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Application for Green Sanctuary Candidacy


									Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church Application for Green Sanctuary Candidacy

Congregation: Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church 10125 Lakehaven Court Burke VA 22015-3934 Green Sanctuary Contacts: Primary contact: Marsha White 9016 Triple Ridge Rd. Fairfax Station VA 22039-3003 703-690-4384 Secondary contact: Janet Clement 6703 Reynard Dr. Springfield VA 22152-2761 Minister: Rev. Rebecca Benner 703-503-4579 Director of Lifespan Education: Sarah Edleson 703-503-4579 Congregation size: 220 Green Sanctuary Committee: 1) Charter attached at the end of this document. Since the charter was approved, the Green Roundtable changed its name to the Green Sanctuary Committee, with the approval of the Council and the Board of Trustees. 2) Number of committee members and the interests represented: there are six active members, representing a range of interests including global warming, worship and music, social justice, house and grounds, native garden, nUUners, and religious education. The members are the AUUC Council (representing all the committee and task forces in the church), the minister and Director of Lifespan Education are ex officio members.

Environmental Audit The environmental audit was completed in two parts. Energy audit In June 2004, The Green Roundtable (now Green Sanctuary Committee) did a special 2 nd Sunday collection to fund an energy audit. Albert Nunez, CEM, was hired to perform the audit, which was completed in the summer of 2004. The report issued in November and is attached below (attachment 2). In conjunction with House and Grounds, the Green Sanctuary Committee is following up on the recommendations incrementally as our budget allows. Environmental Audit After laying some groundwork, the members of the Green Sanctuary Committee performed an environmental audit from June through October 2006. The report is in attachment 3. Green Sanctuary Action Plan The Green Sanctuary Committee has been working in concert with the House and Grounds Committee to plan the implementation of the energy audit incrementally as budget and donation permits since the summer of 2004, and will continue to do so. To gather ideas for our Action Plan and talk about the Green Sanctuary process and commitment, we: Worked to be included in the church’s new five-year plan Wrote articles for the newsletter twice monthly Requested and got time on nearly every committee’s agenda for brainstorming and discussion Set up a table at the fall committee fair to solicit ideas and recruit members. Met informally with people in key leadership positions Met with the minister and Director of Lifespan Education Talked with the nUUner’s adult daytime group, and presented a program Out of over 120 concrete ideas for our Action Plan, we decided to work on the following: Worship and Celebration (2 elements required): Make April 2007 an earth-centered month Sermon by the minister to kick off Guest speaker on an environmental topic 30 Days of personal, small action 2nd Sunday environemental recipient Newsletter articles nUUners “green” program Sunday supplement items Light a candle and do an environmental reading at each service Look at the liturgical aspects of our services (lifespan of ages) Incorporate earth centered language, and readings Hold a minimum of one service on an environemental issue annually Incorporate earth centered language in children’s church 2

Religious Education (1 element for Adults, 1 for children required): Have a one year series of classes on “How to be Green” for adults including a tire gauge program, and environmental tips for parenting Film series on environmental issues Have a one year series of classes on “How to be Green” for children including composting, worm beds and appropriate films. Environmental Justice (2 elements required): Work to expand our Fair trade sales and education program Work to encourage socially responsible investing, stockholder activism and community investing for both children and adults Work to encourage the building of green nursing home clusters Sustainable Living (4 elements required): Obtain National Wildlife Certification for our property Further develop animal habitats on our grounds Green our building Green purchasing of office, kitchen and cleaning products Encourage, by policy, renters to follow our example 10 tree challenge Encourage carpooling and sponsor a bike to church day, including installing a bike rack.


Attachment 1 CHARTER Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church Green Sanctuary Committee Respect for the Interdependent Web of all existence, of which we are a part. The Seventh Principle of the Unitarian Universalist Association I Title of the Committee Green Sanctuary Committee II Purpose The Green Sanctuary Committee’s purpose is for Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church to adopt a fundamental, spiritually influenced commitment to live in harmony with Earth by practicing energy conservation, recycling and reuse, a sustainable lifestyle, and other environmentally-friendly actions. In accordance with the congregation’s approval of the Five Year Plan in April 2006, the intent is to seek recognition as a Green Sanctuary church. III Goals The Committee’s goals are to: • Help the congregation recognize that becoming a Green Sanctuary is a moral imperative. • Create a church-wide institutional commitment expanding its energy conservation and environmentally-friendly practices, including paper recycling, the use of environmentally friendly cleaning materials, environmental education for adults and youth, public events, and worship services with environmental themes. • Build awareness of the connection between environmental consciousness and spiritual practices. • Build awareness of, personal responsibility for and taking action on environmental justice and environmental protection issues. • Generate a commitment for personal lifestyle changes on the part of church members and friends. III Organization The Green Sanctuary Committee will operate under the Green Roundtable Committee, and there will be four task forces. Each task force will work on an action plan for one of the four elements of the Green Sanctuary Program: Worship and Celebration, Religious Education, Environmental Justice, and Sustainable Living. IV Activities


The Committee will prepare an action plan with a budget estimate to include at least 12 activities or projects spread over the following four focus areas: • Worship and Celebration. • Religious Education. • Environmental Justice. • Sustainable Living. V Membership Membership is open to all interested church members and friends. VI Officers The Green Sanctuary Committee will appoint one or two Chairpersons, whose duties are to: • Call and conduct periodic meetings. • Ensure that meeting minutes are taken, distributed, and approved. • Ensure that next steps and action items are pursued. • Be a liaison with church office staff, Board of Trustees, and other appropriate church organizations or persons. • Account for any funds. VII Reporting The Committee will report to the board for approval of the plan. The Committee will prepare an annual report of its activities and submit the report to the church office in February.


Attachment 2
Friday, November 19, 2004 Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church – 10125 Lakehaven Ct, Burke, VA – (703) 503-4579 Jane Taylor 8605 Ardfourd Lane Annandale, VA 22003 703-764-0936

Also emailed to: I am going to provide you with a list of the major items that I recall from the walk through several months ago. I have located the file and now have it in front of me. I am going to proceed by listing all the items that were noted during the walk through: 1. Review whenever electing any new energy consuming products. For the latest list of top rated products also look at and in particular go to: Some of the recommendations found on this site include: Change furnace filters. Monthly replacement of furnace filters in forced-air heating systems can save as much as 5% on heating bills. Insulate windows with coverings. Close blinds and drapes at night to keep cold air out and open them in the day to let warm sun in. Cover windows with insulating shades or plastic sheeting to cut down heat transfer from inside to outside. Install a programmable thermostat to set different temperatures during the night and day. Program it to warm up the house in the morning, keep it cooler during the day while residents are away, and warm it up again in the evening until bedtime. Consumers can save about 2% on heating bills for every degree thermostats are turned down. Seal doors with draft-reducing weather stripping and door sweeps to cut down on spaces where cold air can enter the house. Lower the water heater's thermostat to the lowest level that meets your hot water needs, typically to 120°F (midway between the "low" and "medium" setting on many units). Each 10-degree reduction will save 3% to 5% on water heating costs.

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2. Consider switching out all incandescent lamps to compact fluorescent bulbs offer many advantages.         Dramatic energy cost savings...up to 75% vs. incandescent lamps of comparable light output Extra long life...up to 13 times longer than standard incandescent lamps High output comparable, and in some cases exceeding, the incandescent lamps replaced. Excellent color rendering Several lamps use amalgam technology which provides stable lumen performance when operated in any position, indoors or out Wattages are 7, 9, 13, 18, 24, 36, 40 and are available in Soft White 2700 oK to Cool White at 4100oK Lamps will have a typical life from 6,000 to 10,000 hours Best buys can be found at IKEA, COSTCO, Home Depot and Lowe’s or on the WWW


Also consider switching out all tube fluorescent lamps to either T-8, T-5 or T-2s (the smaller the number the more efficient with electronic ballasting.


Osram SYLVANIA QUICKTRONIC ICE operates SYLVANIA ICETRON® electrode less fluorescent lamps with maximum efficacy and full lumen output. SYSTEM ICE provides the longest life available from a fluorescent system in the market today. ICETRON lamps can last up to 100,000 hours, greatly reducing maintenance costs and extending relamping cycles. Quicktronic ICE is rated for operation in environments from –40ºC (–40ºF) up to 50ºC (122ºF). With this extensive thermal performance, SYSTEM ICE is suitable for a variety of applications traditionally addressed by HID systems. FM operates SYLVANIA T2 fluorescent miniature lamps with maximum efficacy and full lumen output. SYSTEM FM provides up to 70% energy savings when compared with incandescent alternatives. See: 3. LED Lamps for all of the exit signs is a must. You can buy retrofit kits for them form a number of sources including Home Depot Maintenance Warehouse: or Grainger: Emergency Lighting-Emergency Lighting Fixtures - Area Lighting Research __________________________________________________________________________ Universal LED Exit Sign Retrofit Bulb Kit 1-5 6-11 12+ __________________________________________________________________________ Universal LED Exit Sign Retrofit Bulb Kit 1-5 6-11 12+Universal LED Exit Sign Retrofit Bulb Kit "Pkg Of 2" - 120 Volt, 2 Watt - Converts Most Standard Incandescent Exit Signs - Includes Candelabra, Intermediate And Bayonet Bases - 25 Year Life - For Use With Red Face Exit Signs Only __________________________________________________________________________ A - MWH 325799 Pkg 30.99 28.99 24.99 __________________________________________________________________________ Emergency Lighting Fixtures - Lithonia Lighting __________________________________________________________________________ Red Exit Sign Diffuser Panels 1-4 5-9 10+ __________________________________________________________________________ Red Exit Sign Diffuser Panels 1-4 5-9 10+Red Exit Sign Diffuser Panels "Pkg Of 6" - Fluoroluminescent Panels Enhance Illumination - Converts Green Exit Signs To Red - Use When Converting Existing Exit Signs To LED Lighting - Fits All Exit Signs - Mfg #ELA LRDJ6 __________________________________________________________________________ B - MWH 325737 Pkg 17.94 16.42 15.76 Be sure to dispose of old lams properly: Also for lighting expertise contact: Bob Gilbert at 703.304.3701 See:

Next biggest bang is from the electric water heater. You first need to turn down the thermostats to no 0 0 higher than 115 F if there are no showers being taken and 120 F if there are. Next buy and install an insulation kit on the tank. Also add pipe insulation on the cold and how water lines going in an out of the top of the tank. This is needed to reduce the single line thermosiphoning that is a constant parasitic loss. Nest if there is a circulator pump install a timer on it so that it only operates during the time of day that the building is occupied and how water is being used. It is also not a bad idea to have a timer installed on the water heater power feed to the elements and set it to come on for only two or three hours a day during peak periods. When the unit gives up you may wish to consider a Heat Pump Water Heater. The following manufacturers offer heat pump water heaters. Please contact them directly for more information about their products.    Applied Energy Recovery Systems (E-Tech) - (770) 734-9696 ECR International - (315) 797-1310 Nyle International - (207) 942-2865


The next best target is (are) the refrigerator(s) that is (are) operational 24/7/365. Change out for state of the art energy efficiency ones that are available today. To learn which units are best for what sizes check out

On the HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) there are a number of zones and thus thermostats. As I recall the most pressing issue was the replacing of a dozen or so through the wall heat pump units. One relatively low cost wintertime option here for controlling these units is to set them at a lower temperature during the nighttime and then ramp them back up in the morning. Of course you may already be doing this or even turning the units off when the rooms are not occupied. Also, notes indicate that the unit filters are not properly being maintained and need to be changed more frequently. The second most pressing issue was replacing the large 7.5 ton split package unit that was outside on the north of the building. For these larger forced air heat pump units that are controlled by thermostats in the halls or central meeting room the thermostats should be Energy Star programmable units that have the flexibility to be programmed for each day of the week. These can be purchased from Lowe’s or Home Depot for between $90-130. Be sure that they will operate with Heat Pumps. One other no cost strategy to cut power consumption while you still have your old style mercury bulb type thermostats is to switch off the electric resistance heaters on the indoor heat pump air handlers. This strategy will keep these electric resistance elements from coming on when the thermostats are cranked up in the mornings. Of course, the down side to this strategy is that it will take longer for the space to heat up in the morning depending on how cold and windy it is outside. If needed these second stage heaters can always be switched back on during really cold snaps. If I had my druthers, I would specify replacing all the HVAC equipment with geothermal heat hump units. See: and and see attached pdf file for water furnace. In order to do an accurate cost estimate for this type of equipment I would need to get access to the building again to show a rep around and design and cost out the systems. For the present use $5500/ton (12,000 Btu/hr) as an approximation for budgeting. Estimate the through-the-wall units at 1.5 tons each. For further detailed evaluation for geothermal systems contact: John Pankow at Ancon Geothermal 540-338-7176 and see: On water conservation – use FluidMaster (


Prevent endless, automatic refilling of leaky tanks.

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On conventional reservoir flush toilets to protect you against flapper leaks. Put a notice above all toilets that gives a way to report malfunctioning toilets for repair. Further if there are urinals used in the building consider switching them out to waterless type: and Summer Time Cooling Load Reduction There are a number of strategies that can reduce your cooling loads. Basically the heat in a building in the summer months is either from the outside elements like the sun or from people and or equipment and lighting inside the building. Improving on the lighting efficiency will also reduce air conditioning cooling loads in the summer. Further, more efficient refrigerators and computers will also lower the ac bill. The largest “solar collector” component of the building is typically the roof area and the second largest are typically the window areas. To minimize the solar heat gain through the roof the most cost effective strategy is to cover the roof with a reflective coating like the Astec 900 top coat, see: This product will greatly reduce the amount of heat gain from the roof area, as much as 80%. This product can also be applied to most wall surfaces too and this can be particularly helpful with west and southwest facing facades that can heat up tremendously on the hot summer afternoons. For detailed estimates on surface preparation and coating application contact Carlos Espinoza at 240-432-3717. Of course, any east, southeast, west and southwest facing fenestration can also contribute significantly to building cooling loads during summer months. These glass areas should be 9

protected ideally by deciduous vegetation but if none is present then consider selecting from one or more of the following: 1. Window shades – preferably insulating type such as Window Quilt or Comfortex or Hunter Douglass Duette double or triple Honeycomb Cell style shades. See: These products help keep heat out in summer while keeping heat in winter. 2. Sunscreens – made by Phifer wire in Alabama – dark exterior is preferable to light interior for stopping the sun’s energy before it gets in the building. See: exterior sunscreens can be removed during winter heating season for added passive solar heat gain. 3. Solar reflective films: contact General Solar at 301.231.9500 for product selection and pricing. 4. Replace windows with high performance Low-e inert gas filled glass units. See Finally, you may wish to look over the attached pdf on congregations which was taken from the following web page: It is somewhat dated but basically sound information. Also check out: and the Swedish Natural Step Program at: Please call with any questions. Albert Nunez, CEM 202.270.5000


Attachment 3

AUUC Environmental Audit (as of 4 Oct 06)
The process of seeking accreditation as a UU Green Sanctuary requires an environmental audit. To that end, members of the Green Sanctuary Committee have reviewed Accotink UU Church’s facilities, and Policy and Procedure Manual, and interviewed key church leaders to assess what “green” programs are currently in-place. This assessment formally began in June 2006 and continued through October. The results, which follow, are in the categories set forth in the Green Sanctuary Action Plan, using the questions on page 11 of the Green Sanctuary Manual.

Worship and Celebration
How well does worship integrate the wisdom of the earth? Sharon Jaffee spoke with Rev. Rebecca Benner, AUUC Minister, about integrating the environment and eco-theology into services. Rebecca tries to integrate the natural world into all services. She is considering a service on environmental racism, and, in January 2007, services on how earth centered ideas integrate with traditional services and activities. For five years, the earth-based spirituality group has given the Winter Solstice service as regular worship. On a couple of occasions, Summer Solstice has been a summer service. Regular hinge ceremonies are held on Friday or Saturday evenings.

Religious Education
What current religious education programs relate to the environment for both children and adults? (Look back over the past few years) The Worship Committee approved the purchase of up to $50 of an environmental curriculum in June 2006; however, there were none that fit our needs available at General Assembly. The children’s curriculums have been selected for this year. Over the past 5 years, our Kindergarten and 1st grade group has used the curriculum Experiences with the Web of Life, which connects ecology to the 7th principle three times. The last two summers, the intergenerational curriculum has centered on the outdoors. In the summer of 2006, Robert Laskey created lessons connecting Birds in our area and UU principles. Two summers ago, Robert did a similar program with both flora and fauna in our "backyard". For adults we had a discussion around the energy audit a few years ago. We just showed "An Inconvenient Truth". We advertise Adopt-a-Highway in the brochure and we help to create the Earth-based celebrations throughout the year, though you may have accounted for these items elsewhere. What other environmental issues come up in discussion groups and adult education classes, in policy proposals for the congregation, and in the local community that might be the basis for a Green Sanctuary program or activity? The adult daytime group, nUUners, has at least one environmental program most years. There is general interest in greening the church. On October 1, 2006, the Social Justice and Green Sanctuary Committees teamed to sponsor the showing of “An Inconvenient Truth”. We hope this will spark interest in reducing our church’s environmental footprint, and lead to more personal actions outside of church. Over 50 people attended, and many stayed for the discussion.

Environmental Justice

How is earth caring a part of your social action program? Earth caring has been a small part of our social action program. We have a quarterly Adopt-ahighway program, and have occasionally sponsored an Adult Ed discussion. We have done special “2nd Sunday” collections on Adopt-a-Minefield and Mountain Top Coal Mining. The Green Sanctuary Committee (formerly the Green Roundtable), works closely with the Social Justice Committee. The Green Sanctuary has contributed to UUSJ for the cost of their booth at the DC Green Festival for two years; some have volunteered at the booth. We have had participants at a Green Sanctuary all day program at Fairfax UU Church, UUSJ workshops, and the local and UU Ministry for Earth green e-mail lists. The Green Sanctuary Committee sells Fair Trade coffee, tea and chocolate after most service. We also provide coffee for the social time after services and advertise near the coffee pot.

Sustainable Living
What are your energy usage patterns and current conservation practices? We completed an energy audit in 2004 (attached). We have followed up on several low cost items with House and Grounds, installing LED exit lights, upgrading florescent tube light fixtures to T-8s, and installing energy efficient bulbs in other places. House and Grounds has done some preliminary exploration work on geothermal heating and cooling, and are exploring solar possibilities. An attachment shows our current energy usage. What are the local recycling procedures and what is the level of your compliance? Jan Clement called Fairfax County for church recycling policies. Large churches and those serving meals have different policies. For us, the policy is the same as homeowners: recycle cans, bottles, newspaper, and paper. We need to improve the level of compliance of congregants and renters. We have receptacles in designated areas and are good at recycling orders of service; however, we need more compliance on other items. The recycling containers have spills on top from liquids that is unsightly. Heather Patterson is collecting the contents regularly, both from the church and Spring Mar Preschool (renter). What are the existing policies for use of non-disposable materials, environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, etc? We currently have no policies for non-disposable materials and cleaning products. A survey of products used shows we need to review what we are purchasing. What existing church policies govern the purchasing and investing decisions? Are your investments in keeping with your environmental and other social values? The Endowment and Rental Committees have no written green policies in the Policies and Procedures Manual (on the AUUC web site under Administration). Marsha White spoke with Ray Burmester, Endowment Committee; one member of his group is looking at the policies of the Vanguard and Wellington Fund that the church uses. The office is not currently purchasing recycled paper. Do you have landscaping policies that direct the use of native species, landscape chemicals, etc? Sharon Jaffee investigated and found no specific green plans or policy for fertilizer or weed killers, including the planned memorial garden. The Green Roundtable, under the guidance of Biologist Jane Taylor and others, did install an extensive hillside garden using mostly native plant species in 2003(?). 12


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