Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills

Open minds, loving hearts, helping hands

Green Sanctuary

The UUCSH is proud to have attained Green Sanctuary status from the Unitarian Universalist Association. The Green Sanctuary Program, originally nurtured and managed by the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth, was designed to give roots and wings to the vision that, together, we can create a world in which all people make reverence, gratitude, and care for the living Earth that is central to our lives.

It is a way for all Unitarian Universalists to join our efforts, both symbolically and explicitly, in becoming stewards of the Earth. A Green Sanctuary is a congregation that has received official recognition for completing the Green Sanctuary Program; lives out its commitment to the Earth by creating sustainable lifestyles for its members as individuals and as a faith community; is committed towards creating a religious community that has a fundamental, bottom-line, commitment to living in harmony with the Earth.

Here are just a few of the initiatives we have undertaken as part of our Green Sanctuary ministry:

Members and friends save their plastic bottle caps and plastic bags and bring them to our church, where they are collected for recycling.  We offer tasty, filtered water in our faucets and water dispenser to limit the use of plastic bottles.

Water Management
In 2012, the children of the UUCSH painted, dedicated and installed a rain barrel to assist in water management for the Peter’s Brook Watershed. Our property is bordered by Peter’s Brook, which is known for flooding in periods of extreme rain. By participating in a county-wide rain barrel program, we are helping to limit flash flooding, which erodes stream beds and topsoil. In 2013, we will install a second rain barrel.

Viridian Green Energy
Every time you turn on a light, you can support clean energy and this congregation…without spending a penny more!
Viridian offers customers a choice of electricity from 100% renewable sources or 20% renewable, with fixed or variable rates. Since 2010, UUCSH has been an independent Viridian Associate, earning $2 each month for every Viridian customer who signs up through our account. Members, friends, visitors, and people we’ve never met can enjoy the cost-savings and peace of mind knowing you’re helping the earth by making environmentally conscious energy choices. For details and/or to sign up click here or email us.

The Green Sanctuary Committee regularly provides information and tips for practical solutions for the home, our church, and the larger community. We are also alerted to environmental action opportunities, such as seminars, events, and legislative activity. We are proud participants in Somerville NJ’s annual Earth Day Clean-Up.