Approved by the Board of Directors August, 2008

We as a church community strive to follow UU principals and live in a sustainable manner, consciously lightening our footprint on the Earth and setting an example for others to follow. Church procurement decisions should be sensitive to environmental concerns, and consideration should be given to spending more money for products that will decrease our environmental footprint.

These guidelines will help us carry out this policy.

When procuring goods and services for church use, these guidelines will be considered:

  • If a purchase is indeed necessary (the greenest buying is not buying at all). Consider repairing an existing item before replacing it with a new one.
  • The greenest version that works satisfactorily will be purchased.
  • If it is determined that a purchase must be made, then consider procuring a used item. (The Green Seal organization is a resource for purchasing - Energy Star appliances are also highly recommended.
  • If recycled alternatives are available, judged to be satisfactory and cost within ten percent of equivalent non-recycled product, they will be preferred for purchase over products made from virgin materials.
  • If locally produced food products are available and judged to be satisfactory, they will be preferred for purchase.
  • A list of suggested resources for routinely purchased items is attached.

Reusables Policy for UUCCSM

In an effort to lighten our footprint on the earth and to set an example for others, we believe that single-use items, the so-called 'disposables', buy a small measure of short term convenience at the cost of tremendously increased use of raw materials, energy, increased pollution and toxics, and vastly increased waste disposal.

We will strive to use the following reusable items rather than single-use/disposable items at church activities:

  • dishes
  • bowls
  • mugs
  • drinkware
  • flatware
  • pitchers
  • serving bowls
  • storage containers
  • ovenware
  • baking pans
  • casserole dishes
  • cloth tablecloths
  • cloth rags
  • loth dishtowels

We will strive to avoid using the following items: disposable cups, plates, bowls, forks, knives and spoons made of plastic, polystyrene, and paper; plastic wrap and bags, non-recycled paper napkins and paper towels (produced from live trees).

While we are in construction mode, we understand we will be using some disposable items for coffee hour and refreshments. Paper cups, plates and 100% recycled napkins are better than plastic ones. Some plastic is recyclable but plastic lasts forever and never degrades.

Sustainable Food Service - This means that when food is served as part of a meeting or a party, we are sensitive to the following:

  1. Buy only what you can use.
  2. Strive to purchase items in bulk in order to reduce packaging and waste.
  3. Bring containers for leftover food for sending home with attendees or donate extras to a charitable organization.
  4. Organic locally grown food is healthier fare for our members and the world.
  5. Use reusables when serving food.

Leftover food:

These Santa Monica agencies will accept food donations after a church event.

Turning Point 1447 16th St., Santa Monica 90404
(310) 828-6717 Will accept deliveries. Open 24 hrs. Call first.

Common Ground 2021 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica 90405
Call (310) 314-5480

If it is a big event call the day before and they will pick up the same day after the event. Otherwise, the pick up will be the next day. Leave food labeled in refrigerator or on the counter as appropriate.

Routinely Purchased Good/Services Suggested Alternatives
cleaning products nontoxic cleaning products
dish washing and dishwasher soap nontoxic dish washing and dishwasher soap
garbage bags recycled plastic garbage bags or bio-bags
incandescent lightbulbs compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)

Using recycled products provides a market for recycling programs.

Some Resources for Green Purchasing

Harmony/Gaiam, Inc. - Nontoxic cleaning products, recycled household paper products and garbage bags, CFLs, (800) 869-3446
Whole Foods and Trader Joe's Markets - 100% recycled paper products and non-toxic cleaning supplies
Staples -100% recycled copy paper, 20 lb. $47.99/ case, high post-consumer content recycled office paper products
New Life Recycled Paper ( 80% post-consumer waste)
Green Line Paper Co. - 100% recycled paper; chlorine-free multipurpose paper, Case $45.95
EnergyStar - Energy saving appliances
Organic To Go - Local organic food catering company, (800) 304-4550