Ministry for Earth

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 05/28/17
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Location
Emerson UU Church

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As Unitarian Universalists, our seventh Principle commits to affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Our mission is to educate ourselves and others about environmental issues; advocate public policies to protect the global environment; act locally in our homes, church and city; and connect spiritually with the web-of-all-existence. We work towards that mission by organizing educational, community-building action and service projects.

If you want to learn and do, not just sit and discuss, this is the group for you! We also host Solstice and Equinox celebrations to help remind us of our connections to the natural world. Watch the E-blast and Order of Service for information about the next event.

CURRENT FOCUS ISSUES

Renewable Congregations Campaign
Emerson challenges other congregations to shift to 100% renewable energy. This program is one response to climate change. Recent book discussions included This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein and Change the Story, Change the Future by David Korten.  Recent videos included Chasing Ice and Bidder 70. We actively engaged in the UUA’s Commit2Respond program.

Ethical Eating and Environmental Justice
Many programs over the last few years feature sustainable suppers, movies, and events. Our potluck suppers feature vegetarian and vegan menus, such as the “veggie burger cook-off.”  Other campaigns have highlighted the concerns of industrial agriculture, consumption, and unfair labor practices in the production of chocolate.

Consumption and Sustainability – We encourage members to reduce and reuse. Movies have included “No Impact Man” and the classic “Story of Stuff.”  We encourage members to use china, glassware, and cutlery instead of disposables for all events that provide food and drink.

SUPPORTING LOCAL CONSERVATION AND ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS
Pet Adoption and Support for Corridor Rescue Coalition. At this event, co-sponsored by our highschool youth, we collected food and supplies for foster homes where the rescued dogs are being rehabilitated and nursed back to health.
Marsh Mania (planting sea grass) with the Galveston Bay Foundation
Planting trees with Trees for Houston
Cleaning up the beaches and bayous (Adopt-a-Beach and Trash Bash)
Working in community gardens (Last Organic Outpost and Plant-It-Forward)
Volunteering at Earth Day Houston, sponsored by Air Alliance
Volunteering at the Texas Bioneers Conference (Emerson has hosted the conference twice.)

Recycling Programs
INSIDE: We collect 4 separate materials in marked bins. If you can’t decide where to put something, just put it in the trash. Don’t mix recyclables.  We collect:paper (IMPORTANT: Paper contaminated with food waste is TRASH (coffee cups, pizza boxes, paper napkins)metal cansplastic bottles (but NO STYROFOAM or #6 plastic)flattened cardboard (deconstruct your box)printer cartridges (collection box near the kitchen in Westwood Hall)
OUTSIDE, for the community:Weekly Drop-off recycling service at the trailer in the south driveway from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM each Friday.  Drive by and drop off your sorted recyclables in the Recycle4U trailer. We plan to collect electronic waste in November.Clothing Recycling, ongoing – Bring any type of clothing. A triage process puts each piece into the highest use possible, whether resale, or reuse. Emerson receives $30 per month.
RELATED ORGANIZATIONS
UU Ministry for Earth http://uuministryforearth.org/

Green Sanctuary Certification (2003)
As the Green Sanctuary Committee (former name), we qualified Emerson as a Green Sanctuary through the UUA process.  Certification recognizes our work to expand eco-awareness to religious education, service, worship and sustainability of our church’s physical facilities.

LEED Certification of Delaney Hall (2004)
When Emerson began planning for Delaney Hall, the Green Sanctuary committee urged the architects to consider green building design and gave them a “Lean and Green Challenge” – to go as “green” as possible without adding cost to the building budget!  The architects did such a good job of this that they submitted the building for LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). We received certification in 2004. Delaney Hall is the first church building in the U.S. to be certified, and the third building (of any kind) in Houston to achieve this certification.  The building features sustainable design and construction methods, energy conservation, use of recycled materials, and pollution prevention techniques (air, water, light). The grounds were landscaped with native or highly adapted plants and we use integrated pest management.Beginning Earth Day, Friday, April 17, 2015 Emerson UU Church has agreed to allow Recycle4U to operate a FREE weekly drop-off recycling service for congregants, parents of Tanglewood Academy students and the surrounding community. The Recycle4U recycling trailer will be parked on the south parking lot/driveway of Emerson UU Church from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM each Friday for drop-off recycling services. Recycle4U will also provide FREE electronic recycling twice a year, April 17 and November 13. Click here for a list of the weekly recyclables AND the biannual electronic recyclable items.