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In Plano, Texas, the 27,000-member Prestonwood Baptist Church worked with Energy Star Congregations to halve its annual $2 million bill for gas and water, executive pastor Mike Buster said.

“We’re to be good stewards of our resources, our financial resources as well as the Earth’s resources,” said Mr. Buster. “We take the dollars we were spending with utility companies and now spend them on ministry and missions.”

Green building wasn’t on the congregation’s radar when Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Ark., started construction in 2005. But once church members learned about it, they took to the idea. Now the LEED-certified church has a green section in its newsletter, where members have been asked to bring in their electronics, like computers and DVD players, for recycling.

“It’s taken on its own life,” said Jan Meyer Swindler, who was on the church building committee. “We sold recycled grocery bags. The plastic foam cups have gone away. Little by little you see changes and that’s what it’s all about.”

In Evanston, the Reconstructionist congregation is encouraging every member to adopt environmentally friendly practices at home, too.

The Rev. Elaine Strawn of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Wayne County in Wooster, Ohio, said her 123-member congregation outgrew their old building and decided to go green for the new one. Congregants see having an environmentally friendly space as a reflection of their spirituality.

“We’re caretakers,” said Ms. Strawn, whose church is also LEED certified. “It’s respecting other life and trying to reduce our impact so future generations have some Earth left to live on.”

The interest in having environmentally sound religious spaces is just beginning, Mr. Harper of Green Faith said.

“There’s a long-term trend that’s very powerful and unmistakable,” he said. “The only financially responsible way for religious groups to build is to pay attention to green building.”