Sustainability Heroes

Steve Ernst marches for sustainabilityEach year Edmonds Mayor, Dave Earling, asks his Climate Protection Committee to select one or more organizations that deserve recognition as Sustainability Heroes. In 2016 they chose to honor Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

Cynthia Pruitt and Hank Landau from the Mayor’s team spoke with Gayle Leberg and Stephen Ernst of our congregation about our efforts in promoting sustainability.

  • Coal and oil trains - our members marched in Anacortes to support the Swinomish tribe in its quest to block a rail spur on their land. It was part of a worldwide day of action called Break Free
  • Global Warming - our congregation voted overwhelmingly to take a stand against global warming
  • Teaching - our social justice committees provided information to help people reduce their own carbon footprints
  • Uniting with other faiths - together with other faith groups we helped form and sustain the Interfaith Action Committee

Learn more:

Successes in lowering our effect on global warming

Many of our resources -- money and volunteer hours -- have been spent in doing what we can to reduce our contributions to global warming.

  • converting lights from incandescent to fluorescent to LED
  • replacing the furnace with a much more efficient one
  • replacing single paned aluminum windows with double paned vinyl ones
  • connecting members with an organization that performs sustainability audits on homes
  • educating members on steps they can take at home

Protecting the earth's resources

wildlife certificateOur congregation passionately guards the earth's resources through diverse efforts and monetary contributions. Here are some of the ways we have made a difference.

  • We recycle and compost waste to reduce the trash heading for a dump.
  • The property is a certified Wildlife Habitat, protecting the soil, plants, and small animals.
  • Our annual Rummage Sale is a popular Reduce-Recycle-Reuse opportunity for our members and people in our neighborhood.
  • Our children learn to appreciate and protect the earth.
  • Most of our news is sent to subscribers electronically, so we print only a small number of copies.
  • We have given money to organizations that protect Puget Sound waters.

Years spent in reducing our carbon footprint

For many years our congregation has worked to reduce the carbon footprint in our building and in our homes. Early efforts at reducing carbon footprint were spearheaded by the Sustainability Committee. For two years the Sustainability Committee and the Peace and Justice Committee educated people about how to reduce their own energy consumption.

The Sustainability Committee has improved our collective efficiency by making changes in our building, such as replacing all the incandescent bulbs with fluorescent ones. The Social Justice committees bought shares in the Edmonds Community Solar Co-op, and many members did too.

When the Sustainability Committee folded, other Social Justice committees continued their work in reducing our contribution to global warming.