Check YOUR carbon footprint!
Doing your utmost to take care of this great planet? Conserving resources at home and in your daily life? Try this link to see how well you’re doing: http://myfootprint.org/en/.
Or, view this link with your children to see how your family can minimize your carbon footprint: http://www.cooltheworld.com/kidscarboncalculator.php
The Earthkeepers committee seeks to help the congregation understand our place in the interdependent web of all existence and serve as responsible stewards of Earth’s resources. We begin from a basic spiritual connection with the forces that have brought us into being, as expressed every Sunday at worship in the song, “Spirit of Life, come unto me…” From there we proceed to practical steps that we can take both individually and collectively to fulfill our responsibilities as protectors of Earth’s bountiful heritage.
The vision of Earthkeepers, at a grand scale of space and time, is a blessed planet of blue and green with white polar caps and circulating clouds, pulsating with life in all its diversity for now and forever, sustained by agreement among ordinary people and their leaders to respect and protect nature’s interdependent web, ever conscious that human beings hold the power to destroy or to conserve the natural heritage on which we and future generations depend.
The mission of Earthkeepers is to educate, engage, empower and inspire each other, the congregation and the wider community in an effort to restore balance and health to the Earth and all of her inhabitants.
WHAT WE DO
As of 2014, under the broad mandate of the mission, being guided by reason and science as well as spiritual values, we focus on the three main themes of Energy, Food & water, and Waste management.
We address these issues on three different levels, the individual level of everyday living at home or at work, play or worship, the local community level and the state-national-global level.
At the individual level, each person has a degree of direct control and can make a small part of the world a little better through personal stewardship. In that respect, given our acceptance of the Seventh Principle, all UUs are presumed Earthkeepers and our job is to help all members sharpen sensitivity to and become better prepared to live in harmony with nature. Our work at this level includes:
- Assisting the minister and others in presenting Earthkeeper themes during Sunday services, and especially on Earth Day Sunday in April.
- Offering curriculum ideas and information resources for the Religious Education program.
- Taking care to maintain UUFSB’s Green Sanctuary status by demonstrating exemplary stewardship of our building and grounds.
- Being available to share what we have learned about living in harmony with Nature in order to help members of the Fellowship practice environmental stewardship in everyday life.
At the local community level, In order to move toward more responsible management of resources, it becomes necessary to influence policies and practices of local government, businesses and other organized groups. In these activities, our emphasis will be on community organizing and offering expertise and leadership where we are able. This will include networking and cooperating with other churches, civic groups and nonprofits from the local to the Long Island level, such as a local garden club or the Pine Barrens Society, Peconic Land Trust or the Long Island chapter of the Sierra Club.
At the state-national-global scale, issues and decision making are too big and too far away for most of us to be able to influence. When governments, multinational corporations or organized industry associations jeopardize our quality of life, it is very hard or even impossible for individuals and small groups to resist them. Part of EarthKeepers’ mission is to find ways for us to align with larger movements and organizations to bring about changes in policies and practices at these higher levels. For example, we will:
- Participate in activities with the UU Ministry for Earth and faith-based groups such as GreenFaith and Interfaith Power and Light.
- Share the news from national organizations such as Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace and Nature Conservancy, especially as their work addresses food and energy policy.
- Invite members of the congregation to join in supporting national campaigns related to energy, food & water and waste management.
These are ambitious goals, but by joining with likeminded others, we can hope to transform the power of ideas into the power of numbers and the power of accomplishment.
Co-Chairs: Alexis Grasso and Deborah Gale