‘Bidder 70’ environmental film available to congregations

Bidder 70, the documentary film about Utah Unitarian Universalist Tim DeChristopher and his arrest for disrupting a federal oil and gas lease auction in 2008, is available for viewing by congregations. DeChristopher served two years in federal prisons and a halfway house for disrupting the auction, an act of civil disobedience that drew international attention to the climate change crisis. He was released April 21 and is now speaking out about the need for climate change activism. He will be enrolling in Harvard Divinity School this fall.

The 72-minute film, by Gage and Gage Productions, is available to congregations from UU Ministry for Earth. Congregations with fewer than 150 members pay $75 for rights to show the film. Those with more than 150 members pay $100. Congregations that wish to partner with other groups to show the film in a more public setting will be required to pay a higher fee.

Email UUMFE Office Manager Sabrina Louise Harle, or call (503) 595-9392 for more information.

Energy conservation help available

The Towson Unitarian Universalist Church in Lutherville, Md., dramatically reduced its energy use by taking steps that included sealing windows and replacing doors and light bulbs.

As a result it won the Interfaith Power and Light’s annual Cool Congregation contest, including a prize of $5,000, for the highest reduction in energy use. Said Carol Hedlund, chair of the church’s Green Sanctuary committee, “Our actions focused on three areas: energy efficiency of our building, educating our members on ways they could make changes in their own lives to reduce their individual footprints, and participating in energy efficiency community projects.”

The contest started with the congregation computing its carbon footprint, then working over a year to reduce it. Hedlund estimates the congregation reduced air leakage in its building by 67 percent and improved its heating and cooling capacity by 25 percent. It reduced its total carbon footprint by almost 20 percent.

Interfaith Power and Light, which has affiliate groups in 34 states, has issued a “10% Challenge” for congregations wishing to follow in the footsteps of Towson UU Church in reducing their total carbon footprint by 10 percent or more. The mission of Interfaith Power and Light is to assist congregations with energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy information. To learn more visit interfaithpowerandlight.org.