In cooperation with the Department of Transportation’s Adopt-a-Highway Program, UUCY helps enhance the beauty of Washington State highways by participating in highway cleanup activities. The area assigned to the church starts at the junction of Highway 410 and Highway 12. It extends four miles to the west along Highway 12. To participate, individuals must be trained and given a refresher for safety standards at each pickup. A signup sheet is forwarded from each activity to the D.O.T. which provides insurance coverage for the time worked. The D.O.T. provides a sign at each end of the area which notes our participation and brings recognition to the group. The area we serve is beautiful and keeping it clean gives those volunteering healthy exercise and a sense of accomplishment.
Members and friends bring items to the church where they are collected, sorted, and recycled by a dedicated friend of the earth. Prices per pound of aluminum cans, all paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, and milk bottles vary. We take tin and glass, too, but there is no monetary return. Materials are picked up once a week from various sites and containers around the church building and stored until there’s a pickup load. This adds only $40.00-$50.00 a year to the church income, but we believe it is the right thing to do. There also are collection containers for batteries and fluorescent light bulbs.
Being aware of the implication of our climate crisis and the deep environmental injustices of our time, we strive to practice four principles:
- Environmental Justice: We recognize marginalized communities are hit first and hardest by environmental crises. Recognizing that, we strive to address both human and environmental needs.
- Worship and Celebration: As we work together towards a cleaner, more just, and sustainable world, worship inspires our work and reminds us of what is most sacred and most important.
- Religious Education: Our workshops and programs for all ages shape attitudes and build practices that are spiritually-grounded toward sustainable living.
- Sustainable Living: We treat the world more gently by using fewer resources and being mindful of the choices we make, both as a congregation and as households.
We invite all who share these values to join us on this journey of connection, sustainability, and hope.