Delaware Interfaith Power and Light

April 2020 Newsletter

Welcome Shweta Arya, DeIPL’s New Outreach Director

By Bette Sullivan

 

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As a longtime outdoor enthusiast who enjoys biking, gardening, birding, hiking and running, it was only “natural” that certified Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Shweta Arya raised her hand when DIPL was looking for an Outreach Director. Coupled with her 6 years as an environmental educator at the Delaware Nature Society and the Tyler Arboretum as well as her leadership training with the Climate Reality Project (founded by Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore), the role was exactly what she was looking for.

“I’ve been wanting to work in the field of climate action,” said the Garnet Valley, PA, resident, “and this is a perfect fit for me.”

Part of the Hindu Temple of Delaware community, Shweta joined the DIPL board in January of this year and is excited to engage communities of faith in the important work of environmentalism, sustainability, and climate change action. Top on her to-do list?

“I’d like to help start a Delaware co-op for solar energy. People still view this as an unaffordable and out-of-reach option,” she said. But that’s not the  reality anymore, Shweta explained, citing bulk discounts on solar installation that make this renewable energy accessible to everyone—including churches, temples and synagogues.

Citing the Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware’s Green Team as one example, Shweta sees this a good model for others to follow. “A Green Team is a natural offshoot of a faith-based community,” she said. “There are so many green activities and goals that lend themselves to groups that are already organized around families and a shared belief in protecting our environment.”  She added that DIPL would be happy to provide resources and support to any community that would to start a Green Team.

For Shweta, her husband Gaurav and their two children Yuvi sethi and Saira sethi, the love of the outdoors is a family affair. One easy and fun family activity that anyone can do?

“Plant trees!” she says with enthusiasm. And encouraging faith communities to get their hands dirty planting trees is another of Shweta’s goals in her new DIPL Outreach Coordinator role. “It’s a wonderful way to help our environment.”