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Climate Change Task Force moving forward!

At the beginning of July, members of the Sisters of Providence and Providence Associates gathered for their annual meeting, where we spent the morning talking about issues of climate change.

We reduced our collective carbon footprint this year by 1,392,179 million pounds!

One year ago, when we met, we challenged ourselves to reduce our collective carbon footprint by two million pounds. While we knew it was an extremely challenging goal, we set out to do what we could to make changes in our lifestyle. Although we didn’t make it to two million pounds, we are more than three-fourths of the way there … and since then, many people have begun to make additional commitments.

And so, on we go, undeterred and determined to continue to meet and even exceed our goal!

At the meeting, we challenged ourselves to continue to reduce or eliminate the use of fossil fuels in all its forms. In particular, we looked at the impact of eating lower on the food chain. So many people said that they were unaware of all the ways that food production and consumption play such an enormous part in the emission of carbon. They were amazed (as was I when I first read it) that 47 percent of the greenhouse gases from food consumption are attributable to meat, whereas vegetables, fruits and grains together account for 12 percent. Since then, I have heard sisters going through the food line, saying to the one next to them that “I think I’ll take a meatless option today.” Others are ready to advocate for the menu committee to make a more significant change in the daily menus that will result in our reducing our footprint.

Yes, we are more determined than ever to do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint, even if it means changing dietary practices!

At the meeting, we were also given links to websites that will help us to know where various political candidates stand on climate change issues, how to access their voting records, and how to contact them. As the country gears up for elections, we know that those who hold office have enormous power to affect the mitigation of carbon emissions.

Finally, we challenged ourselves to learn tactics for talking with others about climate change. We know that, by ourselves, our impact is small. Yet, if each of us can reach out to several others and engage them in owning the climate change problem, perhaps we will truly make a difference.

So here is my challenge, readers: It would be that there are some things YOU could do to help reduce carbon emissions that are so detrimental to Earth. Please join us in our efforts to save Earth before it is too late. Click here and join us in our commitment to be part of the solution to this enormous problem.

Here are some links for you to use:

ballotpedia.org – Elections, sample ballots, candidate profiles and government and public policy

govtrack.us – Current Legislators, bills and votes

usa.gov/elected-officials – Federal, state and local

justiceforimmigrants.org – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops initiated advocacy network, or

U.S. Capitol Switchboard – 1-202-224-3121

Your local newspaper – Write a letter to the editor, and

Collaborate – Engage in conversation and action with organizations in your area

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Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp

Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp

Sister Jeanne Hagelskamp has been a Sister of Providence since 1975. She currently serves on the Congregation leadership team. Previously she ministered as a teacher and administrator at the secondary and university levels.

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