Green Teams

Many congregations refer to their environmental/climate action groups as Green Teams.

These are some examples of local Green Team initiatives.

Blue Ocean Faith

  • Mostly weekly emails about climate impacts around the world that is inccorporated in our candle lighting ceremony during service.
  • Occational nature outings to remind us what we're protecting.
  • Group meetings to discuss how we're coping and how we can act in the climate crisis.
  • Book club read several climate/enironmental books including Saving Us.
  • Garden club works on the Genesis grounds.


First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor

  • Our national organization has a "Green Sanctuary 2030" process that we are following. The framework categorizes actions into Mitigation, Adaptation & Resilience, Climate Justice and Congregational 'Transformation'. We are in the "Action Plan" stage.
  • Mitigation: Completed energy audit and all insulation improvments, etc; Planned expansion of our solar energy to be added next fall; Completed climate-friendly landscaping plan, including native plants, on-site composting, etc.Green Building Guide in progress.
  • Adaptation & Resilience: Plans for a community food garden & butterfly garden; Pastoral Care resources for climate anxiety. Family resources for parents talking to kids about climate; Exploring county resilience hub possibilities; Created an "Eco-Tour" of our property, highlighting renewable energy features, eco-system features, nature. Deepen work with Habitat for Humanity, Alpha House, etc.
  • Climate Justice: Hope to start an Ypsilanti weatherization project; Learning more about indigenous perspectives; Exploring more climate justice organizations in SE Michigan (eg: MAJIC)
  • Congregational Transformation: More inward and outward collaborations including taking part in the Climate Heroes webinars and heroes and Teach-in. An all-congregation Earth Day celebration including multiple congregational groups, and more.


St. Clare's Episcopal Church

  • Single Use Plastic Inventory - track your single use plastics for a week and chart alternatives - three prizes randomly awarded
  • Participation on the Genesis Building Committee to help assess Green opportunties
  • Partnered with TBE for a climate action week, conducted a nature walk on pond ecology and environmental systems
  • YG projects focus on natural materials - for example, pine cone critters - rather than plastic "kraft kits"
  • YG baked from scratch with ingredients from By The Pound to demonstrate a less wasteful way of sharing food for coffee hour
  • Viewing and discussion of "The Territory" by National Geographic
  • Embedding "Creation Care" in discussions and projects, moving away from "stewardship" to "relationship" with the environment
  • Outdoor congregational hikes and activities to connect to mother earth
  • Trash clean up at Gallup using canoes and kayaks
  • Extensive review and reckoning of the colonial frameworks that the U.S. is founded on, and how the environment and communities are damaged by this world view
  • Paricipation in the Climate Hero Stories project


St. Francis of Assisi Parish

  • Particpated in the Climate Hero Stories project and promoted the monthly webinars and the teach-in
  • Showed the movie, The Letter, and read/discussed the book, Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World by Katharine Hayhoe
  • Used "real" dishes and silverwear (instead of disposables) for Friday fish dinners during Lent
  • Grow produce in an organic garden at the rectory; the fresh produce is donated each year to Perry preschool in Ypsilanti
  • Hosting an annual electronics recycling event in the parish parking lot on Saturday, June 17


Temple Beth Emeth

  • Coordinated city-wide workshop series with other Climate Hero congregations
  • Coordinated ad campaign with 8 other area congregations
  • Coordinated area-wide climate Teach-In with other Climate Hero congregations
  • Climate Action Shabbat service each year
  • Held a TBE community-wide picnic for Sukkot, with a theme of local foods
  • Created a website of climate change resources
  • Did a single-use plastics pledge, in coordination with St Clare's Episcopal
  • Hosted a nature walk with St Clare's Episcopal
  • Screened an environmental film to raise awareness about climate change
  • Helped coordinate and participated in a protest at Chase Bank against financing for fossil fuels
  • Working with the Religious School parents to promote green practices with their children
  • Held an event with a visiting scholar around climate change and Judaism
  • Coordinated a clean-up of our Grounds, focusing on the rain garden, butterfly garden, and tree planting
  • Working with our buidling Green Team on a project to enhance the rain garden
  • Created a Green Policy for the building
  • Working on a building-wide composting project
  • We promote letter writing and phone calling on specific legislative priorities
  • Hosted a workshop on the A2Zero Action Plan
  • Working with our building Green Team on implementing a Decarbonization Plan


Zion Lutheran Church

  • Focus has been on comprehensive recycling and composting services throughout our facility
  • Zion is working with the other six ELCA Lutheran congregations in the County in an environmental effort called "Be3--Big, Bodacious, Bold"
  • Be3 applied and received a sponsorship grant from Washtenaw County to purchase over $5,000 of recycling and composting infrastruture at our congregations
  • Be 3 has also sponsored ongoing plastic film collection at our seven congregations over the past three years--materials delivered to the community drop-off station.
  • Be 3 also sponsors an annual styrofoam collection at each congregation in January of each year to received holiday styrofoam for recycling
  • Each congregation also develops a liturgy, prayers, announcements and educational sessions on Earth Sunday each year (Sunday closest to 4/22)
  • Zion will be creating its own "green team" in the near future to explore other environmental actions that the congregation can take--personally and collectively
  • Zion has been a proud (but not too proud) Climate Hero congregation
  • Zion makes an effort to procure only environmentally appropriate supplies, including recycled content and energy efficient
  • Zion has installed lighting timers to automatically shut off lights when no movement in a room for several minutes
  • Fed Up Food Truck Ministry works out of Zion kitchen--using produce grown on-site in Zion's garden
  • Zion has operated a Faith and Food Garden on-site for about 10 years--all produce is organic and goes to Fed-up and Food Gatherers

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