A Green Sanctuary is a Congregation that…
- Has received official recognition for completing the Green Sanctuary Program.
- Lives out its commitment to the Earth by creating sustainable lifestyles for its members as individuals and as a faith community.
- Is committed towards creating a religious community that has a fundamental, bottom-line, commitment to living in harmony with the Earth.
The Green Sanctuary Program asks a church to engage in and report on 12 actions organized under four areas of church life:
- Worship and Celebration
- Religious Education
- Environmental Justice
- Sustainable Living
OUUC completed its projects and submitted its application for Green Sanctuary Congregation accreditation in January 2011.
OUUC’s Green Sanctuary Committee
What has the Green Sanctuary Committee accomplished?
In Sustainable Living
Purchased and installed bike racks with a cover
Established a ride share program
Initiated a waste management program, equipping every room within the facility with receptacles for compost and recycling. A brochure describing OUUC’s waste management program is available to all congregants
Convinced the church office to use recycled paper
Annually sponsors an invasive weeding day
In Religious Education
Regularly provides classes/forums on issues such as ethical eating, dealing with climate change, building and installing weatherized window inserts, and working with youth on the recognition of the surrounding flora and fauna.
In Worship and Celebration
Annually Earth Day is a special focus for services at OUUC. Often the Committee provides a special event following the services to remind congregants of their continued commitment to the protection of the earth and all its inhabitants.
In Environmental Justice
Federal, state, and local legislation regarding environmental policy is regularly tracked keeping committee members up to date. Many attend public meetings and forums where these matters are discussed. Articles in the weekly OUUC newsletter by the Committee members keep the congregation aware of current events.
The Green Sanctuary Committee usually meets the first Sunday of each month in the OUUC building at 12:30 pm. If you would like to get involved in any of these projects, please come to a meeting. Committee chair. A variety of skills and interests are needed, and your long or short-term involvement is welcomed.
The Warm Windows Project: These are based on a popular design used in Maine and the northeast. The windows are custom-built to dimensions supplied by the workshop participant. The window film is clear and UV-resistant. The windows prevent condensation, air infiltration, and heat loss. Workshops are conducted to assist participants in building their own windows for a nominal fee.
What benefits are created through this project?
For the homeowner, renter, or landlord the windows are an economical alternative to commercial storm windows.
- Energy Savings
- Increase Window “R” value
- Reduce Condensation
- Reduce Infiltration
- Low-income Affordability
- Low-cost bulk materials
- Personal and volunteer labor
- Pay-what-you-can options
- Personal Empowerment/Homeowner Stewardship
- Manual tool knowledge and experience
- Pride in making their own windows
- Community Involvement/Neighborhood Bonding
The OUUC congregation has also benefited from this project in the following ways:
- Put the 7th Principle into Practice
- Reduce community energy use
- Address Environmental Justice
- Community Involvement
- Interact with environmental organizations
- Interact with housing/special needs groups
- Meet the community at large
- Develop Congregation Skills
- Project management experience
- Volunteer development
- Community Recognition
Where is this workshop/UU Congregation? Why are UUs doing this sort of thing? When are the next workshops or how can I become involved?
Workshops generally run two Saturdays per month from October through February.
If you need windows, you can check the workshop schedule on the Events Calendar. Then, you can register online here or contact Joe Joy to let us know who is coming. An online measuring form is also available to help you keep track of your window measurements: MeasureWindows.
If you’d like to help build windows and become involved in the project, or learn how to develop your own workshops, contact Joe Joy. We are also developing a workshop manual and will be available to assist groups who wish to have demonstrations of how build the windows.
Good environmental stewardship begins in our own backyards. A bald eagle soars over a high bluff surveying the waters below. A red-tailed hawk with outstretched wings drifts effortlessly over a forest and open field. Hummingbirds zip by your window on their way to the flower garden. The morning dew highlights fragile spider webs at the forest edge. This is Washington State — a great place to live.
A land we all love, yet one we may be smothering with our numbers. Over 35,000 acres of wildlife habitat is converted to housing and other development each year here in Washington. If we continue at this rate, many of our native wildlife species will have few places to live and visit. So the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife instituted the Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Program to help offset some of this habitat loss. While many of us may not realize it, a property owner is also a habitat manager. The things we do, or do not do, in the vicinity of our home have an effect on the quality of habitat for dozens of wildlife species. The Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to help you understand and appreciate the wildlife around your home. You can make your property a better place for songbirds and other wildlife species that have lived in your area long before people began to settle.
In the Fall of 2014, using materials provided by the BWS Program, the Green Sanctuary Committee will work with a Religious Education class to learn more about our forest, the plants and animals, and how we can be better stewards, including pulling weeds and building and placing bird and bat nest boxes.
For more information, please check here.