVAC adjustments and extensive lighting upgrades (primarily to LED technology) that have resulted in substantial additional savings.  
  • Reduction of water use – This was our 2013, “Year C” emphasis. Since the parish has installed low-flush toilets and a high-efficiency dishwasher. There arefewer opportunities for further reduction on the parish and school campus. We continue bringing parishioner attention to ways to reduce water consumption in the home. We have also reached out to our sister parish in Tanzania (Fr. Pontiano Chomba) and helped orchestrate the STM sponsorship of two new, more sanitary wells which have provided reliable clean water for the local communities. 
  • San Isidro Labrador Community Garden – Started in 2013 as an off-shoot of the ESC, the garden is a productive demo of what can be grown in a small area by using sustainable organic practices.  Produce distributes to STM parishioners and gardeners. 

It has been exciting to watch their committee continue to serve their members, community and the greater Raleigh area. We look forward to seeing what they do next.

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