UUCR is a Green Sanctuary Church. We have a Green Sanctuary Committee that seeks to put our 7th principle (Respect for the interdependent web of existence) into practice by inspiring members and friends to do the same, and by setting an example as a sustainable sanctuary for the Reading community.

We, the Green Sanctuary Committee (GSC),

(1) aspire to reduce the environmental footprint of our church,

(2) aspire to get our church community to have a consciousness that always considers our environmental footprint, and makes environmentally sustainable decisions, and

(3) that we do all of this while educating the church community.

Members:

Jen Hayes (Chair) Ellen (Devika) Hill
Norma Hindz Linda King
James Maughn Ann Mottl

 

Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month.

7:30 – 9:00 pm
Loring House 205 (upstairs)

 

Current and Recent Activities

  • Solar panels for the church
  • Fall and spring metal recycling program
  • Water program to reduce water bottle usage at church events
  • Partnering with various committees to host the 1st Annual UUCR Harvest Potluck

How Can I Help?

Transportation

Almost 1/3 of the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced in the US comes from our cars, trucks, and airplanes. Here are some simple, practical things you can do to reduce the amount of CO2 you produce while on the move:

  • Walk, bike, or take public transportation
  • Start a carpool with your coworkers or classmates
  • Keep your car tuned
  • Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated
  • Try car sharing
  • Try telecommuting from home
  • Fly less
“Paper or Plastic?”

It’s a question we’re asked every time we visit the grocery store.  So, what’s the right answer for an environmentally conscious friend or member of the soon-to-be-Green UUCR?  “Neither, I’ve brought my own re-usable bags.”

So what’s wrong with plastic?

  • Society’s consumption rate is now estimated at well over 500 billion plastic bags annually, or almost 1 million per minute.1
  • Made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bags will persist on our planet for up to 1,000 years. 1
  • Less than 1% of plastic bags actually end of being recycled. 2
  • The economics of recycling plastic don’t work.  It costs $4,000 to process and recycle 1 ton of plastic bags, which can then be sold for only $32 on the commodities market. 1

So what’s wrong with paper?

  • It takes more than four times as much energy to manufacture a paper bag as it does to manufacture a plastic bag. 1,2
  • In 1999, 14 million trees were cut to produce the 10 billion paper grocery bags used by Americans that year alone. Paper bag production delivers a global warming double-whammy forests (major absorbers of greenhouse gases) have to be cut down, and then the subsequent manufacturing of bags produces greenhouse gases. 1
  • Paper sacks generate 70% more air and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags. 1,2

So what’s the solution? Re-usable!

Bring in your own re-usable canvas bags when you shop.  They are much stronger and more spacious than either paper or plastic bags and they are much gentler on Mother Earth. Wash them with your regular wash cycle and line dry!

Buy one today and use it every time you shop!

Resources:
(1) Reusable Bags
(2) US EPA. Alternatives Paper versus Plastic

Food choice / food waste
  • Buy locally grown and produced foods
  • Buy fresh foods instead of frozen
  • Seek out and support local farmers markets
  • Buy organic foods as much as possible
  • Avoid heavily packaged products
  • Eat less meat
  • Be sure you’re recycling and composting at home
  • Buy products made from recycled materials

In your home and community

Most emissions from home are from the fossil fuels burned to generate electricity and heat. By using energy more efficiently at home, you can reduce your emissions and lower your energy bills by 30%.

  • Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs
  • Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer
  • Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner
  • Use less hot water
  • Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • Choose energy efficient appliances
  • Turn off and unplug electronic devices when not in use
  • Insulate and weatherize your home
  • Get a home energy audit and follow up on recommendations
  • Switch to green power
  • Plant trees and support the planting and protection of trees in your town

Political actions

  • Join the Virtual March – an effort to bring all Americans concerned about global warming together in one place
  • Encourage the switch to renewable energy
  • Protect and conserve forests worldwide
  • Contact local, state, and national politicians to advocate for green choices