What does it take to become a certified green business in California? The formula is the same for any worthy goal. It takes passion and commitment. The idea came from our Eco Spirituality small group led by Bill Carney and Tamra Peters. This was an opportunity to live out our commitment to being good stewards of our church, our finances and our planet. I often talk about our congregation being here to change the world. I expect nothing less.
This process was no small undertaking. Our building was built in 1959 and, even though it was renovated in 2002, we had a lot of work to do in order to meet the high standards of becoming a Green Business. I still recall the assessment of folks going through our dumpster one Saturday afternoon. They assessed what we are throwing away, what could be recycled. That’s commitment!
We made many changes to reduce waste and conserve resources. Some changes were obvious, such as replacing the 50-year-old, 3.5-gallon per flush toilets to state-of-the-art, 1.2-gallon, high-efficiency ones. We changed out all our light bulbs to energy efficient ones. We upped our game regarding paper products usage as well as using green cleaning products. We installed an automated irrigation controller that tailors watering schedules to match local weather, to name a few changes.
Another Green practice we incorporated years ago was to have an annual circulation day. We ask people to bring to church any household items that are in good working order, but that are no longer being used by their owners. On that day we put it all on display and we give it all away. Every year we look forward to letting go of former treasures and making space for what will truly feed us in the present moment.
Unity In Marin became a certified Green business in 2009. Being green is good for the planet, for us as stewards, and also regarding the bottom line. It’s estimated that the changes we made will save us over $7,000 a year! So we’re not only Green, we’re saving some greenbacks as well.
Passion and commitment are keys to any transformative goal. Here at Unity In Marin, a few people with passion motivated us to make a difference in our facility, our lives, and our world. What are you passionate about? Now is the time: Put it into action, and start changing the world.