Over 15 years ago, then UUA President Rev. William Sinkford implored we UUs, “Earth is our home. We are part of this world, and its destiny is our own. Life on this planet will be gravely affected unless we embrace new practices, ethics, and values to guide our lives on a warming planet. As Unitarian Universalists, how can our faith inform our actions to remedy and mitigate global warming/climate change?”

From February to April 2023, High Plains Church will take up this challenge and offer services and programs, as well as educational and social action opportunities on environmental issues. We will have recycling collection opportunities for particularly difficult items, like styrofoam, plastics not covered by single-stream recycling, and pop-top rings for Ronald McDonald.

We invite you and your interested friends to join us for any or all of the activities below.  All forums and services will be held in the HPCUU Sanctuary on the Unity Campus, 1945 Mesa Road (80904).

12 February 2023 Forum: UUA’s Call for Environmental Justice and Overview of 3 month exploration Sue Neufeld and the Environmental Team
19 February 2023 Worship: What a Future Without Plastics Looks Like + The Story of Stuff Sue Neufeld and the Environmental Team
5 March 2023 Worship: Water Conservation in a Time of Scarcity Julia Gallucci, CSU Water Conservation Supervisor
12 March 2023 Forum: Environmental Health Issues Sue Neufeld and the Environmental Team
19 March 2023 Worship: Who’s Working on Environmental Issues and What Do They Say Sue Neufeld and the Environmental Team
2 April 2023 Worship:  Reducing Our Carbon Footprint Gabriel Caunt, CS Utilities
16 April 2023 Worship: Wildfire Awareness, Mitigation and Safety Kathy Hook, Fire and Life Safety Educator, CS Fire Department

Activities and Social Action:

17 February 2023

(Friday) 3:30-5 pm

Guided tour of the CS Utilities Conservation and Environmental Center, 2855 Mesa Rd, 3:30-5pm Birgit Landin, Conservation Specialist: Environmental Stewardship and Home Efficiency. You already know using energy and water wisely makes sense, but where should you start?
8 April 2023

(Saturday) 2-4 pm

Book discussion:  Braiding Sweetgrass/Robin Kimmerer 2-4 pm, Unity Fellowship Hall

Facilitator:  Sue Neufeld

15 April 2023 (Sat) 9-12 Great American Cleanup Bear Creek Nature Center John Atkinson, Coordinator


Recycle Your Styrofoam & Pull Tabs at HPCUU 

February through April

John Atkinson and the Environmental Team will accept your Styrofoam and pull tabs from cans for recycling at all of the Environmental Worship Services and Forums.

Styrofoam accepted:  clean packaging, packing peanuts, go-boxes, and grocery trays.

Pull tabs from cans:  There is a small box in the Fellowship Hall for the benefit of the Ronald McDonald House.

Recycle Plastic Lids, Bottle Caps, and Plastic Trigger Sprayers at HPCUU

Sundays, February, March & April

Jean Muller will collect your plastic lids/caps from bottles and your plastic trigger sprayers on worship and forum Sundays in Feb., March, and April to donate to the Conscious Living Store. That store recycles several items that frequently cannot be recycled elsewhere. They also sell many items in bulk to refill your own containers, as well as many eco-friendly items. Check out the store’s website at https://www.consciouslivingshop.com/ or visit the store at 2616 W. Colorado Avenue #9, Colorado Springs, 719-646-7734, to learn more.


Environmental Book Discussion

April 8th, 2-4 pm

Everyone is invited to participate in the Environmental Book Discussion in the Unity Fellowship Hall (HPCUU, 1945 Mesa Road (80904). Refreshments will be served.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants/Robin Wall Kimmerer (2013).  (Amazon $9.99 Kindle, $13.25 paperback)

Kimmerer is a widely acclaimed best-selling author.  In December 2022, our UU Ministers discussed the book, and Colorado College hosted Kimmerer (Botany professor, McArthur Genius Award winner, and member of the Potowatamie Bear Clan) for a packed and well-received environmental lecture.

Pick up your copy, and Happy Reading.

Sue Neufeld, Facilitator, HPCUU Environmental Justice Team

Help with Plastic Recycling 

The local AAUW (American Association of University Women) chapter, which includes several HPCUU members, has a goal of collecting 500 pounds of recyclable plastic before May 31, 2023, in order to get a TREX bench for a nonprofit (through the NEXTREX program).  Jean Muller will collect your plastic donations on worship Sundays in February, March, and April.  All recyclables must be clean and dry, free of labels, food, and organic residue.  The plastic they want will stretch when you pull it, and colored plastic is fine.  If it tears like paper, is shiny, or makes a crinkly/crunchy sound in your hand, it is not acceptable for this program.

Acceptable Items Unacceptable Items
Produce bags Frozen food bags
Store bags Candy bar wrappers
Ice bags Chip bags
Ziploc and other resealable bags Net or mesh produce bags
Product wrap Degradable/compostable bags or film packaging
Cereal box liners Prewashed salad mix bags
Case overwrap (ie: from toilet paper, paper towels) Pet food bags
Bread bags Hot dog or meat wrap packaging
Newspaper sleeves Six-pack rings
Dry cleaning bags PPE (gloves, masks, protective wear)
Air pillows Lamination film
Bubble wrap Silage and hay bags
Plastic shipping envelopes Vinyl shower curtains or tablecloths
Pallet wrap and stretch film Bedding or linen packaging
Electronic wrap Shiny, crinkly films like floral wrap
Wood pellet or Salt bags