Green Sanctuary

Green Sanctuary is a Unitarian Universalist program for congregations who strive to align their entire congregational culture with environmental sustainability and justice.

Unitarian Universalist congregations can take action through Commit2Respond by becoming accredited—or re-accredited—as Green Sanctuaries.

Commit2Respond and Green Sanctuary

The Green Sanctuary Program has four focus areas:

1. environmental justice
2. worship and celebration
3. religious education
4. sustainable living

Each of these focus areas can integrate the Commit2Respond pillars of partnering to SHIFT to a low carbon future, ADVANCE the human rights of affected communities, and GROW the climate justice movement. 

Here are just a few examples of how a faith community can align its Green Sanctuary work with Commit2Respond: 

Green Sanctuary focus area


Commit2Respond pillar




Environmental justice

1 project needed for accreditation

Advance human rights
  1. Build or deepen a partnership with an organization active in a local affected community.
  2. Champion policy change together across boundaries of age, race, class, gender and religion.
  3. Serve and learn shoulder-to-shoulder with affected communities through a UU College of Social Justice faith-based learning experience.

Worship and celebration

3 projects needed for accreditation

 Grow the climate justice movement
  1. Create worship services that specifically focus on climate justice.
  2. Include a climate/environmental component within every worship service.
  3. In worship deepen hope, love, and nonviolence that amplifies the voices of affected communities.

Religious education

3 projects needed for accreditation

 Grow the climate justice movement
  1. Use small group ministry to learn and connect emotionally and spiritually with climate change.
  2. Create a task force to identify and partner with an affected community. 
  3. Use the UU Ministry for Earth curriculum “Our Place in the Web of Life” to broaden and deepen congregational understanding of environmental justice. 
  4. Use the DOVE curriculum (Demonstrating Our Values through Eating) to learn about the diet-climate connection.

Sustainable living

4 projects needed for accreditation

Shift to a low carbon future
  1. Reduce carbon pollution from all church-related activities: buildings, events, transportation to church activities, etc.
  2. Take the Carbon Pledge to reduce your carbon pollution 20% in two years.
  3. Support one another in the transition to climate-friendly eating and help ensure healthy, affordable eating options are accessible to everyone in your community.

Would your congregation like to apply your commitments as part of Commit2Respond to becoming accredited or re-accredited as a Green Sanctuary? Email . Help is available to explore what projects and commitments will best fit your congregation as well as expediting reporting on your actions and their impacts. Check out the Green Sanctuary web pages from the Unitarian Universalist Association for more information about the program.

Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • commented 2015-03-29 21:53:41 -0400
    If we are interested in sustainable and ethical living, we must address our practice of raising animals to be slaughtered for food: animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions that all transportation combined and is the number one cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, habitat and rainforest destruction. Please inform yourselves, consider the facts, and make the connection — for the sake of our children, the environment, the animals, and ourselves. Here’s a start: