Our congregation is increasingly concerned about stopping and reversing the environmental damage we are causing our planet. We strive to educate ourselves, our congregation, and our community about living more sustainably. This messaging is reflected in Sunday services, Religious Education programs, Conversations at the Meetinghouse, and meetings about dealing with environmental stress and anxiety. We make our facilities available to local environmental groups. We sometimes raise funds to support environmental justice groups through our Brown Envelope collections.
The Social Justice Committee educates our congregation about climate and environmental justice issues and encourages individual action related to local, state, and federal legislation. We form a supportive, active community for crucial sustainability issues. For example, we mobilized action in the effort to protect Sharon’s Rattlesnake Hill land from development and to stop further expansion of gas pipelines in the area.
We work to reduce our congregational carbon footprint. We evaluate and improve church practices during congregational get-togethers of all shapes and sizes, including our tableware (plates, cups, utensils, napkins), refreshment sources (water pitchers in place of plastic water bottles), and our recycling and composting habits. Over time, the congregation has shared “green tips” and carbon reduction solutions from Paul Hawken’s blockbuster book, Drawdown.
We have also explored concepts such as sustainable personal investing, local farm gleaning, and environmentally responsible diets. Environmental concerns are included in building project plans, such as consideration of adding an EV charging station. Environmental and carbon reduction considerations are integral to any building project.
We will continue to expand our web of sustainability knowledge, connections, and practices, drawing upon our congregation’s strength and expertise, other UU organizations such as UU Mass Action, and our local community to save the only planet we’ll ever have.
Sustainable Sharon Coalition is a local organization of volunteers who inspire, educate, connect, and catalyze our community to protect the planet.
Neponset River Watershed Association is a grassroots, member-supported conservation group working since 1967 to clean up and protect the Neponset River, its tributaries and surrounding watershed lands.
Sharon Friends of Conservation supports and works with the Sharon Conservation Commission “to promote, encourage and foster the preservation, care and maintenance of all public lands, waters and wildlife in the Town of Sharon, Massachusetts in order to further recreation and enjoyment of the town’s residents.”
Educational resourcesProject Drawdown
Buy locally-grown produce at a Farmers Market.
Ward’s Berry Farm is Sharon’s own local farm, 175 acres of fruit, vegetables, farm store, garden center, takeout food, hayrides and so much more.
Langwater Farm is an 80-acre certified organic farm and farm store in North Easton.
Cookie + Kate is a great resource for delicious vegetarian recipes.
Red Lentil is a local vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Post Office Square in Sharon.
Misfits Market Organic produce delivered directly to your door for up to 40% less than grocery store prices. Always fresh, sometimes normal.
Save The Food is a website with abundant tips on how to reduce food waste.
EATING TO SAVE THE PLANET
INTRODUCTION: This excerpt from the book Drawdown, explains why it’s necessary to change our eating habits if we are committed to addressing global warming and saving our planet.
Plant-rich diets reduce emissions and also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. According to a 2016 study, business-as-usual emissions could be reduced by as much as 70 percent through adopting a vegan diet and 63 percent for a vegetarian diet, which includes cheese, milk, and eggs. $1 trillion in annual health-care costs and lost productivity would be saved.
As Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has said, making the transition to a plant-based diet may be the most effective way an individual can stop climate change.
For more information, check out the Project Drawdown website: https://drawdown.org/solutions/plant-rich-diets
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY RECIPES
Cinnamon Buns to make ahead of time
Reubens start ahead of time but oh so worth it. I use caramelized red cabbage and onions instead of sauerkraut
Guacamole Salad (not exactly in season but quick and easy)
Magic Squares to satisfy a sweet tooth
Blueberry Scones with our without the glaze
Easy Vegan Lunches you can make in 15 minutes or less
Moroccan Stew easy, yummy and satisfying
Sustainable yards and gardensSquare Foot Gardening