Our Green Sanctuary Action Plan

green-sanctuary-logo-plus-chaliceIn January 2010, we submitted our Green Sanctuary application to the UUA.  It outlines our history, presents a complete audit of our environmental practices, lists the members of the Task Force, and presents a 12-project Action Plan.  We will be working on the Action Plan for at least two years, once accepted to candidacy, and we will record our progress and document our achievements as we go.  Our goal is to become a Green Sanctuary certified by the UUA.

To view our complete application, click on this link: Green Sanctuary Application   Our Action Plan appears below.  To view web resources for each of the projects, click on LEADERS AND RESOURCES  here.

Action Plan


Worship and Celebration Projects
Project Title: Earth Day Worship Service
Project Description: Offer a celebration of the Earth with music, readings, and sermon on current environmental issue(s).  May include guest musicians, guest speakers, and interfaith readings.
Timeline for Completion: Third Sunday in April each year
Leads: Laura Wallace and Anne Clark
Project Title: Interfaith Vigil for the People and Mountains of Appalachia
Project Description: Coordinate and conduct a vigil in support of the people of Appalachia and against mountaintop removal coal mining.  Invite local faith communities to read statements of conscience, incorporate local musicians, and invite guest speakers.  Read names of mountains that have been destroyed and/or are threatened.
Timeline for Completion: Fall of each year until mountaintops are no longer threatened.
Leads: Katie Corish and Laura Wallace

Religious Education Projects

Project Title: Mini-Green Workshops

Project Description: Offer two workshops annually on a particular environmental theme such as gardening and food, conservation and recycling, living more simply.  Use members of the congregation with special expertise to conduct the workshops that will be “hands on” activities, practical ways in which we can incorporate the 7th Principle into our daily lives. Offer these through Adult Faith Development as feasible.
Timeline for Completion: Two in the spring each year.
Leads: Ruth Douglas and Rich Olin
Project Title: Children’s Religious Education Stewardship Project (1st-5th grades)
Project Description: The Stars Studios month-long unit on Earth Stewardship will include four studios (drama/movement, story, arts, cooking) for each group. Topics will include Rachel Carson, Jacques Cousteau, and Quality Community Council Urban Farm (a local site). Children will also collect reusable bags from our members and friends, clean them up and decorate them; and display the bags in the Social Hall to publicize our “Banish the Bag” eco-justice project (see below). Finally, they will distribute them to those who work and harvest the food in the urban farm run by Quality Community Council.
Timeline for Completion: Earth Stewardship Stars Studio: February.  Collect and decorate, Feb./March 2010; display April 2010; distribute to QCC urban farm May 2010.
Leads: Margaret Gorman and Lorie Craddock
Environmental Justice Projects
Project Title: “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” Advocate to End Mountaintop Removal
Build an interfaith grass roots program to educate diverse faith communities about mountaintop removal (MTR) and its impact on communities. Visit a MTR site   Partner with other UU congregations in Virginia and environmental groups, including Sierra Club and Appalachian Voices, to develop an educational presentation and train speakers. Encourage action in petitions to Congressional representatives, the EPA, and state governments to end/slow this environmental and community degradation.
Timeline for Completion: By June 2010, organize MTR site visit. Visit site during summer 2010. By September 2010, complete presentation planning and training of speakers. December 2010, make presentations to at least two faith communities or outside groups. During 2011, make presentations to at least three more faith communities or outside groups.
Leads: Sharon Baiocco
Project Title:Banish the Bag” — Reduce Use of Plastic Bags in the Charlottesville Area
Project Description: Develop a local education presentation about the environmental impact of plastic bags; work to publicize, through local papers, companies that offer discounts or other incentives for using reusable bags; join statewide advocacy efforts to pass a law to allow localities to pass ordinances requiring the use of compostable plastic, recyclable paper and/or reusable checkout bags at all shops, stores, eating places and retail food vendors. Create and distribute “BOB” (Bring Your Own Bag) reminder stickers for car windows.
Timeline for Completion: Lobbying to re-initiate bill in state legislature, spring 2010. Presentation designed by Fall 2010; Data collected about local companies by Fall 2010; ads created and donated by Spring 2011.  Presenters trained and stickers produced by Spring 2011; at least three presentations completed by December 2011.
Leads: Susan Bremer and Sallie Kate Park
Sustainable Living Projects
Project Title: Weatherization and Energy Upgrades for Our Buildings
Project Description: Two of our buildings are over 100 years old, and our main sanctuary is over 60 years old.  Major upgrades and repairs have been deferred over a long period due to budget shortfalls. This year a line item was created to fund energy efficiency improvements, but it only begins to address the major problems we face. We will incorporate energy conservation into our annual repairs and upgrades; set goals for energy reduction; monitor utility bills and usage, and make regular reports to the Board. We will also investigate grant funding for upgrading our buildings’ energy efficiency and advise the Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee on “green” options as the Board’s plans for new or renovated buildings develop.
Timeline for Completion: Ongoing.  By end of fiscal year 2009-10, reduce energy consumption by 7%, and each year by an additional 7% over 10-year-period.  Report on grant options by Spring 2011.
Leads: John Semmelhack and Dick Somer
Project Title: Sustainability Policy for our Church
Project Description: Our church does not have any policy about energy efficiency, recycling, and sustainable purchasing and investing.  Lighting and heating, in particular, have been an issue, with the Board as yet acting only to limit the timeframe for heating our buildings.  We propose to develop a comprehensive Board Policy for Decision-Making and Sustainability.
Timeline for Completion: Presentation to Board by spring 2010, discussion and completion by fall 2010.
Leads: Sharon Baiocco and all
Project Title: Car-Pooling Plan for TJMC Sunday Services
Project Description: Our church has over 500 members and only limited parking space in an urban neighborhood.  We will identify congregants living in proximity (perhaps by zip code), and survey them about their Sunday service preference (9:15 a.m. or 11:15 a.m.).  Then we’ll invite them to form carpools to church, not only to conserve energy, but to build community and reduce parking congestion in our neighborhood.  The plan is to coordinate with CareNet, the TJMC committee that responds to the needs of the sick, the infirm, and others in need, to accommodate those who cannot drive.
Timeline for Completion: Create and publicize plan by Spring 2011; launch Fall 2011.
Leads: Glenn Short and Johanna Woodchild
Project Title: CFLs and Installation for UUs (“How Many UU’s . . . .)
Project Description: Purchase compact fluorescent light bulbs cheaply and sell them for cost to church members at our monthly table between services in the Social Hall.  Recruit members in each zip code to help members install light bulbs and offer this list to members when they purchase their bulbs. Include information on how to recycle used incandescents and CFLs.
Timeline for Completion: Recruit members to install light bulbs by Spring 2010.  Purchase CFLs and hold a sale each fall.
Leads: Sallie Kate Park and Natalie Somer
Additional Project Title: Green Lending Library and Film Series
Project Description: Create and publicize a library of print and media resources related to the environment.  Schedule and promote an environmental film each year with the Social Action Film Series. Include library resources on monthly “tables” in the Social Hall between services.
Timeline for Completion: Library created summer 2010; film scheduled for fall 2010, and each year thereafter.
Leads: Mickey Meyer and Mary Beth Wiley
Project Title: Green Outings
Project Description: Offer two environmental events jointly, if possible, with other organizations such as the Sierra Club.  These might include a speaker, bike ride, hike, tour, local and organic potluck, or film presentation and discussion.  Examples: Speaker from Appalachian Voices, from Sierra Club, from Sustainable Packaging; film “Silence of the Bees,” etc., or field trips to local organic farms or wildlife refuges, guided hikes in Shenandoah National Park, tour of Zion Crossroads Recycling Center.
Timeline for Completion: Summer and Fall 2010 and thereafter.
Leads: Deborah Judson-Ebbets, Rich Olin, Laura Wallace