Green Sanctuary of UU Visalia

... tracking our progress towards accreditation as a Green Sanctuary.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Report of August 13, 2006 Green Sanctuary Committee Meeting

Our Green Sanctuary Committee met August 13, 2006 to plan the next steps on our Action Plan. We already have 1 of our 12 "Action Items" completed (our spring presentation on Renewable Energy Certificates)!

We will coordinate with the Worship Committee to prepare a minimum of six additional "green" topics during the upcoming "church year." Harold plans sermons on the UUA Statement of Conscience on "UU Action for Global Warming" and on "Compact Flourescents for Social and Environmental Justice." April plans a program on water justice, and Katherine offered to do a service on "Asphalt Nation." With our October showing of "An Inconvenient Truth" and an Earth Day Program, we should readily meet this set of action items.

The Committee will work on adding to our Fellowship library at least 20 books on topics of sustainability and environmental awareness and justice. Donations are encouraged.

The proposed environmental investing program may have to wait until we officially obtain 501(c)(3) status, since the eco-bank requires this.

Don will check the minutes from last spring's board meetings, and the board will review with the Treasurer concerning making monthly donations to Carbon Fund so our congregation can be "carbon neutral."

David reported on his contacts with the London community council, and will continue to develop a proposal for enabling greater use of compact flourescents to assist that low income community. He will try to get more information from PG & E, and will investigate wholesale prices for Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs.

Katherine will continue to research replacing the Meeting House refrigerator with a new energy efficient Energy Star model, and plan a fundraising effort to purchase it.

April and Katherine are leading the effort to change to green cleaning products and recycled paper products. Katherine handed out a compact summary of non-toxic cleaning methods, excerpted from the Teri Van Huss presentation last spring on Ideas for a Non-Toxic Home.

We discussed at length whether to have a book reading group (such as David Korten's The Great Turning) or plan on using a Northwest Earth Institute (NEI) study course on Sustainable Living or Deep Ecology. We decided to both! We will explore hosting a NEI course to begin next January, hopefully to invite other churches and groups to participate. For this fall, April will circulate a questionnaire to the membership asking for a decision on which of two small group study groups to have first: A reading group on The Great Turning, or a series on Articulating our UU Faith. Hopefully we will do both, but this will decide which to do first.

We wrapped up our agenda by referencing some current action on Global Warming:
* New Science Reference for UU's on Global Warming
* California Solutions for Global Warming - AB 32
* Clean California from Union of Concerned Scientists - more on AB 32

Finally, we noted that the congregation has just adopted a set of top priorities at our weekend retreat, all of which we will assist in implementing with the "green sanctuary" dimension in mind.

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