The goal of the Unitarian Universalist Association Green Sanctuary Program is to help bring congregational culture into greater alignment with long-term, environmentally-aware faith and practices. The program is based on a framework of four focus areas:
- Environmental Justice
- Worship and Celebration
- Religious Education
- Sustainable Living
Green Sanctuary Goals
- Build awareness of the significance and complexity of environmental issues
- Encourage personal lifestyle changes consistent with our UU Seventh Principle
- Engage in community action on environmental issues
- Strengthen the connection between spiritual practice and Earth consciousness
- Work to heal environmental injustices
Other Green Initiatives
In September 2015, we moved into our facility on Lewes Georgetown Highway in Lewes. We converted an existing home into office and meeting space, classrooms, and a Gathering Area. We also added a 3,000 square foot sanctuary where we hold our Sunday services as well as other events. Throughout the construction planning, our goal was to make the building as energy efficient as possible.
New Building Energy Features
- Near net zero energy consumption
- High R-value insulation
- 105 solar panels on the roof
- High SEER heat pumps and programmable thermostats
- Energy efficient and tankless water heaters
- Two-flush, water-saving toilets and waterless urinals
- LED lighting and optimization of natural light
- Low-E double-paned windows
- Daylight sensors on exterior lights
- Energy remediation steps in existing house
Cool Congregation Award
In 2018, UUSD was awarded the national Cool Congregation designation by the Interfaith Power and Light organization in “recognition of exemplary efforts to make significant greenhouse gas reductions.”
Certified Wildlife Habitat
UUSD has also been designated as a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. This certification recognizes UUSD’s commitment to our 7th UU Principle, “respect for the interdependent web of all existence.” Read more about this award and UUSD’s commitment to these principles.
Designing Sustainable Gardens
The UUSD Landscape Committee has adopted a policy of managing our property based on our 7th Principle, “…respect for the interdeependent web of all existence.” We incorporate native plants, use a rain barrel to supply some of our irrigation needs, use ground covers to keep weeds at a minimum, and avoid harmful peticides and herbicides.
Joining Delaware Interfaith Power and Light
In January 2012, UUSD became the first Delaware congregation to join the newly formed DE Interfaith Power and Light (DeIPL). The mission of DeIPL is to mobilize a religious response to climate change by promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation to ensure a livable planet for ourselves and future generations. John Sykes, a member of our congregation, is the President of DeIPL. One of their offerings is a home energy audit workshop, developed by our Green Sanctuary Program for our congregation. Visit the DeIPL website for additional information about the program.