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All Souls Unitarian Universalist

"Because the Bible told me so" used to be an excuse to live it up at the Earth's expense. God created heaven and Earth and put people in charge, right? That line of thinking is starting to go out of style like stoning adulterers in the public square. Instead, the Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition has inspired parishioners to respect their creator by preserving the planet. Few churches are doing that better than All Souls Unitarian Universalist. Its promotion of low-emission transit starts at the top with the Rev. Jim Eller, a dedicated cyclist. The church works to reduce its members' dietary impact by hosting "Eat Your Values" lunches of organic, locally grown produce; it also drastically reduces waste — to just one pint-sized bag at a luncheon this past spring — by composting the scraps. The grounds at All Souls are home to a native plant garden, and the congregation has been working to increase energy efficiency throughout its buildings. Environmentalism is a common theme on Sunday mornings, with services and guest speakers balancing the necessary fire-and-brimstone warnings about the planet's decline and the joyful work of restoring it to look a little more like Eden.

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