Environmental Justice Team Message

Message from Your Environmental Justice Ministry Team

The Environmental Justice Ministry Team formed in 2018 under the Justice Council to refocus and energize our individual and congregational commitment to sustainable living and commitments we made as part of our Green Sanctuary designation.

We hope you will join us as we work to:

  • Review UUFR’s Green Sanctuary certification and other environmental commitments,
  • Research and implement improvements to the Fellowship’s practices, e.g., adding composting, installing LED lighting, etc.
  • Educate the UUFR community about household practices to reduce our environmental footprint and
  • Draw attention to current environmental justice issues.

We have completed several tasks to identify “where we are at.” Examples include: examined best practices described in current literature, the Green Sanctuary certification program at UUFR and initiatives in other congregations; evaluated our building energy use, including a lighting audit through Duke Energy’s Small Business Energy Saver program; interviewed members about how they provided the LED lights we do have; communicated with the Facilities Team; surveyed UUFR event organizers about the use of disposable products (given that we don’t have a dishwasher) and inventoried our reusable kitchen items; reviewed our Facilities Use Policy and sent recommended changes to staff suggesting that UUFR prohibit the use of unwanted products like plastic confetti; and researched composting options – including assessing problems encountered in the past when individual members attempted to compost our food waste.

We are excited to have identified local composting pick- up services, including one that looks quite promising for UUFR needs. Using such a service would allow us to turn our food waste into compost for local community gardens rather than creating methane in the landfill! We have prepared a report on this project and look forward to sharing information with you about it. We look forward to your input!

In moving forward, we are working with staff to provide regular communications about these projects through enhanced on-line tools. In the meantime, resources to check out include: Drawdown.org, 350.org, the Sierra Club, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for the earth, and zerowastechurch.org (a program of Church of the Nativity on Ray Road)

We meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 pm in the Clara Barton room. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please contact Michelle Hunter ([email protected]).