Climate Change, along with ecological disruption, threatens the fundamental right to clean air, land, water, and food. Environmental Injustice is a human and civil rights issue, disproportionately impacting communities of color and low-income communities in the United States and around the world. It is a multiplier of many social injustices. The impacts of human-generated climate change are accelerating, bringing even more urgency to the issues for vulnerable populations and the entire global community.
In support of this commitment, UUSD will work for the passage of and adherence to policies that seek reduction in harmful emissions, especially greenhouse gases, and that reduce or prevent environmentally harmful activities; promote clean energy and energy efficiency; work for access to clean water; and strengthen community resilience. UUSD will encourage our members to promote environmental awareness and live environmentally sustainable lives.
As Unitarian Universalists, we are committed to our Seventh Principle: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” Because we feel a strong sense of stewardship for our planet, we try to be as environmentally responsible as possible.
How Is UUSD Green?
Cool Congregation Certification
The Cool Congregation Certification is awarded in recognition of exemplary efforts to make significant greenhouse gas reductions. Because of the installation of solar panels, UUSD has net zero energy consumption. Interfaith Power and Light (IPL), a national faith-based non-profit organization promoting energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy Continued
Our Green Building
Our building was designed with many energy efficient features, making us one of the “greenest” houses of worship in Delaware. In response to the COVID pandemic, UUSD substantially enhanced the facility HVAC system to assure the congregation of the safest possible environment. The installation is the result of research by the property management committee and the Board of Trustees COVID team. The units are particularly effective on coronavirus (including SARS-CoV-2) and also substantially eliminate varieties of bacteria, mold and other airborne contaminants. Continued
Certified Wildlife Habitat
UUSD has been designated a Certified Wildlife Habitat® by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), which is administered locally by the Delaware Nature Society. Continued
Our Green Sanctuary
In 2011, UUSD was accredited as a Green Sanctuary. This UU designation is given to a congregation that has examined its current environmental impact, and then moved toward developing sustainable practices grounded in Unitarian Universalism. Continued
We are now reviewing the proposed Delaware Climate Change Plan to add measurable goals for a clean grid by 2035 and net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Our Windows of Hope Program
Together the UUSD EarthCare Team & the Men’s Covenant Group began a new energy savings program, the Windows of Hope. Household utilities are often one of the largest expenses for residents with low income, sometimes taking as much as 15-20% of their precious earnings, which is often double that of their more affluent neighbors. Continued
Delaware Interfaith Power and Light (DEIPL)
UUSD was the first Delaware congregation to join DEIPL, a member of a national organization whose mission is “to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.”
Annual Beach Clean-Up
Each spring, members walk a section of the Cape Henlopen State Park beach in Lewes, picking up debris that has washed in over the winter. Then they gather at the Park Pavilion for a potluck picnic.
Adopt a Highway Project
UUSD has committed to cleaning a section of Sweet Briar Road off Route 9 near our building. Our UUSD Men’s Covenant Group coordinates this project. Continued