A Green Sanctuary
8Being a Green Sanctuary is one of the ways we work toward a vision of a healthier, more sustainable future.
As a recognized Green Sanctuary, we live with a deep awareness of our climate crisis and the deep environmental injustices of our time. We commit to four practices, grounded in Unitarian Universalist principles, especially the 7th principle of respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part:
- Environmental Justice: We partner with marginalized communities who are hit first and hardest by environmental crisis. In partnering with these communities we are able to address human and environmental needs at the same time.
- Worship and Celebration: As we work together towards a cleaner, more just and sustainable world, worship inspires our work and reminds us of what is most sacred and most true.
- Religious Education: Our workshops and programs for all ages shape attitudes and build practices that are sustainable and spiritually-grounded.
- Sustainable Living: We treat the world more gently by using fewer resources and being mindful of the choices we make, both as a congregation and as households.
Accreditation as a Green Sanctuary
The Green Sanctuary Program is an accreditation process sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth. Starr King UU Church achieved the status of Green Sanctuary in the fall of 2010 thanks to the long work of many of our members. Our Green Sanctuary Committee continues to keep this principle alive in our congregation.
The process of achieving accreditation began with conducting an environmental audit. The audit included our facility, current management practices such as recycling or grounds maintenance, and programs such as religious education and worship. We next examined our own environmental awareness and practices in four areas:
- Worship and Spiritual Practice
- Religious Exploration
- Environmental Justice
- Sustainable Living
We made numerous changes, and continue to search for additional ways to become more sustainable and less destructive, working with other volunteer groups, including the Grounds Ministry, maximizing our use of native, drought-resistant plants, and our Interior Ministry, focusing on kitchen and cleaning practices. The Religious Exploration Council encourages environmentally relevant content, such as working in our vegetable garden. In addition to insuring environmental topics in worship services, the Worship Committee even makes sure to purchase sustainable candles!
We invite all who share these values to join us on this journey of connection, sustainability, and hope. See Green Action to get involved – and join our broad and growing movement for climate justice with Commit2Respond.