Introducing 40/40/40

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.

Explore posts in the same categories: 40/40/40 Basics


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9 Comments on “Introducing 40/40/40”

  1. Nelson Spratt Says:

    This is a wonderful initiative, and I think it will be an amazing step into the world realization that Earth Day is important for your Earth Life. I plan to use some of these suggestions in my day to day actions to reduce my negative impact on the planet.


  2. Otto O'Connor Says:

    I was very interested in reading about this in the Pacific Central Districts newsletter today. The timing of this is really interesting because my partner and I gave up cars for Lent. Our experiment is coming to a close in just a few short weeks, but we hope to keep elements of the car free lifestyle. We don’t drive often anyway, but now we will be even more conscious before we hail a cab or catch a ride.

    This is something other folks in urban areas could try for 40 days. Try it–you may not go back.

  3. Susan Eakins Says:

    The Missoula,MT UU Fellowship/ UUAM chapter will have at least one member of the Fellowship attending the HSUS Lobby Day for Animals, workshop in Helena, MT on 4-22-10, learning more ways to help lobby on behalf of animals.
    This will be the 40/40/40 launch project.
    Nice to know if other UU’s from various UU Communities in Montana also plan to attend the
    HSUS event.

  4. Edna Weigel Says:

    This is too good an idea to limit to UU’s. After all, we share one planet with people of all faiths. We are making plans to introduce 40/40/40 to the wider community through a table at two local Earth Day celebrations (one on April 17, the other on April 24, both associated with farmers markets)in addition to within our congregation. Since the “Sample Actions” all relate to ethical eating issues and are aimed directly at UU’s, I’m in the process of preparing a version to include suggestions related to water and energy usage. I will welcome additional suggestions.
    The details of our plans are still tentative but I hope to collect and report results from non-UU’s in addition to those from our congregation.

  5. Hi Edna,

    I think it is wonderful that the UU’s are doing this 40/40/40 challenge and like you would like it to spread to all humans, all faiths. I am writing an article on Earth Day for this Sunday’s Lifestyle section in the Herald/Review so would love to have your list of ethical water and energy usage actions as well as the ethical eating list. I will look for the latter. Great that you are coming to both Earth Days! Valerie Sierra Vista,AZ Earth Day Coordinator

  6. tina putneye Says:

    I too agree that this program should be shared with our interfaith alliance. We are showing the movie Renewal and plan to have a table there with the information.

    For our service on April 18, we are having trouble finding the “pledge insert”. Can anyone help us with this? I’ve looked all through the Sunday Service Kit, not sure exactly what the pledge insert the congregation is supposed to look at after the responsive reading.

    • Tina,

      I’m sorry if this was unclear. The Sunday Service Kit liturgy reads,

      “Leader: Take a moment to consider the 40/40/40 Pledge on the insert in your order of service [Silence]. I will take this pledge; will you join me? If you are so moved, say with me:

      “Congregation: As an expression of our Unitarian Universalist values, we pledge to change some aspects of our lives and behaviors for 40 days, for the sake of the Earth and all who live on it.”

      The congregational part printed above is the 40/40/40 pledge. The intent was for congregations to cut the responsive reading and pledge from the Sunday Service Kit and paste it into a form that works well as an insert, given whatever Order of Service Format your congregation uses.

      Because of your comment, though, I’ll create a 8.5×11 half-sheet insert and put it up on the UUA’s 40/40/40 web page. It should be available by the end of the day Wednesday April 14. Thanks for asking!

  7. Caron Says:

    Today at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Canton we celebrated our start to the Earth Day 40/40/40 and immediately following our service 43 members signed up to take on this challenge. Our 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.

  8. Rev. Lucy Hitchcock Seck Says:

    In Florida, several UUs and clergy from South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice joined a colorful, joyful 3 day march and Sunday rally organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workerrs to urge Publix Markets to demand that their growers pay 1 cent a pound more to tomato pickers and improve working conditions. To see an inspiring video of how farmworkers and concerned citizens can make a difference go to:

    For me, attending the rally in Lakeland, FL (even in the rain) was a great kick-off to my 40/40/40 pledge to make a difference through my activism and eating/buying habits. We sang, we chanted, we smiled, we high-fived those we recognized and those we didn’t.

    How have you all begun your ethical eating odyssey??

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