Green Sanctuary

green sanctuaryThe Green Sanctuary (GS) Committee has been reorganized into an electronic network of liaisons from almost every committee, group and neighborhood team in the congregation, actively participating in our efforts to help everyone really live our Unitarian Universalist Seventh Principle. Our purpose is to share information among the network members and within the groups that they represent, to encourage everyone in the steps they are taking, and to incubate creative ideas for living more lightly on the earth.

Although topics for discussion on the network might be related to energy efficiency, food choices, ‘waste’ disposal, water use, toxics and pollution, local living economies, or community resilience, our first two major efforts will be directed at:

  1. reducing our waste at all Cedars events, from Sunday hospitality hour to waffle breakfasts to congregational meetings and celebrations, and
  2. encouraging energy efficiency in all aspects of our lives.

As part of our waste reduction effort, you may have seen the newly signed waste containers in Webster Hall and noticed the neighborhood team GS liaisons helping redirect worm food, compostables, and recyclables from the garbage dumpster (and landfill) to their proper destinations. The signs on the containers indicate what items should be put in each.

In addition to the new signs, the Social Action/Green Sanctuary table in Webster Hall has informational posters on Kitsap County waste disposal for recycle and for compost (a.k.a. yard waste). The Cedars office also has a copy of these informational posters, since we are trying to reach zero waste there as well. Another excellent reference for learning about what can be done with all sorts of items that might otherwise be tossed to the landfill is accessible at Sustainable Bainbridge.

Our purpose is to further affirm and promote the Unitarian-Universalist seventh principle: respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. The Green Sanctuary (GS) committee’s goals also reinforce our Cedars affirmation to “take good care of the Earth because it is our Home.”

Under the Guidelines for Accreditation, “…the Green Sanctuary committee will coordinate activities… The role of this committee is not to ‘carry the water’ of the environmental commitment, letting the rest of the congregation off the hook. Instead, the committee will facilitate planning and provide logistical support to the congregation so that the activities can be accomplished more effectively.” The Green Sanctuary Committee activities focus on raising the consciousness of the congregation and the community about sustainability and earth justice issues and opportunities available to individuals and families, both in their homes and as citizens of the local and global community. Likewise, the majority of the Committee’s projects focus on learning and action for individuals and the community.

Some specifics on our collaborations with other CUUC committees, other congregations and non-profits:

Following discussions arising from the successful spring 2009 Environmental Film and Discussion series co-sponsored with Earth&Spirit at Grace Episcopal, Islandwood and Eagle Harbor Congregational Church (EHCC), we coordinated a group of 16 or more volunteers from Cedars to assist with composting and recycling activities at the Suquamish Tribe hosting of 2009 Canoe Voyage on Aug 3-8, 2009.

Several GS members joined Earth Ministry and other NGOs to participate in the Climate Action Day rally in Seattle in July 2009 as well as at the events there in October 2009. We publicized the Earth-Ministry sponsored ‘Beyond Coal’ Town Hall at IslandWood on April 20, 2010, and assisted with an Earth Ministry event at Theo’s (fair-trade, organic) Chocolate factory on April 15, 2010.

GS collaborated with the Social Action Committee (SAC) on providing the August 25, 2009 Super Supper and participated in the October 4, 2009 CROP Walk. Following the Super Supper involvement, we arranged through the InterFaith Council (IFC) and EHCC the continuing use and composting of paper plates for the Suppers and posted signs in the EHCC kitchen instructing all providers how to do so.

GS members are working on sustainability issues (energy, food, water, waste management, economic) through the City Council, Sustainable Bainbridge, the Zero Waste Initiative and Positive Energy (formerly the BI Energy Challenge). With Earth&Spirit at Grace and EHCC, we co-sponsored the Earth Days 2010 events sponsored by the BI Energy Challenge (2 energy films followed by speaker presentations on April 24 and April 30), and co-sponsored the Island Press event with Darrin Nordahl, author of Public Produce, at IslandWood on April 28, 2010.

For more information on Green Sanctuary activities at Cedars, or to learn how you can take a more active part in those activities, please contact Green Sanctuary Committee Chair,  Leslie Marshall.