Environment – Green Sanctuary
The Green Sanctuary Committee helps to integrate environmental awareness and action into church life.
The team organizes special projects and adult enrichment programs and works in connection with other church groups. The team is supported by UU Ministry for Earth and the UUA’s Green Sanctuary Program which provide direction for congregational study, reflection, and action for today’s environmental challenges—including climate change and environmental justice.
Examples of recent activities include
- Collaborating on a worship service on April 24, for Earth Day, entitled “Gardening Makes a House a Home”
- Coordinating efforts to solarize the church building, beginning with a comprehensive energy audit.
- Purchasing additional LED lights to finish conversion of the sanctuary to energy-saving LEDs
- Advocating for increased funding for the Green Climate Fund, which helps poorer countries combat climate change.
- Developing a food garden project for the church that would provide vegetables for area food banks.
- Connecting with local environmental organizations including Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, 350.org, and Wild Virginia.
- Hosting Art With a (Re)Purpose, which was AUUC’s first online environmental art show. All artworks showcased were made fully or partially with repurposed or recycled materials.
The committee meets virtually on a regular basis and meets face-to-face occasionally. All are welcome to join the group and bring ideas to the committee as we work together to make a difference.
Contact email@example.com for more information.
See below for suggestions of individual actions and resources.
Environmental Action and Resource List
- 10 Ways to Eat More Sustainably – World Wildlife Fund
- Top 10 Things You Can Do for Climate Change – David Suziki Foundation
- Fairfax Farmers Markets – Some markets open in April or May and close in Nov or Dec. The Park Authority operates 10 markets across Fairfax County.
- Fairfax County organic composting: Go to Composting Organic Waste | Public Works and Environmental Services. Food waste makes up as much as one-third of the trash dispose of every day. Sites are at the I-95 Landfill Complex and the I-66 Transfer Station, both open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. Home composting is another option.
- Home composting: for information from the EPA, go to Composting At Home | Reduce, Reuse, Recycle | US EPA.
- Commercial pick up or drop off: Check out Veteran Composting at Veteran Compost – Organic Soil – Maryland DC and Virginia – Our Services.
Environmentally Friendly Yard Management
Purchase from local native plant nurseries:
- Nature by Design, Alexandria. Same day browsing appointment are always available, or shop by curbside pickup; http://www.nature-by-design.com/.
- Watermark Woods, Hamilton, VA (Loudoun County). Curbside pickup available. They also sell seeds here; www.watermarkwoods.com.
- Virginia Native Plant Society, Green Springs Garden Park, behind the horticulture center, Springfield. First Wednesday of each month, 10 am to 1 pm, April through October. Cash or check payment only.
- Earth Sangha, Springfield. A nonprofit that propagates wild plants for ecological restoration. Curbside pickup, 1-on-1 appointments or “Self-Service Saturdays.”
- Native Plants | Prairie Nursery, by mail from Wisconsin’s Prairie Nursery.
Other actions you can take include:
- Plant a native tree on your property or find groups that plant trees in your community. (See Native Plants for Northern Virginia, an information-rich booklet from Plant Nova Natives.)
- Help the bees & butterflies: plant a pollinator.
- Plant a small herb garden.
- Plant edible greens as a border.
- Watch YouTube videos of Doug Tallamy (author of >Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard; available at the Fairfax County Library)
- Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (FACS) – partner with interfaith communities to make Northern Virginia carbon free. Local and state advocacy opportunities.
- 350 Fairfax – monthly speakers and volunteer activities.
- Earth Sanga – ecological restoration; Springfield plant nursery; volunteer opportunities.
- Virginia Interfaith Power & Light – collaborates among people of faith and conscience to grow healthy communities by advancing climate and environmental justice.