While companies in America seem to move as slow as molasses when it comes to installing solar panels, Armenia’s Echmiadzin Cathedral has decided to dive full speed ahead into environmental upgrades.
This major historical site is about to get solar panels installed on the roof of its seminary building, just as the church is becoming part of the worldwide Green Pilgrimage Network. This network includes holy places for Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Taoists, and Baha’is all over the world that are somehow geared toward eco-tourism.
Along with installing solar panels, the Armenian Apostolic Church promises to plant thousands of trees in the Nersisyan forest, and initiate joint green projects with the local government.
Plus, you’ll be able to get an affordable, locally-grown meal when visiting the church, as this is another aspect of being allowed into the network.
But the Green Pilgrimage Network isn’t the first to inspire sustainability efforts in the world’s most religious places. The Vatican installed 2700 solar panels in 2008, and the Tirumala Tirupati temple in India uses the world’s largest solar steam cooking system.
The impact of upping the environmental actions of these sacred places may be huge. Put together, millions upon millions of people visit these sites each year as part of pilgrimages, and the amount of energy used to feed and run these places is tremendous.
Now, if only corporations would take a few notes from these holy sites.