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Green Sanctuary Policies

The PUUC board approved policies for purchasing, recycling, heat and energy use and property maintenance and modification for our congregants as well as the many groups that use our facility.



Policy on purchasing

For the health of the Earth of which we are all a part, all purchases for PUUC shall be made with the environment and sustainability in mind and shall be purchased locally while weighing factors of availability and affordability. Whenever possible, cleaning products, floor sealers, paints and other materials used in and around the church will be free of agents that may adversely affect the health of humans and wildlife. It is preferable that products be certified by Greenguard, Green Seal, EcoLogo or the Forest Stewardship Council.

All products selected for purchase will have minimal packaging. Paper products to be used rarely, and, when necessary, purchased with recycled content. Products are to be purchased that can be recycled (for example—no styrofoam or plastic).

For all functions within the church, all products shall be purchased and used with a conscious effort to reduce PUUC’s greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, water use and waste. Examples include using washable coffee cups and drink glasses at coffee hour and other events, rather than purchasing disposable.

Policy on recycling and waste disposal

PUUC uses the Town of Peterborough Recycling Center. Receptacles for the following types of trash are located off the kitchen in the downstairs of the church: mixed paper, brown paper and corrugated cardboard, aluminum, steel, plastic bottles (#1 & #2), glass. Smaller containers are found in the parish hall and in Carll House, with clear labels. Non-recyclables go in containers that are also clearly marked. (The Peterborough Recycling Center is currently NOT accepting any plastic for recycling—so avoiding plastics altogether is advisable.)

Food from community suppers may be given to local farmers. Peterborough Recycling Center recycles food waste, so whenever possible, food waste should be separated and taken to recycling center.

PUUC’s administrative office uses recycled paper. Ink cartridges, orders of service, vases, Christmas candles, and other materials are recycled as much as possible. PUUC has a collection bin for recycled printer ink, which is traded for office products at Staple’s.

PUUC’s recycling policy is printed and clearly visible in high-use areas of the property, including Alliance kitchen, downstairs kitchen, parish hall, RE wing, and the Carll House.

Policy on heat and energy usage

Thermostats in the Parish Hall are to be set at 60 degrees when rooms are unused, and at no more than 65 degrees when rooms are in use. Thermostats in the Sanctuary will be set to 40 degrees when the hall is not being used. The Carll House will be programmed to maintain 55 degrees during the heating season except for working hours when it will rise to 65. Scheduling the use of the buildings will be done with best energy efficiency in mind. In the winter, only the space in use should be heated—windows, doors and curtains can be closed as much as possible to contain heat within areas. All storm windows should be kept closed in winter. All lights should be turned off when rooms are not in use. The elevator should be used only when needed. All appliances should be unplugged or turned off at a power strip when not in use.

Policy on property maintenance and modification

All windows and doors should have storms (unless 2 doors are separated by an unheated alcove.) All ceilings and exterior walls should be insulated if possible. All cracks and voids on exterior walls (on the inside and outside of the building) should be caulked or filled, especially where woodwork meets walls, ceilings and floors. All electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls should be caulked and insulated. All hot water and heat pipes should be insulated. All light bulbs should be LED throughout the property. When replacing toilets, low-flow should be purchased. Appliances must be low-energy consuming products, preferably with Energy Star certification.