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Providence Climate Agreement confessionals (and an announcement)

During our annual meeting in 2018, the Congregation, Providence Associates and others combined forces to create the Providence Climate Agreement.

We had a goal of reducing our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2 million pounds in one year.

We came close. And in September, we are excited to announce we achieved our goal. An additional 40 people signed up to the agreement and our total now is 2,320,870 of reduced carbon dioxide emissions!

And we’re still moving forward! Won’t you join us?

Since creating the Providence Climate Agreement, many sisters and Providence Associates reached out and provided testimonials of how their lives have changed since signing the agreement.

The following includes some of those testimonials:

From Sister Paula Damiano:

Sister Paula Damiano

“Awareness! Attention! Consciousness! These words describe the impact the Providence Climate Agreement has on me. I’m grateful to the Congregation for the many years of education and consciousness-raising over the issues of climate change, care of Earth, sustainability and energy usage. What have I done? How has it changed me? What I want to say is that I can’t NOT think about it in my everyday life …”

From Sister Marilu Covani:

Sister Marilu Covani

“I use a RITA filter in my faucet and refill the plastic water bottles they offer us at work. I treat my accelerator pedal gently to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions in the car I use. I have one small garbage can in the kitchen and hang next to it a plastic bag where I save daily all recyclables. Take care of my little garden, managing water and nutrients … and sometimes, I do sign email messages asking for responses regarding environmental injustice issues … but mea culpa, not always!”

From Gene Majewski, Providence Associate:

Gene Majewski, PA

“Having been committed to carbon reduction has been both a challenge and an encouragement. Guarding my water use (doing laundry less in cooler temps, running the dishwasher biweekly), electricity (CFL bulbs, power strips), food (one meatless day-a-week), and the recent purchase of stainless steel straws has afforded me the opportunity to feel committed to lessening my carbon footprint even in small ways.”

From Sister Rosemary Schmalz:

Sister Rosemary Schmalz

“Having moved to Providence Hall in 2018, I noticed that the seven general computers were left on all night … I discussed this with the IT staff who suggested that we turn them completely off, even the power strip. I brought this to a house meeting and all the sisters here agreed to this. So they are now turned off completely every evening and turned on again every morning. Since I took on the task of turning off the computers every night, I noticed there was way more light than was necessary for safe hall travel. It dawned on me that one solution to our excess light problem would be simply to remove some of the bulbs. Facilities Management bought into the plan and walked the halls with me. They pointed out that some of the lights must keep their bulbs because they are the emergency lights. It was agreed that these will be the bulbs that will remain. All others were removed.”

From Eileen and Joe Horan, Providence Associates:

Eileen and Joe Horan, PAs

“Every time we go to throw something in the trash, we think to ourselves, ‘Could that be recycled? Could that be composted?’ It is amazing how much less trash we put out now … We already composted, but it has taken on new meaning for us. We feel good about eating foods where we can compost what is left over instead of throwing away the packaging … Thanks to our Providence Circle friend, Marilyn Rausch, we have some cloth napkins we keep on the table and use at mealtimes … We want to leave the planet inhabitable for our children and grandchildren.”

From Sister Donna Butler:

Sister Donna Butler

“I am eating more meatless meals and focusing on learning more about nutrition to better my personal health as well as the health of the planet. I continue to educate myself about climate change issues through reading, webinars and films. I’ve noted the many interconnections with other issues. I educated Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College students in Core 100 classes and in Jamie McCracken’s sustainability class, urging them to sign the agreement and take other actions toward sustainability. I do advocacy at the state, national and global level.”

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Sisters of Providence

The Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, are a congregation of Roman Catholic women religious (sisters) who minister throughout the United States and Taiwan. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin founded the Sisters of Providence in 1840. The congregation has a mission of being God's Providence in the world by committing to performing works of love, mercy and justice in service among God's people.

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