A Green Sanctuary
A Green Sanctuary is a UU congregation that lives its commitment to the Earth by creating a sustainable lifestyle for its members as individuals and as a faith community. Sustainable living is a choice: We choose to live in a way that nurtures life, builds relationships, and rejects material consumption as the sole determinant of happiness.
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Green Sanctuary Program invites congregations to:
- Build awareness of the significance and complexity of environmental issues.
- Encourage personal lifestyle changes.
- Engage in community action on environmental issues.
- Strengthen the connection between spiritual practice and Earth consciousness.
- Work to heal environmental injustices.
Green Sanctuary Program accreditation requires the involvement of the entire congregation. In 2005-06, the UUCM congregation chose to pursue this accreditation from among several possible social justice programs.
Being a Green Sanctuary is one of the ways we work toward a vision of healthier, more sustainable future.
UUCM’s Green Sanctuary Program is an important component of our Social Justice work and is guided by the seventh UU principle: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
As a recognized Green Sanctuary, we live with a deep awareness of our climate crisis and the deep environmental injustices of our time. We commit to four practices, grounded in Unitarian Universalist principles:
- Environmental Justice: We partner with marginalized communities who are hit first and hardest by environmental crisis. In partnering with these communities we are able to address human and environmental needs at the same time.
- Worship and Celebration: As we work together towards a cleaner, more just and sustainable world, worship inspires our work and reminds us of what is most sacred and most true.
- Religious Education: Our workshops and programs for all ages shape attitudes and build practices that are sustainable and spiritually-grounded.
- Sustainable Living: We treat the world more gently by using fewer resources and being mindful of the choices we make, both as a congregation and as households.
How Did UUCM Become a Green Sanctuary?
In 2006-07, we conducted an internal audit of existing environmental actions and programs, and then developed an action plan for implementing our 12 activities. In 2009, after completing the action plan, the UUA formally recognized our congregation as an accredited Green Sanctuary. Read the acknowledgement letter.
Through the Green Sanctuary accreditation process, we learned that UUCM had been taking important steps to help our environment for a long time and will continue.
Our children and young adults have participated in the Green Sanctuary program by:
- Counting trees on the UUCM property.
- Helping to plant native oaks. ongoing watering participation
- Learning about barn owls, an important local natural predator, through a visit from the Hungry Owl Project.
It IS easy to be green! Try one of these suggestions today:
- Pay attention to and implement in your own home the Green Alerts listed on the back of each Sunday’s order of service. Have a suggestion? Send it to email@example.com.
- Reduce first, then Reuse, and then Recycle.
- Stop junk mail. Download a free kit at StopJunkMail.org.
- Properly dispose of all electronics: Marin Computer Resource Center, Renew Computers, Marin Freecycle.
- Eat “low carbon” meals.
- Reduce your total carbon footprint. Learn how at Carbonfund.org.
- Act locally: Sustainable Marin.
- Learn about a state-wide religious response to climate change: California Interfaith Power and Light.
- Participate in UU Ministry for Earth‘s environmental initiatives.
We invite all who share these values to join us on this journey of connection, sustainability, and hope. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved. And join our broad and growing movement for climate justice with Commit2Respond.