UU Unveils Second Edition of “Smart Guide to Island Housekeeping”

Have a question about where to recycle that television set?

Well look no further than the “Smart Guide to Island Housekeeping,” which was recently republished by the Unitarian Universalists Fellowship of St. John (UU) thanks to a $3,700 grant from the V.I. Waste Management Authority (VIWMA).

“Everyone in the fellowship is trying to do things in a green way in every respect,” said said UU member and guide editor Suki Buchalter. “One fulfillment for that project is doing education projects like our ‘Smart Guide.’ It is also fulfilling a key Unitarian Universalist principle of ‘respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.’”

The guide was originally published in 2008, but the updated version includes new information like aluminum recycling by the Recycling Association of the Virgin Islands’ St. John Chapter, solar hot water heaters and the latest recycling location and times from VIWMA.

With a cover illustration by Lisa Etre, the guide is easily recognizable and will be indispensable to anyone looking to “green up” their act.

Features in the new guide include environmental tips for visitors with information about conserving water and energy and where to dispose of trash. For St. John residents, the “Smart Guide” has tips for saving energy and the latest rebate information from the V.I. Energy Office.

The VIWMA recycling guide includes information on where to recycle everything from art supplies to wire coat hangers.

UU members also joined forces with the Island Green Building Association for a feature about environmentally-friendly development. With a guide to whipping up non-toxic household cleaners and helpful information about local trees and plants, the “Smart Guide” has a little something for everyone.

“We have over 500 rental homes on St. John and one of our man goals is to get the guide into those homes so people understand how important it to conserve water and energy during their stays,” said Buchalter.

Brimming with so much information, the “Smart Guide” should be required reading for St. John visitors and residents. But to ensure it’s survival, UU members are hoping to attract sponsors, explained Buchalter.

“We encourage people who like the publication and who are excited about it to join our effort and sponsor the booklet,” she said. “The grant from VIWMA was great and it allowed us to reprint this second edition, but we do need additional help to keep this going in the future.”

Look for the “Smart Guide” at Connections, Keep Me Posted, Friends of the Park Store, Maho Bay Campground and Island Green Building Association.

UU member and “Smart Guide” editor Gail Karlsson will discuss the new edition at UU’s Sunday, March 28, gathering at the Gifft Hill School’s great room at the Lower Campus starting at 10 a.m.

Karlsson, an environmental lawyer and consultant to the United Nations’ Development Program on Energy and Environmental Issues, will discuss the guide as well as her recent trip to the Climate Summit in Copenhagen.

Karlsson will discuss “Truth, Justice and the American Way of Life” and consider how principles of equity, compassion and respect for nature can lead towards more sustainable lifestyles and a broader sense of community.

The public is invited to attend the gathering and transportation from Cruz Bay is available. The group meets at 9:45 a.m., with the discussion starting at 10 a.m. For transportation call 776-6332.