Green Sanctuary - History

Overview

The Green Sanctuary Committee was founded in 2006 by Amy Lent and Thayer Heath as a subcommittee of the Social Responsibilities Council. Early efforts were focused on making our church more sustainable, and several building changes were made. Over the years our goal has expanded to include education, activism and actions toward preservation of the global environment on which all life depends, by working to make the Earth sustainable and by addressing climate change.

Significant mileposts

Albany UU was accredited in 2008 as a Green Sanctuary by the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth.

Earth Day Fairs at AlbanyUU in 2007 and 2008.

Since 2006, Albany UU sells Fair Trade coffee, cocoa and chocolate bars along with items made by women from Guatemala, Ecuador and Mexico. 

Solar panels installed in 2012-2013.

Anti-fracking resolution of 2013-14.

The Compendium of Green Tips, 2014.

Seminar in 2016, “Climate Change … and You … and Us,” three sessions led by Rev. Sam on Naomi Klein’s book “This Changes Everything.”

Composting in worm bins introduced in 2016 in the Religious Education program by Anne Marie Haber and Mitch Cohen (ongoing).  For more information, contact Anne Marie at amhaber@aol.com. 

Do-more survey of the congregation and Results in 2017.

Tree-planting in 2017.

Formation of SHARE, the Sheridan Hollow Alliance for Renewable Energy, in 2017 (ongoing, see Working With SHARE).

GSC-sponsored Forums

  • “A New Contraceptive Vaccine” webinar at the Sustainable Population Meetup Group was presented by Chris Bystroff, PhD on May 16, 2020: Link to the conversation.

  • “Community Choice Aggregation” was presented by Louise Gava, CCA Project Leader For MEGA, the bulk electricity buying program for the cities of Albany, Schenectady, Troy, and others, January 2020. Details at megacca.org

  • “Listen to the Earth: Perspectives on the Planetary Crisis.” Speakers at both the Sunday service and forum were Meghan Marohn, chair of Albany UU Green Sanctuary and active in Extinction Rebellion; and Keith Schue, electrical engineer and full-time environmental activist, January 19, 2020

  • Potluck dinner and forum on “Our Election Systems”  presented by Chris Bystroff with special guest John Oliver via YouTube video, December 6, 2019 

  • Forum on Climate Change and Justice: “Reimagining our Food Systems,” with Panelists Bill Vitek, Kiani Conley-Wilson, Scott Kellogg, and Jan Storm, November 11, 2019, Flyer

  • The movie, “Cowspiracy,” with Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline, March 13, 2019

  • “Zero Waste Efforts” and potluck with Tina Lieberman and Anasha Cummings, March 1, 2019

  • Richard Perez, “Latest Developments in Solar,” 12/6/18

  • “The Climate Crisis and its Solution,” presented by Meghan Marohn, January 2018

  • “Carbon Tax 101; Putting a Price on Climate Change,” moderated by Judith Enck with speakers Sara Hsu, Mark Dunlea, Bob Cohen, and Iona Lutey, October 2017.

  • Dandelion Energy, “What about Geothermal?” 9/30/17

  • Judith Enck, “The Trump Assault on the Environment, and What You Can Do About It,” 9/28/17

  • Potluck and Movie: “Before the Flood,” 12/2/16

  • “Strategies for fighting climate change and fossil fuel build out in NYS,” Bob Cohen and Ruth Foster, November 2016

  • Potluck and Movie, “This Changes Everything,” 4/23/16

  • Community Solar forum presented by Jean Howard of Solar Access Management, January 2016

  • Potluck and Movie “Merchants of Doubt,” 9/18/15

  • Dr. Robert Pollin from the Political Economic Research Institute in Amherst, MA lectured on “Growing a Green Economy” in November 2014

  • David Musser, Kathy Harris, Sam Trumbore, Chuck Manning, Chris Bystroff, Carol Butt, “Home Solar,” 9/14/14 

  • Richard Perez, “Solar Energy,” 11/17/13

  • Scott Kellog spoke on Composting – Radix Center, September 2012

  • Miriam Katz spoke on Climate Change, 11/13/11

  • Dr. John Delano from SUNY gave a series of four lectures on “The Living Earth” in 2006

  • Airing of the film, “An Inconvenient Truth in 2006