Earth Day 2012 materials now online

Posted March 7, 2012 by John Gibb Millspaugh
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

Find everything you need to celebrate the third year of 40/40 at, with additional materials at!

40 Days to GA!

Posted May 14, 2010 by John Gibb Millspaugh
Categories: General Assembly

Howard Lyman to speak at UU General Assembly

A great way to meet 40/40/40 participants from around the country is by attending the UUA General Assembly, set to launch in Minneapolis on June 23. You and other members of your congregation devoted to Ethical Eating and Environmental Justice will find a lot to explore; the EE Core Committee, under the auspices of the Commission On Social Witness, is sponsoring two workshops (including one with world-famous Howard Lyman), and other groups are organizing activities as well.

#3013 Saving the World One Fork at a Time
Friday 1:00pm – 2:15pm
Minneapolis Convention Center – 200 FG
Commission on Social Witness and The UU Animal Ministry
The standard American diet is the root cause of the top four causes of death in the US and is the leading cause of the environmental meltdown on the earth today. Saving ourselves may save the earth.
Howard Lyman, Rev. Dr. Paul Johnson, Rev. John Gibb Millspaugh

#3058 Ethical Eating: Moving Toward a Statement of Conscience
Friday 4:30pm – 5:45pm; Minneapolis Convention Center – 200 FG
Commission on Social Witness
Be Inspired! Inspire Others! Year 2 of the Congregational Study/Action Issue. Bring stories of the good ideas and actions of your congregation that bring our food choices into alignment with our principles. The panel will provide insight and gather content for the development of the Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice Statement of Conscience.

Other suggestions:
#2015 Environmental Justice in Our Congregations
UU Ministry for Earth Thursday 9:00am – 10:15am
Minneapolis Convention Center – M100 IJ
This workshop will help you bring environmental justice alive in your congregation. Learn about congregational success stories as well as UUA and UUMFE educational and advocacy tools. Experience and take home an activity designed to help your congregation put justice into its climate change actions.
Steve Maier, Dr. Mark A. Hicks, Rowan Van Ness

#2073 Environmental Justice: The Green Revolution in Religion
Ballou Channing District Thursday 2:45pm – 4:00pm
Minneapolis Convention Center – M100 GH
Join the revolution! Environmental justice advocates are challenging traditional ways of thinking about the environment and religious practice. Our speakers will review the proposed business resolution called “The Green Revolution in Religion.” Can Unitarian Universalists develop a shared vision for environmental justice? Panel discussion. Rev. Robert Murphy, moderator. Rev. Jose Ballester, Rev. Paul Rasor, Rev. Dr. Fred Muir, Rev. Lucy Hitchcock Seck

Please join us and check out the Commission on Social Witness booth in the Exhibit Hall. Friendly volunteers there will answer questions, share ideas and materials for you to take back to your congregations.

Anyone want to get together for a shared meal or other activity at GA? Let’s hear about it in the comments.

The Web is Abuzz

Posted May 2, 2010 by John Gibb Millspaugh
Categories: Congregational Activities, Media coverage

The web is abuzz with 40/40/40!

Participants in over 50 Unitarian Universalist congregations in 30 U.S. states and at least two countries are celebrating. Check here to see if your congregation has registered, so that you get national credit and we can know how many congregations are participating—-and so we can sing your praises!

You may have seen that 40/40/40 was the top headline on for about a week–that story is a good one.

40/40/40 is considered an official event by the official Earth Day folks, and has been covered in the secular press in places like St. Louis, MO, Sierra Vista, AZ, and greater Boston, MA, as well as by a handful of newspapers that don’t have online editions.

But the real story is happening in congregations–check out this impressive 40/40/40 Calendar from the UU Church of Greater Bridgeport in Stratford CT—-and in Unitarian Universalist homes, as evidenced by almost daily updates on blogs like Ideal for Eating, UUCE 40 Days, The Geeky White Girl Grows Up, and Inspired Faith, Effective Action.

Where else have you seen 40/40/40 on the web?

Tell us your story so far, or part of your congregation’s story, in the comments—-we may just devote a blog entry to what you have to say!

Ideas for Children and Youth

Posted April 24, 2010 by John Gibb Millspaugh
Categories: Congregational Activities

A volunteer helps organize food for distribution at the San Francisco Food Bank

Children and youth are leading the way toward environmental justice and stewardship of the Earth. If you’re looking for ways to involve children and youth in 40/40/40, you might best start by asking them for their ideas. Looking for more?

The 40/40/40 Sample Actions Document lists 10 sample actions for children and youth. But that’s just the beginning.
Jessica Rubenstein, Director of Youth Ministry for Winchester Unitarian Society in Massachusetts, has generated great conversations in the church’s large youth group with excerpts from Michael Pollen’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma for Kids, which is really for middle school and high school ages, and movies like Fast Food Nation, Supersize Me, Food Inc., The Future of Food, and FRESH (most of which are reviewed in the updated Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice 2010 Study Guide).
Jessica points out the availability of great curriculum online on food sovereignty, lessons for garden, kitchen, and classroom, and much more.

On 40/40/40 for the Earth!’s Facebook page, starter activities for kids has been a hot topic. Check out that page’s comments for more ideas like Peggy Ellis’s to “throw away NOTHING at lunchtime. Use all reusable containers, take utensils from home that get washed and reused, take water in a reusable container. Urge other kids to do the same.” Susan Eakins reminds us how easy it is to find a nearby farmed animal sanctuary where you can help, pet, and care for farmed animals…and she asks, are any UU congregations part of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots groups?

Soon we’ll post ideas about UU curricula you can use during, and well beyond, the 40/40/40 campaign. But what ideas would you add to the mix? Let’s hear it in the comments.

What are People in Your Congregation Doing?

Posted April 22, 2010 by John Gibb Millspaugh
Categories: Congregational Activities, Media coverage

Happy Earth Day!

The 40/40/40 campaign is the top story on the UUA’s home page, and lots of folks from the UUA’s Advocacy and Witness and Washington Center are taking part, like the three excerpted below. What are folks in your congregation doing? Let’s hear it in the comments–and let us know if you have pictures or videos of your experience to share!

Orelia Busch
For the next forty days, and hopefully for the rest of my life, I will only eat meat that comes from farms with sustainable and humane practices, preferably located near where I live.  I want to know exactly where my meat is coming from and be assured that the animals I’m eating have not been pumped full of antibiotics and chemicals or lived under the conditions of factory farming, which is inhumane not only to the animals but also the workers involved.  Sometime during or after the forty days, I will probably expand these criteria to all animal products that I consume, but for now, I’ll start with meat.

Rob Keithan
I am going to only drinking fair trade coffee.  I think that will be challenging but not too challenging!

Rowan Van Ness
I’m going to say grace before each meal and be more mindful about and grateful for my food and the journey it takes from field to the table. I’m curious to see how taking a few moments each day to recognize all of the people; the sun, rain, and soil; the spirit of life—all involved in getting me the food I eat every day—changes my relationship with food and decisions around what I eat.

Make Local News with the 40/40/40 Press Release

Posted April 20, 2010 by John Gibb Millspaugh
Categories: Congregational Activities, Media coverage

Just in time for Earth Day, the customizable 40/40/40 Local Press Release has been posted on the UUA’s 40/40/40 main page.

Today: download it, adapt it, send it off to your local papers and news outlets.

Later this week: enjoy knowing that you’ve just spread the word about your congregation to thousands of interested people nearby.

And congratulations to the UU Church of Southeastern Arizona, for their 40/40/40 story in the Sierra Vista Herald.

40/40/40 Launches in Twenty States or More!

Posted April 18, 2010 by John Gibb Millspaugh
Categories: Congregational Activities

Engineers Without Borders helped launch 40/40/40 in the UU Church of Canton, IL. Photo: At work in La Margarita, Ecuador

So far, congregations in twenty states have registered their 40/40/40 events. Represented so far:  Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and Wisconsin!

The UU Church of Elgin, Illinois kicked off its own 40/40/40 blog ( and launched its festivities  with a sermon on ethical eating and environmental justice, tabling for 40/40/40 participation, and signups for Fair Trade gift baskets.

The UU Church of Canton, NY used the Sunday Service Kit (PDF) to help shape today’s service, and found that 43 members signed onto the challenge immediately following. Their pulpit guests were students from Clarkson University Engineers Without Borders, who shared their ongoing mission to provide clean sanitary drinking water to remote villages of South America.

If your 40/40/40 service will be next Sunday, be sure to check out the Sunday Service Kit (PDF) and additional worship resources in the updated Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice Worship Resources Supplement.

What’s going on in your congregation? Let’s hear it in the comments. Send your pictures if you’ve got ‘em!

UU World magazine publishes story on 40/40/40

Posted March 29, 2010 by John Gibb Millspaugh
Categories: Media coverage

The UU World just wrote its first story on the 40/40/40 campaign. It’s in today’s online edition.

Introducing 40/40/40

Posted March 13, 2010 by John Gibb Millspaugh
Categories: 40/40/40 Basics


2010 is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

From April 18-May 27, Unitarian Universalists (UUs) across the continent are making 40 day commitments to large and small actions and lifestyle change to celebrate their respect for the Earth. Some are adopting changes as a 40-day trial run of what might become a longer-lasting commitment.

When 40 from one UU congregation successfully complete the 40 days, the congregation receives special acknowledgment from the UUA through its “Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice” Core Team. (Congregations where 40 seems too ambitious–or not ambitious enough!– may substitute 40% of their average worship attendance.)

This blog is where–in words, pictures, and video–we post the stories of your 40/40/40 experience. Go ahead and subscribe to this blog (on the right), knowing it will probably be pretty quiet here until mid-April, when 40/40/40 launches all over the continent. To learn more about how to prepare for 40/40/40,  visit and download the resources at the bottom of the page.