Green Committee and Green Sanctuary
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Saco and Biddeford has long been committed to energy conservation and environmental stewardship. We are a certified Green Sanctuary, accredited by the UU Ministry for Earth in Dec. 2005. Our 7th Principle, “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part,” motivates us to strive for harmony with the earth in all aspects of our church life.
This year we are working on projects to renew our Green Sanctuary accreditation. We have already met these goals:
- Designed, built and installed inside-mounted storm windows in the four large windows in our 1827 sanctuary;
- Partnered with United Way of York County and built inside-mounted storm windows for eight low income York County families who qualified for State of Maine heating assistance.
Upcoming projects include religious education expanded to embrace touring and volunteering at the Saco River Salmon Hatchery, a winter learning series on green topics, and a Sunday service in mid-March.
While working toward re-accreditation we have continued to make our inside-mounted poly-film storm window inserts for church members.
Altogether -- for the church, for the United Way families, and for church members -- we’ve made 178 windows over the past three years.
Some of our past activities have included:
In 2008, Maine Interfaith Power and Light (MeIPL) awarded us a $500 “Carbon Challenge” grant for energy conservation and carbon saving improvements. This mini-grant paid for materials to construct an enclosure with double doors at the base of a staircase, blocking heat from escaping upstairs into the little-used second floor rooms.
More activities include:
- Increasing the energy efficiency of our church by adding insulation in the attic and to all hot water pipes;
- Eliminating ‘throw-aways’ at coffee hour and replacing them with china mugs and cloth napkins;
- Hosting adult Religious Exploration programs that focus on Global Warming, Resource Sustainability, and Simple Living;
- Encouraging the purchase of local food and the support of CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture);
- Joining Saco’s recycling program and supporting the principles of “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle;”
- Crafting a Sustainability Policy that was adopted by our congregation in June 2005;
- Hosting an Energy Fair, promoting household energy audits, and encouraging use of public transportation,
- Celebrating our first service every June as “Drive-Less Sunday,”
- Conducting at least one worship service annually to honor our connection to the natural world.
How To Make Indoor Storm Windows:
Building Interior Window Insulation Panels
How You Can Reduce CO2
Reduce CO2 Emissions Worksheet
This worksheet will help you to calculate your energy savings.
Together we can reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
For more information about
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth
of Concerned Scientists
EPA's global warming site with activities for kids
Center for New American Dream
Defense, one of the oldest and well respected environmental advocacy