Green Committee


Almost four years ago, UCN’s Green Committee applied to the UUA for Green Sanctuary candidacy that began a journey of research, action, and change.  As part of the Green Sanctuary Program, we set out to complete a number of projects in various areas of church life, i.e., worship and celebration, religious education, environmental justice, and sustainable living (projects listed below).  Through the work we’ve accomplished during this past four years, we hope to have made some positive changes both at church and in our members’ homes. 

Now it’s time for the Green Committee to formally apply to the UUA for Green Sanctuary Accreditation, the formal acknowledgement that UCN is a Green Sanctuary Church.  As part of applying for candidacy, the Green Committee did a survey of its members about four years ago pertaining to living lightly on the earth, supporting eco-justice, and sustainable living.  Now we must redo the survey as part of applying for Green Sanctuary Accreditation.  It’s very important, whether you took the first survey or not, to take 10-15 minutes, to complete the online survey.  Please use the link below, or the one in the special email sent to you, to find and complete the online survey.

Survey Link:

Thanks in advance for your help with this!
The Green Committee



Completed Green Sanctuary Projects


Worship & Celebration


  • “What it Means to be Green” Service with the Green Committee (April 2010)

  • “The Spirituality of Thrift” Service with the Green Committee (June 2013)

  • “Ethical Eating & Apple” Service with James Galisinski (October 2013)

  • “Practicing Mindfulness” Retreat (May 2011)


Religious Education


  • Native Plant Seed Collecting and sharing with Hawley Environmental School (September 2012)

  • “Recycling at UCN” with UCN’s RE (February 2014)


Environmental Justice


  • Supported/Sponsored the Pig-to-Pig Walk (October 2011)

  • Share the Plate for Family Sharing Food Pantry to purchase produce (Summers 2012, 2013, and 2014)

  • “Plant-an-Extra Garden Row” for Family Sharing (Summers 2012, 2013)

  • Food Focus Film Series – four food documentary films (Spring 2013)


Sustainable Living


  • Electronics Recycling Events (Fall 2011, 2012, 2013)

  • New UCN Boilers (Summer 2011)

  • Green Cleaning Policy Guidelines - “Cleaning With an Environmental Consciousness” (March 2014)

  • “Natural Burial & In-Home Care for the Deceased” Workshop at the SCHLITZ Audubon Nature Center (March 2014)

  • Equal Exchange Sale of Fair Trade Products (Fall 2013, 2014)


Additional Projects

  • Green Living Handbook 8-Week Discussion Course (May 2012)

  • Friday Flyer “Toward a Sustainable Future” Fun Facts (2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015)

  • Northwest Earth Institute Discussion Courses

  • UCN Member Map (2013; not yet available on the members-only UCN webpage)

  • “Films That Matter” film series

  • Converted UCN toilets to dual flush (2013)

  • “The Great American Clean-Up” along Port Washington Road  (Spring 2012, 2013, 2014)

  • Donation Drive for Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity ReStore (June 2014)




  Read UCN's Green Sanctuary Application (PDF) 


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Do it all by taking your gently used clothing and household goods to Family Sharing, located at 1002 Overland Court, Grafton (262-377-0634).  Your donations raise money to stock the food pantry for those in need.  While there, shop the Family Sharing Resale Store and search out some recycled bargains!


Committee Mission
Unitarian Church North seeks to heal and preserve the natural environment for our and future generations of all living things by increasing the sustainability and minimizing the negative ecological impact of UCN, our members, and our communities.


Meeting Schedule
The Green Committee meets every fourth Wednesday of the month (unless otherwise noted in the email announcements) at 7:00 p.m. in the James Reeb room. ALL are welcome to join us!


Bike to Church


As a relatively new committee, the Green Committee grew out of a Barn Banter held in the spring of 2007. Coordinated by then Minister Elena Rigg, this meeting drew thirty-six people and demonstrated the desire for involvment in environmental issues both within our congregation and beyond. The Barn Banter brainstorming session generated many ideas and much enthusiasm. This general meeting was followed-up with summer meetings where a vision and mission were created. On September 10, 2007 the UCN Board approved the Green Committee as a standing committee.

Since that time, the Green Committee has been busy! Below are a few things that the committee has either completed or working on at present.

  • Vegetable garden
  • Built a compost bin, held workshop on how to build one
  • Installed mug rack in the fellowship hall and encourage the use of non-disposable cups during coffee time
  • Worked with Sunday Service Committee on reducing the numbers of Orders of Service printed each Sunday
  • Established an ongoing monthly column in the Northliner, called “Green Corner,” covering a wide variety of “green” topics
  • Posted signs to encourage wise water use in all bathrooms and in the kitchen
  • Encourage the use of real dishes at church fellowship functions
  • Coordinated an interactive carbon footprint workshop
  • Hosted a local food talk by local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers
  • Coordinated a silent auction of a CSA share with the proceeds going to the UCN general operating budget
  • Conducted a walk-through energy audit of the church
  • Coordinated three Walk, Bike, Carpool to Church Day events
  • Offered multiple Northwest Earth Institute courses, including Voluntary Simplicity and Choices for Sustainable Living
  • Offered "An Amazing Journey!: The Universe & Me" adult education course
  • Coordinated recycling efforts at UCN
  • Increased UCN's green library
  • Hosted three community electronic recycling events keepin 28+ tons of electronics out of landfills
  • Hosted Sid Syam’s presentation on Spirituality and Nature Future
  • Hosted an area-wide Mindfulness retreat
  • Promoted the replacement of UCN boilers to cost-saving and energy efficient models
  • Hosted an eight-week "Green Living" discussion and action program
  • Established a seed-gathering and sharing program with Hawley Enviromental School
  • Establised a Friday Flyer feature entitles "Toward a Sustainable Future" to provide facts and food for thought

Currently the Green Committee is focused on obtaining the Unitarian Universalist Association’s “Green Sanctuary” designation. This process will integrate “green” thinking into all aspects of the church community. This is a very ambitious and exciting project for our congregation. Stay tuned….there will be much more to come!

Learn more about the UUA Green Sanctuary Program on the UUA's website. And don’t hesitate to contact anyone on the Green Committee for more information.


Previous Green Committee Articles:

Where Recycling Goes - Feb. 2013
Kill-a-Watt or More! - March 2013
2013 Earth Day Activities - April 2013
Green Sanctuary FOOD Project  - May & June 2013
2013 Electronics Recycling Event - Summer 2013
3rd Annual Electronic Recycling Event - October 2013
Equal Exchange Fair Trade Products for Sale at UCN - Nov.-Dec. 2013.pdf
Cleaning Products - January 2014.pdf
/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/pdfs/Microbead Great Lakes Contamination - February 2014.pdf
/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/pdfs/The Great American Clean-Up 4-26-14.pdf 
/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/pdfs/Unitarian North Church Donation Drive 6-7-14.pdf
/sites/default/files/sites/default/files/Electronics Recycling Event Flyer 9-6-2014.pdf