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Season of Creation 2022: Most Important Actions We Can All Do

Each one of us has a voice, and using it is how we change the world!

Note: We are celebrating the Season of Creation (Sept. 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation through Oct. 4, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi). The Sisters of Providence Climate Change Task Force will share 10 blogs, with this being the eighth in the series. We hope you enjoy them.

Katherine Hayhoe, named a Champion of the Earth by the United Nations, and other leading climate activists tell us that the most important things we can do to address the climate crisis are Talk About It, Step on the Carbon Scale and Advocate. The good, really great news, is that these are things we can all do at any time in our lives and in any place.

TALK – TALK – TALK about Climate Change to family, friends, neighbors, workers and all.

Why?

We must “use our voices to advocate for change within our spheres of influence. Connecting with one another is how we change ourselves, how we change others, and ultimately, how we change the world. It’s contagious.”

Katherine Hayhoe writes: “Talk will lead to action, on an individual and then a community level, which will in turn influence governments, businesses, and other organizations to make the large-scale systemic changes necessary to mitigate the potential damage from climate change … What works is talking about how climate change affects us here and now, in ways that are dear to us and relevant to our lives today … And then we start to look for solutions, like reducing food waste and eating more plants, biking or walking. Then people will feel empowered and keep pushing for more change.”

Resources for Talking about Climate Change

Pal Hawken, in his latest book, “Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation,” has a similar message. “From the planet’s point of view, there is no difference between a climate denier and someone who understands the problem but does nothing. Not only do actions change our beliefs; our actions change other people’s beliefs.”

Specific Ways We Can Make a Difference in Caring for Our Common Home

(Adapted from Catholic Climate Covenant with additions)

  • Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Repurpose, Recycle. Consider the five “R’s” before we recycle. Recycling reduces our carbon footprint both because landfills emit greenhouse gases through decomposition, and because manufacturing from scratch is carbon-intensive. Find where and how to recycle almost anything here,
  • Calculate our carbon footprint. Understand which activities are carbon-intensive so we know where we can take action. A free footprint calculator can be accessed here,
  • Be energy efficient. Switch to renewable energies. During the summer months, close curtains to block heat from the sun. During the winter, open curtains to allow the sun to warm our homes. Turn down air conditioning or heating when we leave the house,
  • Move to a more Plant-based diet. Go meatless one or more days a week. For more information, click here,
  • Say no to single use Plastics. Stop using disposable plastic bottles, bags, straws, cutlery, cups, etc. For more information, click here, or here,
  • Use less water. Water processing accounts for about 3 percent of energy use in the United States. Install low- P spigots, or select the “eco” setting on laundry machines and dishwashers. Minimize number of loads. Consider shorter showers, etc. Use cold water when possible,
  • Save our trees. Buy eco-friendly paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, etc.) Try Swede dish cloths. Read “Best Eco-Friendly Toilet Paper, Paper Towel, and Tissues, As per Natural Resources Defense Council Report here,
  • Use energy efficient appliances and lights. Replace appliances with Energy Star rated lights and buy LED lights for home, office, church, etc.,
  • Garden in a Climate Friendly Way. Plant trees. Plant native plants, pollinator-friendly flowers and spread wildflower seeds. Use environmentally friendly practices in gardening, leaf blowing, etc.,
  • Adjust our driving routine. Combine multiple errands into one trip. Carpool. Consider a hybrid or electric car,
  • Petition policy makers. Write officials and when possible, visit them to let them know that we stand for the stewardship of creation. Call in on specific legislation,
  • Vote Knowledgably. Study the candidates and vote for those committed to addressing Climate Change. Help these candidates’ campaigns,
  • Write to local newspapers. Writing a letter to the editor has effects beyond our local community. Legislators assign their staffs to read letters to the editor as an important barometer of constituents’ interests,
  • Review Sisters of Providence Land Ethic 2011,
  • Stay informed and up-to-date on Climate issues. Read articles and books, watch videos, participate in webinars and conferences and events that lift up care for creation,
  • Form a study or action group. We are all strengthened when we act together as a community. Consider joining or forming a Creation Care Team, a Green Team, or a Laudato Si’ Action Platform Team,
  • Join the Community’s CathCAP Program. Offset driving and flying carbon effects here. Here is our contribution page, and
  • Talk, Talk, Talk to family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, about climate change. Don’t lead with scary facts which can scare and paralyze. Start from where they are, what interests or concerns them!

Pray, Reflect, Advocate and Act.

Reflect on Katherine Hayhoe’s message by watching her video or reading her book. Plan to talk about the climate crisis with someone each week. Choose one or two actions from “Ways to Make a Difference” and act on them. When ready, choose another, and act. Participate in our Community’s CathCAP program. Continue advocating and acting as we are able. Talk, Talk, Talk!

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Climate Change Task Force

The Climate Change Task Force consists of Sisters of Providence Barbara Battista, Cathy Campbell, Jeanne Hagelskamp, Marilyn Kofler, Barbara Sheehan and Mary Tomlinson in addition to Providence Associates Marilyn Antonik, Jessi Blessinger, Gene Majewski, Lynda Parker, Jan Showalter and Jeannie Smith.

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1 Comment

  1. Carol Knoerzer in Northbrook, IL on September 28, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    Dear Sisters,
    The Climate Change blog is absolutely outstanding! The research, links, information are wonderful. And the text is so beautifully composed and worded. I’ve learned so much with each addition. You are all to be commended. Thank you for all this work and the best to all in your commitment and work for our world and environment. Prayers are lifted up for you as you celebrate your founder and community.

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