Composting at UCE

compost-clipart-1You may have noticed and wondered about the two green containers at the southeast corner of our church parking lot.  They are vital links in UCE’s commitment to caring for our green planet by diverting waste from our landfills.
You can easily become a part of this commitment for a small annual contribution of $60 per person (up to a $180 maximum per household).  If you are interested in joining this movement, contact the church office (by mail or in person), or fill out this form and email it to Carli Magel, or return it to the church office. For an additional $10, we will provide you with your very own kitchen counter composting bucket.  (Plastic bags are not acceptable containers because they are not compostable.)
If you have any questions about this program, please contact Compost Program Coordinator John LaPlante at church or through the church office.
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The Green Sanctuary Composting/Reduce/Reuse/Recycling team has set up a “special” recycling center for our church, and we will make sure that these items find their way to special recycling centers located in Evanston or Skokie. Our church’s special recycling center is located near the bathrooms on the main floor and has labeled drawers. The following items can be placed in the drawers:

Batteries: AA, AAA, C, D and 9 volt, as well as rechargeable batteries (NiCad, NiMh, lithium ion, and lithium polymer).

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL): these contain a small amount of mercury, so please put them in a zip-lock-type baggie and place them in the drawer carefully. Non-CFL bulbs are not recyclable.

Cell phones (we will be hosting larger electronics recycling periodically throughout the year)

Used Toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, floss containers

Pens and Markers

Old Glue Bottles

Brita and PUR Water Filters (brand specific)

Printer Cartridges

Nylons: including pantyhose, nylon knee highs and tights- No Nonsense will take all of these used products (all brands) and turn them into park benches, playground equipment and carpets!  Or, if you prefer, you can send them in yourself with USPS mail return labels that you can download yourself from their website ( or which will be provided at the special recycling center- just affix the label to a brown envelope filled with your used nylons, take it to the Post Office, and mail back to No Nonsense.

And look for occasional educational updates at the recycling center for information on additional items you probably didn’t even know you could recycle!

If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Heather Brown at [email protected] or Eileen Wiviott at [email protected]

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The Talking Farm (TTF) is a group of folks primarily from Evanston, Chicago, and Skokie who work on sustainable urban farming projects. UCE’s shared plate proceeds have funded TTF in the past, so we thought we’d update you on what TTF has been doing the past few years.

Here’s an excerpt from an article that appeared in the Huff Post recently:

“The Talking Farm (TTF) advocates sustainable agriculture and organic growing practices and runs the Edible Acre and Howard Street Farm projects. The organization was founded in 2006 out of the efforts of the Evanston Food Council.

The Howard Street Farm has been in existence since 2010, after the village of Skokie offered TFF, a 20 year lease on a 2 acre parcel of land right on the Roger’s Park/Skokie border. However, obtaining the land was only the beginning of getting the farm up and running. Over the next few years, The Talking Farm went through the long process of making it legal to have an urban farm in Skokie and sell the produce, which was the first of its kind in the area…

In 2015, TFF sponsored intern programs at their Howard Street Farm in Skokie, provided 285 hours of school instruction to Evanston Township High School, Y.O.U. (Youth Opportunity United) and the TOT Learning Center, 2498 hours of volunteer time were donated to help the Howard Street Farm operate. They now sell their produce from the Howard Street Farm to Local Foods in Chicago and several area restaurants including Farmhouse and Boltwood in Evanston. The farm continues to grow and flourish amidst the bleak industrial landscape surrounding it. Every September, they hold their annual Hullabaloo, which is a celebration of the farm and sustainable farming.”

The Green Sanctuary folks are hoping to organize a UCE work day this spring or early summer combined with tours of the Howard Street Farm. Stay tuned. We also want to celebrate the amazing work done by this local organization with the support of UCE.



When Bret mentioned his sermon on simplicity, I agreed it made a fine
theme. Simplicity acts as a promise, one compelling action. The increasing
volatility of our weather, adverse impacts on shipping, farming, real
estate and public safety hint at the need to live more simply. We can use
less fuel; we can buy less stuff, and so generate less waste. We can
consider closely our wants and needs. Look and look again at what we
really need – bottled water, individual serving sizes, another shopping
bag, another shirt, another exotic vacation, another house, a bigger

Simplicity it seems starts with simple questions, simple choices, simple
words. Do I need to drive to work; turn up the thermostat for comfort;
keep a closet full of Alcohol Ethoxylate, Perchlorethylene or Nitrobenzene
just to clean the house? Simple alternatives are usually at hand. Whether
it be taking the train once a week or recognizing the cleaning power of
oil, vinegar and baking soda – simple words for simple cleaning –
opportunities to live simply are always on hand.

Not all simple choices are made simply of course. Living comfortably
without turning up the thermostat in winter means pajamas, robes and
slippers – or better insulating your home. The latter choice isn’t simple
in execution of course. It means contractors, estimates, quotes,
financing rebates scheduling etc etc. Catching a train or bus means
tracking its schedule, awaiting its arrival. Having made enough simple
goals you may notice the big projects they sometimes hide. Perhaps you’re
suspicious of them. Home improvement isn’t synonymous with fun after all.

Simplicity is a noun. Like a promise it can hang there, mid-air, between
two people, hang lonely in a crowd, remain stranded somewhere between now
and then, sometimes for years. Like a promise simplicity can also steer,
give a clear sense of the end product of the ensuing choices. Polish your
wood with olive oil and orange juice; try it sometime. The smell is
delicious, and your bare hands will love you for it. Sit on the train and
read, or don’t read; look out the window, wonder at the all the funny hats
people wear to keep warm, just sit. Stand in your kitchen as the coffee
brews and sun rises and enjoy warm feet.

Paul in writing the Corinthians would say that to speak as men or angels
without love is to sound like a cheap brass band. Springtime abounds with
new promises, strewn about yards and throughout our conversation. These
often wither or are replaced by June. The King James derives love in
Paul’s letter from the same archaic Greek signifying charity, and indeed
there’s no small similarity. To love; to cherish, or give in this time of
rebirth is to hold dear a million blossoms and countless score warm
raindrops to clean the streets and the air, our minds and hearts. To
cherish a longer day, the mercy of playing tag in the yard without your

And so for Earth Month make simple choices. Cherish their making, hold
dear the simple moments that follow. Apply and repeat as often as needed.
Love is never far, but it usually starts with you. Start today.



We offer composting to our members and friends in the bins on the south end of the parking lot. Please sign up and PAY for this service in the church office or on-line. The monthly fee to UCE is $5 per person, $20 max per household, payable in semi-annual and annual payments either by check or automatic payments from our website. You can compost ALL foods including meat, bones, fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds, eggshells, oils and fats. You can also include compostable cups and plates, paper towels, and popsicle sticks. Remove labels from fruit skins. Click here for more information on how to bring your scraps and how to pay. Contact Erlene Howard with questions: [email protected]

You can also get a kitchen countertop bin to collect your scraps during the week from Erlene at a reduced cost of $8 sure-close bin.

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