Naperville, IL--DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church (DUUC) has received the Earth Flag for environmental sustainability from DuPage County and SCARCE (School & Community Assistance with Recycling & Composting Education) www.scarceecoed.org.
The certification makes DUUC the third church in Naperville to earn Earth Flag recognition, said Kay McKeen, SCARCE's founder and executive director. (The others are St. Margaret Mary Parish and St. Timothy Lutheran Church.)
To earn the Earth Flag, DUUC participated in a comprehensive on-site audit of its green policies and practices and set goals for improvement based on feedback from SCARCE experts. DUUC staff and leaders also completed a SCARCE-led education and training session to broaden their knowledge of recycling and other green practices.
In a presentation at the church's recently completed new sanctuary, James Healy, DuPage County Board member for District 5, read a resolution recognizing DUUC for its longstanding support for environmental preservation and awareness.
The new sanctuary, built as an addition to the existing building, is the most recent demonstration of the church's environmental commitment. The 5600-square-foot addition incorporates many green features, including:
• Solar-powered ventilation fans
• Building oriented for sun and wind effects
• A heat reflective roof and exterior walls
• Insulated windows
• Low VOC paints
• Occupation-sensing light controls
• A backdrop of salvaged local fieldstones donated by The Conservation Foundation of Naperville
• Carpeting and restroom countertops and stalls made of recycled materials
• On-demand water heaters
• Low flow toilets and faucets
• Energy efficient lighting
• Dais flooring milled from ash trees removed during construction
• Thermal insulation
• Landscaping with native plants and a rain garden (now underway)
• Shared parking
McKeen praised DUUC, including the church's volunteer group known as the DUU-Gooders, for its ongoing participation in SCARCE initiatives, including the Back-to-School book and supply collection, the athletic shoe recycling and reuse program, and the annual Green Fair at Cantigny Park. "Many of these programs are international as well as local, so you have truly made a difference in the lives of people everywhere," she said.
DUUC's support for the environment also manifests in such initiatives as Styrofoam and holiday light recycling programs; Earth Day cleanup activities; educational forums on green landscaping, climate change and other environmental topics; facility use policies emphasizing the use of reusable materials; use of green cleaners; composting and recycling; rain barrels to conserve water; an educational bulletin board; a book discussion group on reducing plastic consumption; film screenings and discussions on environmental topics through Just Views; and support for the Green Earth Institute, an organic farm in Naperville founded by DUUC member Steve Tiwald.
In 2009, after years of preparation, DUUC was certified as a Green Sanctuary by the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. The church's commitment to environmental sustainability is a reflection of the UU principle of "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."
DUUC, located at 1828 Old Naperville Road in Naperville, is a growing congregation of more than 300 members who honor many belief systems and are united by shared values of justice, freedom of thought, and peace between all. For more information, please visit www.DuPageUUChurch.com or contact the church office at 630-505-9408.