We, the Green Sanctuary Committee, encourage individual members to support these practices in church and to strive to incorporate them into daily life.
As a Green Sanctuary-accredited congregation, First Parish has made a commitment to respect and care for our planet Earth.
At First Parish coffee hours and events, we use

  • Cloth napkins
  • Fairly traded organic coffee and tea
  • Real dishware
  • Real silverware

In our kitchen, we use

  • Non-toxic, responsibly sourced cleaning products
  • Chlorine-free, plant-based dish detergents
  • Eco-friendly hand soap
    In our rest rooms, we use
  • Essential oil-based air freshener
  • Reusable cloth towels
  • Eco-friendly hand soap
  • Paper products made from 100% recycled paper
    In our sanctuary, we use 
  • Programmable thermostat
  • Projection of service components (music, readings, graphics) to reduce
    paper and printing

Throughout the church, we use

  • Green (solar) electricity
  • Energy efficient light bulbs
  • Eco-friendly cleaning products
  • Practices that reduce waste of resources (natural light, use of both sides of paper, water conservation)
  • First Parish recycles paper, cardboard and Styrofoam and hosts a community-wide metal recycling drive annually

The mission of the Green Sanctuary Committee is to promote the Seventh Principle of Unitarian Universalism, respect for the interdependent web of all existence. First Parish was formally recognized by the Unitarian Universalist Association as an Accredited Green Sanctuary in 2010.

The committee meets specific criteria each year to maintain this status. A major accomplishment in 2019 was the construction of a Little Free Library at the church to promote recycling, community, and literacy. 

Committee activities this year:

  • Conducted a summer service titled “Into the Cool” and a service on April 19, “Earth Day 50”
  • Promoted Kids to Camp, our ongoing environmental justice project to send children to NRT Sheep Pasture Nature Camp. First Parish sponsored 6 campers last year. 
  • Partnered with Eagle Scout candidate for construction of Little Free Library at church
  • Provided “Green Tips” in Bridging each month
  • Submitted minutes of monthly meetings to church web site 
  • Purchased environmentally-friendly products for use in the church (recycled paper products and “green” cleaning supplies)
  • Provided cloth towels in both rest rooms (averaging 30-80+/week, depending on church events) to reduce use of paper towels and to recycle unused hospital surgical towels 
  • Encouraged the use of cloth napkins and non-disposable tableware at all church events
  • Continued to disseminate information and encourage recycling of glass, plastic, Styrofoam, and paper in the kitchen and office 
  • Sponsored 11th annual free community-wide metal recycling event, which benefits the Bridgewater Food Pantry, in conjunction with Bridgewater Recycling, Inc.  
  • Toured two local Waste to Energy facilities to learn best practices in an ever-changing market
  • Recycled and delivered boxes of CDs, DVDs and jewel cases to CD Recycling Center of America in NH
  • Began initiative to collect plastic newspaper sleeves for repurposing into sleeping mats for the homeless
  • Participated in “Flood the Phones”, a monthly local political activism initiative of UU Mass Action (January-March 2020)
  • Participated in UU Advocacy Day Via Zoom (April 2020) 
  • Stood out in Bridgewater Center and rang bells to promote Climate Action in conjunction with The Eleventh Hour Campaign (January-March 2020)
  • Served Equal Exchange Fairly Traded Organic Coffee at all church functions and promoted use of EE products among members
  • Maintained Social Justice Committee bulletin board with other branches of SJC
  • Continued as liaison for Solstice Initiative, our solar energy partner 
  • Increased involvement with UU MA Action; discontinued membership in Interfaith Power and Light (2/20)
  • Increased publicity around “green” initiatives
  • Participated in educational workshops and community events

Committee Members:
Debbie Baumgarten–Chair, Janet Dye, and Ginger Irish