30-Day No Plastic Pledge 2021

The 30-Day No-Plastic Pledge - Starts August 22, 2021

The recent news about climate change is not good. And it can tempt us to feel hopeless...to feel like there's nothing we can do. But that's not true. There is something we can do. Lots we can do in fact.

Imagine if we all came together and decided we were going to do something about it? What if we all decided to give up ways of living that were harming the planet – even if it meant being inconvenienced? After living a year and a half in the pandemic, we all know a thing or two about being inconvenienced. And, guess what? We’re still here.

So, what if we all made a commitment to give up plastic for 30 days? All plastic bags. All plastic containers. We just don’t buy anything that comes in a plastic container. And we always bring our own reusable bags when we shop. Here’s the inconvenient truth: most plastic doesn’t really get recycled anymore. China used to be the world's recycler. They're not taking any of it anymore. There’s way too much plastic to be recycled. Most of it ends up on beaches all over the world, piled in huge mountains of plastic…or in the oceans.  And then fish, dolphins and whales swallow it.  

But if we can agree, together, that we’re going to stop that…we’re going to do our part to end it? Now that’s working together for the common good of all!  

We have a variety of informative videos on the topic curated by our EarthCare Team leader, Tom Hoban, that offer additional ways you can make a difference. Please watch as many as you like, and then sign the ONLINE pledge form.


We have also created a forum on our UCP Facebook page to support each other during this 30-day pledge.  Feel free to comment on your progress or share helpful hints that you've learned along the way that could help and support others as we continue accomplishing our no-plastic use goal.


30-Day No Plastic Pledge - Videos and Resources

Plastic Pollution Coalition – Sign Up to Join this proactive group

Short video narrated by environmental activist and actor Jeff Bridges

The Plastic Age: A Documentary feat. Pharrell Williams (Full Film)



The One True Solution to Plastic Pollution | Wellsley Brown | TEDxMidAtlantic

A Plastic Pollution Solution Hiding in Plain Sight

An Individual’s Solution to Plastic Pollution | Haley Plaas | TEDxUMiami

The surprising solution to ocean plastic | David Katz - TED

Solving Plastic Pollution | Narrated by Sir David Attenborough & Dame Ellen MacArthur

Plastic Pollution Needs Bigger Solutions | Chris Reeves | TEDxNewport

Curing Our Plastic Problem

The bacterial solution to plastic pollution | Morgan Vague | TEDxMtHood



Key Facts About Plastic Pollution - Greenpeace USA

Surfers Against Sewage

12 Plastic Pollution Facts That Show Why We Need To Do More

22 Facts About Plastic Pollution (And 10 Things We Can Do About It)

EarthCare at UCP

We at Unity Center of Peace have adopted Unity’s EarthCare Initiative with enthusiasm.  We have established an Earthcare Team, led UCP member, Tom Hoban, who brings his expertise as Professor of Environmental Studies at Elon University here in North Carolina. The team is passionately supported by a significant percentage of our membership.  Our congregation inspires us regularly with new ideas for how we can become more earth-friendly.  After the team was launched, we dedicated the month of September to the idea of “Loving Our Planet” and wove talks and presentations around this topic (you can find them archived under Past Services.)  The month ended with an EarthCare Covenant Service where we ceremonially agreed to, and signed, the EarthCare Covenant that we had developed under the direction of our EarthCare Team.  Below is our Covenant.

Our consciousnes reveals that all of creation is connected as one.  The story of creation reveals our role as good caregivers.  As a people committed to spiritual awakening, we pledge now to renew our reverence for life and to respect the interdependent web of all existence.

We honor our sacred promise to balance our individual needs with those of nature.  We envision a world in which everything has intrinsic value, and where all beings are assured a secure and meaningful life that is ecologically responsible and sustainable.

We agree to align our individual and shared lives in a way that demonstrates our respect for our planet and for each other.  We vow to walk upon the Earth for the greatest good of all creation.

The covenant is signed by Rev. Victoria Loveland-Coen, Rev. Rosemary Hyde, Tom Hoban, Melanie Caron (representing the Board of Trustees) and Daniel Mora (representing the Youth Team).  It hangs proudly in our foyer. 

 If you would like to be involved in this important endeavor, please contact Tom Hoban:  


As part of our EarthCare Initiative, here are the steps that are now underway at UCP: 


A. Pray/Vision/Commit. Unity Center of Peace’s EarthCare Team has reflected on, visioned and defined an EarthCare Covenant. That covenant was officially signed by both our Ministers, a Board of Trustees representative Tom Hoban, our EarthCare Team Ambassador and a representative of our youth team, before the entire congregation on September 29th, 2019. Our congregation affirmed their agreement to this covenant.

B. Mindful Eating: We have established a CSA program at Unity Center of Peace. After each Sunday service local farmer, Doug Jones, provides us with fresh, local, organic vegetables every week, year round. Our team is Marlene Medina with Farmer Doug Jones.

C. Waste Minimization. In collaboration with other Chapel Hill spiritual communities and the Orange County Waste Disposal Service, we are establishing a Zero-Waste program. Part of this program is to educate our congregation on how to reduce, recycle, reuse, as well as compost 100% of products used. This will reduce polluting landfill use to almost zero— eliminating one of the biggest sources of climate changing methane emissions from our portion of planet Earth.

D. Interdependent Web of Creation. Our Homestead Road Cleanup commitment. Four times a year, our spiritual community is committed to remove all waste from along a major street in our neighborhood, Homestead Road. In collaboration with Orange County, this cleanup contributes significantly to protecting our local wildlife from toxicity and injury from a wide range of discarded industrial products.
We are also home to sacred spaces including a labyrinth and medicine wheel for individuals and groups to reflect, pray and walk in reverence with Mother Earth.

E. Recycling/Conservancy of Natural Resources. We are committed to protecting our environment here at our spiritual family's building and grounds, as well as educating our community. This initiative includes using only recyclable and compostable disposable items, replacing all single use items with reusable ones, and sharing this policy with all of our renters, and anyone who uses our building and grounds.

F. Share. Unity Center of Peace is part of the Unity Ministers of the Mid-Atlantic States sub-region (consisting of approximately 50 Unity centers) which meet twice a year, and hosts an annual retreat for all members. This year we passionately shared our community’s commitment to the EarthCare Initiative, hoping to inspire other spiritual communities in this region to embrace the initiative as well. We learned that we are the first, but we are committed to continue sharing this message and helping them adopt it.


UCP adopted a stretch of Homestead Road between UCP and MLK Blvd. This is a way for us to care for our environment and show love for it and our neighbors. 


UCP has "adopted" a stretch of Homestead Road between Lake Hogan Farms and Weaver Dairy Rd.  Clean-ups happen four Saturdays each year.  This is a great way for us to care for our environment and show love for it and our neighbors. 

Join us at our next Outreach opportunity and receive the gifts of service.  We'll provide safety vests, pickup tools etc., and lots of fun!  With 12 or more people, we can easily clean our adopted highway (Homestead Road) in the allotted time. The more the merrier!  Although NCDOT guidelines allow only children over 12.  And, children between the ages of 12-18 are required to have a parent present.

Be sure to wear long pants and long sleeves, sturdy, closed toe shoes, bring water, and anything you need to be comfortable outdoors.

If you have never participated in a UCP Adopt-a-Hwy cleanup, you will need to let us know.  There is a prerequisite to watch a "Safety Guidelines for the Adopt-a-Hwy Program" video, which takes about 10 minutes, and a participation release form to sign.

We will meet in the UCP parking lot and go to the cleanup site as a group.  Please use the online registration form to let us know you plan to help out.

For questions you may contact Mark Smith at