Valley Unitarian Universalist Church (VUUC) in Chandler, AZ became an accredited Green Sanctuary on March 10, 2010.  In their accreditation application, in response to the Green Sanctuary Program Goal “To build awareness of societal environmental issues among UU’s” they wrote “We believe that we have substantially increased awareness of environmental issues among UU’s, especially those related to living in the desert…water conservation and limiting use of electricity for air conditioning.”

VUUC was accomplished this goal in two ways.  First, they set a goal to reduce their water usage by 20%.  They planted desert adapted plants, researched proper watering needs, repaired watering lines, and overall, reduced water usage for landscape irrigation.  Not only did they meet but they exceeded their goal by reducing water usage by over 40% (500,000 gallons/year)!  Second, they set a goal to reduce their electricity usage by 15%.  Due to financial constraints and the lack of an energy audit they were only able to replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs and practically and carefully monitoring the thermostat set points.  Again, not only did they meet but they exceeded their goal by reducing electricity usage by 24%

VUUC, through simple measures, was able to become more responsible stewards of their desert environment!  And set an example of how small changes could make a big difference to their members.

VUUC was accredited as a Green Sanctuary on March 3, 2010.  Check out the full list of accredited Green Sanctuaries at the UUA website.

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Robin Nelson

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