Green Sanctuary Program
The "Green Sanctuary Program" is a project of the "Seventh Principle Project" (now the UU Ministry for Earth), an arm of the national organization focused on realizing the seventh principle of UUs: "We covenant to respect the interdependent web of all existence, of which we are a part." The Seventh Principle Project is focused to promote behavior contributing to the sustainability of the planet and its resources.
Five important goals underlie the Green Sanctuary Program:
1. To build awareness of societal environmental issues among UUs
2. To generate commitment for personal lifestyle changes
3. To motivate UUs to community action on environmental issues
4. To build a connection between spiritual practice and environmental consciousness
5. To build awareness of and rectify environmental injustices.
The Green Sanctuary Program offers structure for accomplishing these goals in a meaningful way in an individual congregation. To congregations who have established meaningful work on these goals, the program offers an accreditation as a "Green Sanctuary." Steps to becoming a Green Sanctuary include
1. Establish a committee, sanctioned by the governing body of the congregation
2. Conduct an environmental audit
3. Design a comprehensive program and Action Plan
4. Apply for candidacy
5. Complete 12 projects in the Action Plan
6. Apply for accreditation
Becoming a Green Sanctuary involves auditing the church facility and its inhabitants for its use/conservation of energy, its use of environmentally friendly products, and its habits of recycling and purchasing recycled products. The congregation who wishes to be a certified Green Sanctuary Congregation commits to educating themselves and rigorously monitoring their habits and choices, looking at such things as what kind of light bulbs and fixtures are the most economical and facilitating the recycling of many household products over and above paper, plastic, glass, and metal.
The congregation also links with a community-based organization dovoted to environmental sustainability, sich as Faith in Place or the Metroppolitan Sustainability Project. Congregations pursue advanced environmental issues, such as the purchase of "wind energy" sources of electricity through certificates and the exploration of geothermal energy sources.
- Home Environmental Checklist (from South Bend): www.firstunitarian.us
- EnergyStar guidelines for congregations: Hints for saving energy and tools for tracking how your congregation is doing. Link to EnergyStar
- Calculate your carbon footprint: Nature Conservancy
- Take Action has a good education guide
Winter Farmers' Markets "Harvest of Hope" at Churches Center for Land and People, Market coordinator for the Chicago area is Robin Schirmer (
). Congregations who have hosted a "Harvest of Hope" event include Elgin (hosts a Sunday afternoon fair) Beverly, and Third (both hosted Saturday fairs). Ten percent of funds raised by Harvest of Hope go to helping small farm families who are usingnatural and sustainable practices. Goods sold at the fair include woolen goods, farmstead milk, eggs, yogurt, maple syrup or sorghum, natural beauty products, baked goods, beeswax candles, soap, organic flours, dried
herbs, fruit tarts, cheeses, preserves, honey and humanely-raised meats.
Churches Center also helps to arrange coop memberships in local organic farms: For a
contribution, you can buy and receive delivery (at a central point) of the farmer's produce for a
year. Congregations can act as broker and point of delivery for their members and community.
Farmers' Markets are being scheduled in spring for the early winter season.
Rainbarrels are being sold at Green Fairs across the country. You can find one at
www.composters.com or www.gardenwatersaver.com
Getting to Carbon-free in Ten Years: from Yes! Magazine
Faith in Place Chicago at www.faithinplace.org
Cleaning Green (from DeKalb, via "365 Ways to Live Green" by Diane McDilda)
In choosing cleansers for the home, try these possibilities
* Vinegar can be used with water to clean floors, dissolve mineral deposits and grease, remove mildew or wax buildup, clean brick or stone, and shine windows.
* Borax mixed with lemon juice can clean a toilet
* Lemon juice mixed with olive oil is a good furniture polish
* Rubbing alcohol mixed with vinegar and water is also a good window cleaner
* Baking soda can be used to scrub stainless steel, iron, or copper pots (not aluminum pots)
Put an end to Junk Mail (from DeKalb)
41pounds.org believes that eachperson receives approximately 41 poinds of junk mail per hear. For a donation of $41, they will make the necessary connections to stop junk mail from being delivered over the next 5 year; and they will donate your money to a charity selected from their list, such as Carbonfund.org, which is sponsored by the UU Ministry for Earth. Sign up at www.41pounds.org
Another group providing a similar service is www.greendimes.com
Food Pantries (this from Third Church)
Looking for volunteer oppportunities, and a way to help with the chronic problem of hunger in Chicago? Here is a wide range of programs needing your help:
*Fraternite of Notre Dame Soup Kitchen, 502 N. Central Ave in Austin. FDN serves good food to about 150 hungry people on three days a week. Their pantry needs volunteers Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
* Friends of Columbus Park Food Pantry. This pantry distributes five thousand pounds of food every Friday at the field house in Columbus Park. Volunteers are needed Thursday mornings, 9 a.m. to unload food, and Friday mornings, 7:30 am to noon to box foods for individual recipients, and distribute the food.
*Star of David Food Pantry, at 3849 E. Chicago Avenue. This pantry feeds 800 people a month. They need help on Thursdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., helping with guest sign-in and distributing the bags of food. They also need help on Friday evenings bagging the food for Saturday distribution and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon, helping with guest sign-in and distributing the bags of food.
*The Greater Chicago Food Depository. By volunteering at the Depository, you can earn credit toward obtaining food for your favorite local pantry. They have regular volunteer dates every Saturday from 9 am to noon and 1-4 p.m. and every Wednesday evening from 6-9 pm. Saturday times are in high demand and one should make reservations (believe it or not!) before going down. Wednesday evenings, however, always have places.
Printer cartridges: You can recycle inkjet, laser, and toner cartridges as a fund-raising project for the church. These organizations will pay non-profits for used cartridges: Greenfund Network (www.greenfundnetwork.com) and InkBank Recycling (www.profitquests/InkBizShop/html). Office stories will also take the cartridges, giving a ream of paper or $3. off your purchase.
Bicycles: Working Bikes Coopwerative of Chicago, "Bicycles for Peace," will repair your old bike or take your usable but unused bike, to send to economically disadvantaged countries, where they provide vital transportation. Some bikes they will sell at their resale shop to raise funds to continue the repair program (all volunteer labor). They often stage collection drives in conjunction with other not-for-profit events, but you are welcome to trot your stuff down to them during working hours and on Saturday. 927 S. Western Avenue (www.workingbikes.org).
Household Chemical Waste: Suburban collection days are staged at shopping malls and recycling centers during the fall. Calendars and collection site locations are listed at websites of Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC, www.swancc.org) and Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO. www.swalco.org) Hazardous Waste sites accept anti-freeze, gasoline, batteries, fluorescent lamps and bulbs, drain cleaners, cell phones, the new mercury fluorescent light bulbs, old paint,and more. There is now a Household Chemical and Computer Recycling Center collection site in CHICAGO at 1150 N. North Branch St. on Goose Island (listed on www.swancc.org). They also refurbish old compuers for reuse. .
Shoes SWANCC collects used athletic shoes for Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program. Through Nike's program, old athletic shoes are collected by groups such as SWANCC and transported to Nike's Oregon faciity to be ground up and made into NikeGrind, a material used for making new sports surfaces and fields. U'SAgain recycles the fabric of old shoes and clothing. A textile recycling company, they pay by the pound for all clothing and shoes. www.usagain2.com.
Information: SWANCC and SWALCO also have lots of information at their website regarding toxic and green cleaning materials and other household resources. Also "Earthwise," published by the Union of Concerned Scientists,