Changing everyday habits is not easy, but ultimately the goal of our discussion is to spur action. Each week we set resolutions to keep, and each of us works at their own pace to incorporate these practices into our lives. Here’s a running list of the goals we’ve set for ourselves:
- Do not use disposable bags
- Use a handkerchief
- Abstain from warm showers on Friday
- Abstain from meat, fish, and shellfish on Friday
- Abstain from meat, including fish and shellfish, every Friday of the year except for solemnities.
- Stop using ziploc plastic bags, and for those that are necessary to use, wash and reuse again.
- Take 1 cold shower every week, to save water and electricity.
- Stop using plastic grocery bags, and if the clerk bags items before you have the chance to stop them, have the fortitude to ask them to take the items out.
- Sign the St. Francis Pledge for the Care of Creation and for the Poor, for which we have committed to:
- Pray: In our personal prayer lives, we set aside some time once every week to pray this specific prayer for the healing of man’s relationship with the natural world. We pray it on Tuesday, the day that God created climates and ecosystems. The prayer was written by Linda Jones of CAFOD:
Each leaf, each petal, each grain, each person,
Sings your praises,
Each creature on the earth,
All the mountains and great seas,
Show your glory,
Spirit of love.
The hand of greed
Has patented and plundered your splendor,
Has taken and not shared your gift,
Has lived as owner of the earth,
The ice is cracked, the rivers dry,
The valleys flooded,
And the snowcaps melt.
God our Father, show us
How to step gently,
How to live simply,
How to walk lightly
With respect and love
For all that you have made.
- Learn: This summer, we are going through a three-part presentation on climate change put together by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and funded by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. We are committing to watching one presentation for each month of the summer. In the fourth week of each month one of us will write a blog post dealing with that month’s presentation.
- June — Part I: “Setting the Context”
- July — Part II: “What’s at Stake”
- August — Part III: “Making a Difference”
- Assess: This summer, we are all evaluating our personal energy use through a Household Carbon Calculator provided by Interfaith Power & Light. In this way we are making ourselves aware of the ways in which our daily, personal lives impact the climate and what we can do to minimize that impact. Then, we will return to school in the fall with a better sense of how to live more sustainably. We will then also take the opportunity to compare our summer emissions with our school year emissions, and consider the reasons for the difference. We will use our Facebook group to share results, track progress, exchange ideas, and encourage one another.
- Limit air conditioner use, or eliminate completely if possible – think of creative ways to keep cool like airing out the house at night.
- Whenever you’re going somewhere less than 2 miles away, walk, bike, or take the bus. KEEP TRACK of the miles you save, so at the end of the summer we can estimate how much fuel we collectively saved. It will be awesome to have a statistic to show people next fall when we’re spreading the word!
- Learn to buy local food. Sit down with your budget and try to find ways to spend less on other things in order to buy quality food and keep dollars local.
- Take five minutes a day to enjoy wildlife, and give thanks to God for His gift of creation!
- Donate an article of clothing – one that you actually like and sometimes wear, that’s difficult to part with but you don’t really need.