I’ve been spending this week in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley with the Unitarian Universalists of the Mid-Atlantic Region for a sort of camp/conference kind of gathering at DeSales University – a Catholic school near Allentown, Pennsylvania. Yes, the Unitarians are hanging out where the Catholics live, learn and worship. It’s all good. Truly.
My experience with the UUs (as we call ourselves) has been that they are pretty earth-conscious folks. Regardless of your religion, if you believe in a creator, I believe that your creator would want you to take care of his/her creation (that would be Earth). So I was quite ecstatic to see that DeSales is green! The first thing I really noticed was the corn based cups in their dining hall and their willingness to serve lots of vegetarian and vegan options to our group (there are a lot of us who avoid meat and dairy). They even advertise that their dishes (they use dishware and use disposables/take out containers sparingly) are washed with eco-friendly soap!
Upon further investigation, I found out that it went beyond the dining hall. Not only do they offer single stream recycling, but they also encourage the students who live on campus (70% of their entire population) to conserve energy, water and to reduce/reuse/recycle. They even have a monthly water and energy conservation competition sponsored by Residence Life. The hall with the highest percentage of reduction in water and energy usage per occupant is awarded a prize.
Their list of green initiatives would inspire anyone. Check it out and encourage your place of worship to go green if it isn’t already.