GOING GREEN IN SUMMER

HONORING EARTH

  1. Summertime means spending even more time outdoors.
  2. Become an EARTH advocate by encouraging others to honor, celebrate and care for EARTH—organize a picnic, outdoor games, creek or roadway clean-up
  3. Journal some experiences you’ve had with God’s good EARTH
  4. Spend some time outdoors on a regular basis: to see and soak in the beauty of Nature and find the deepening motivation to care for and defend this one precious planet that we share.

 

ACTIVITIES

When summer arrives at its Earth location, the sun’s heat means changes for the area’s inhabitants. Psalm 104, just one of the psalms celebrating Creation’s Wonders, speaks of the movements of the waters, heavens and all life. It is time for us to move outside to see, enjoy Earth’s wonders. What are some activities outside for us—the usual of walks in the woods/parks, a day at the lake or seaside, bike rides, having a flower or vegetable and herb garden or create one in pots/utensils for patio or porch, keeping an area free of litter—a good engagement for youth.

Here are some others for building awareness of your environment:

  1. What kind of artwork can the children create from clean boxes, toilet paper rolls, plastic bottles with scissors, tape, and imagination using Haiku to express the item created?
  2. Identify the trees with names as maples, beech, etc. which provide a cool escape from cement heat/macadam on a sunny day.
  3. Identify the trees growing in your neighborhood and in the parking lots.
  4. Do you know some of your weeds [those non-grass types in your lawn perhaps?] may be edible besides being colorful. Look up your state’s edible weeds—examples are dandelions, garlic mustard, violets, chickweed, pawpaw, purslane.
  5. Identify those “weeds” which sustain butterflies or control other insects; invite the children to learn about and observe plants of your environment.
  6. Identify the weeds which grow abundantly in your yard—they reveal your soil quality. Why waste money to eradicate them?
  7. Remember all weeds help to keep soil in/on the ground when the wind blows and can build up your soil.
  8. Promote children’s creativity by encouraging their creation of stories or skits about plants and animals like raccoons, woodchucks, squirrels
  9. Ask them and yourself: what times of day are birds singing and why our roots are forever intertwined in the tree of life.

 

 

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Going Green in Summer – Part II

July 4th is right around the corner …. here are some ways to honor Earth in your celebrations.

MEALS

  1. As you say grace before and after meals include thanking not only God but the EARTH and all who till and care for her, for the food you have.
  2. Use a cloth napkin and remember why you do so. Be grateful for the trees saved by not using disposables.
  3. Choose locally-grown foods whenever possible—shopping at Farmers’ Markets, or buying through a CSA or buying club. Buy responsibly grown fruits and vegetables, ethically raised meat, chicken, eggs, and fish.
  4. Plan your meals ahead. Increase plant-based items and reduce meat. Reduce processed foods, use leftovers.  Compost food waste.  Animal products use massive amounts of energy as do processed foods and foods shipped around the world.
  5. If you eat meals prepared by others—whether a food service, in-house cafeteria, or even a local restaurant, ask kitchen staff/manager to utilize fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Be sure to compliment them when they do—and eat heartily!
  6. Read labels—note country of origin, number of long-syllable chemical ingredients, whether it contains GMO ingredients (or proclaims that it doesn’t since the US doesn’t demand fair labeling), as well as looking for Organic items.
  7. Don’t buy products with excess packaging (eg. wrapped “single-serving” items) or use single-use paper and plastic ware, etc. Avoid Styrofoam always. If you must use disposables, take the time to locate recycled and compostable products—then do it!
  8. Barbecuing – Use propane which burns cleaner than wood or charcoal. a. If you’re wedded to charcoal try a more natural charcoal product. b. When you’re done grilling, use natural cleaning products such as an organic grill cleaner
  9. Perhaps consider a solar oven.
  10. Never use hot, running water to defrost frozen foods. Plan ahead and place frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or use the microwave oven.
  11. Rinse vegetables and fruits in a sink or a pan filled with water instead of under running water.
  12. Share your meals and celebrate the gifts of the Earth.

 

LAWN/YARD CARE

  1. Use EARTH Friendly products on your lawn and garden. Run-off water with fertilizers contaminates the rivers.
  2. If installing a lawn, select a turf mix or blend that matches your climate and site conditions.
  3. et lawn mower blades one notch higher since longer grass reduces evaporation. Leave grass clippings on your grass because it cools the ground and holds in moisture.
  4. If you’re still using an old mower that is spitting harmful gasses into the environment, it’s time to upgrade to a newer model, such as an electric mower, that spews fewer or no emissions and benefits the earth and increases safety and performance.
  5. Put water hoses in lawns, gardens, and orchards on timers and be sure they are in good working condition.
  6. Avoid using sprinklers if possible. If you must, adjust them so they don’t spray on sidewalks, driveway or street.
  7. Don’t water the lawn on windy days. There’s too much evaporation.
  8. Never hose down your driveway, sidewalk, patio, or balcony, always use a broom or blower.
  9. Water your lawn only when it needs it. Step on your grass. If it springs back, when you lift your foot, it doesn’t need water. So set your sprinklers for more days in between watering or avoid watering it.
  10. Use sprinklers that deliver big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller water drops and mist often evaporate before they hit the ground.
  11. Cut down watering on cool and overcast days and don’t water in the rain!! Adjust or deactivate automatic sprinklers.
  12. Use a rain gauge, or empty tuna can, to track rainfall on your lawn. Then reduce your watering accordingly.
  13. Let your lawn go dormant during the summer. Dormant grass only needs to be watered every three weeks or less if it rains.
  14. Aerate your lawn at least once a year so water can reach the roots rather than run off the surface.
  15. Best of all, convert all of your lawn (except areas used for playing, walking, or other outdoor activities) to native vegetation such as ground covers, shrubs, trees, and flowers.
  16. Buy solar lights for outdoor lighting of pathways or other areas.
  17. When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.
  18. Wash your pets outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs it the most.
Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates 6.30.2021

Act Now to save the  “For the People Act”
With more than 20 state laws already enacted this year making it harder to vote, it’s urgent that the Senate follows the House’s lead and passes the For the People Act (S.1) immediately. Inaction is not an option. Without the For the People Act, the future of our democracy itself is on the line.

If you haven’t done so already, please take a few minutes to sign NETWORK’s Sister Letter (see below) in support of the For the People Act. Catholic Sisters are powerful moral voices. As people of faith and as Sister who promote justice for all people, we must call on the Senate to Bypass the Filibuster and Pass S.1

Once you have done so, please share it with others in your congregation and encourage them to sign.

Click here to sign the letter.

Driving Clean will Help Save Earth
The transportation sector is the biggest source of global warming pollution in the United States. That means we’ve got to reduce pollution from cars and trucks to solve the climate crisis. Vehicle pollution also disproportionately affects low-income communities and people of color who are more likely to live near heavy transportation corridors. By cleaning up our vehicles now we can save lives, protect the health of the most vulnerable, and cut climate pollution.

Let’s get back on track to protect clean air in our communities and curb climate pollution. Tell the Biden administration that we need stronger safeguards that truly consider those in frontline communities. And that cleaning up our transportation system is critical for reaching both our domestic and international climate goals – there is no time to waste.

We need cleaner cars to ensure cleaner air and water, and a liveable future for our children and grandchildren. Each message from us can help strengthen the Biden administration’s resolve to support stronger state and federal clean car safeguards. Add your voice today!

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT CLEANER CAR STANDARDS

The Interfaith Power & Light Film
Interfaith Power & Light will be sharing Other Side of the Hill, a hopeful, inspiring look at local leaders in rural America who are leading climate action in their communities.

This 30-minute film will be available for free online viewing July 10 – 25. Registration opens July 1.

You can watch the trailer and sign up to get a registration reminder here.

A screening kit from Interfaith Power and Light will be available on July 1.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

GOING GREEN IN SUMMER -Part 1

The following suggestions can be adjusted to your particular circumstances and needs. You probably have many other practices that you already do. Discuss with your local living group/family other ideas that you could do to raise awareness. Make changes in a step-at-a-time fashion—adding a new focus or practice each month. Be patient and persevering—the Planet is worth it. We are all in it for the long haul.

PRAYER

  1. In daily personal prayer spend contemplative time outdoors or looking out a window praying with and for the EARTH.
  2. Allow current issues, like climate change, the scarcity of fresh drinking water in some parts of the world, the destruction of our forests due to fire or unchecked lumbering practices, and the pollution of our oceans be a focus of your prayer.
  3. Pray that all humanity remembers and responds to its responsibility to care for the Earth.
  4. The EARTH needs our prayers more than we know. It needs us to acknowledge its sacred nature and to remind ourselves and others of this truth.
  5. Whenever possible use the outdoors as a setting for group prayer.
  6. In your ministry–within parish, school, family or volunteer activities raise up EARTH concerns when you are gathered for prayer.

PERSONAL PRACTICES

  1. Buy no bottled water. Instead buy a metal or glass water bottle, fill it from the tap and keep it in the refrigerator to use for outings.
  2. Instead of running water from the tap until it is cold enough to drink, keep a jug of water in your refrigerator
  3. Combine trips to town/store/doctor, etc. for yourself and/or carpool.
  4. If your destination is a mile and a half or less, walk instead of driving
  5. Take public transportation or bike for local trips whenever you can.
  6. When traveling for vacation, consider going by car or train rather than plane to cut down on carbon emissions.
  7. While staying in a hotel or even at home, consider reusing your towels
  8. Look for eco-friendly products like clothing, swimsuits, sandals, towels, and skin care
  9. Mend clothing when you can, or ask a seamstress friend to help.
  10. Dry your clothes on a clothesline
  11. Limit the use of all plastics to emergencies.
  12. Use reusable bags at the grocery store or choose paper over plastic
  13. Go shopping in mid-afternoon, the hottest part of the day, and enjoy the air-conditioned stores.
  14. Shop at garage sales and thrift stores
  15. Spend the summer outdoors when you can: gardening, walking/hiking, reading, etc.
  16. Avoid overexposure to the sun by wearing hats and using eco-friendly skin protection products
  17. Take your car to a car wash that recycles its wash water. If washing your car at home, use a bucket of water and sponge. Rinse quickly at the end. Never allow the hose to run continuously.
  18. Avoid recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water.
  19. Maintain tools and equipment for safety and efficiency.
  20. When watering inside plants do not use tap water that runs through a water softener as it will destroy the plants.  Use water from outside water tap.
  21. Saving plastic pill containers after use, removing labels, washing them and dropping them off to a local church to be sent to third world countries so medication can be placed in them for safe distribution.
Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

Peace and Justice Updates 6.23.2021

Statement on Juneteenth Observation
While we are all grateful that the celebration of Juneteenth will now be recognized as a federal holiday, we believe that there is still much to do to end the sin of systemic racism and ensure justice for all people. The following statement was released on our social media channels on Friday.

____

We are honored to join our black sisters and brothers in the first official commemoration of Juneteenth – the date that marked the final end of slavery in the United States. This recognition is to be celebrated but is also bittersweet, as we realize that there is still much to do to heal the damage done by racial inequality and the systemic racism still in place in our nation.

While we pray with gratitude for this recognition of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, we also ask God to move each of us, as Christians, citizens, and leaders, to work for equality in education, housing, voters’ rights, the legal system, and employment.

We pray for the souls of those who died in slavery, and for those who died fighting for equality. May they experience the everlasting peace and justice of the Kingdom of God, and may we work towards that same peace and justice here on Earth.

The Interfaith Power & Light Film
Interfaith Power & Light will be sharing Other Side of the Hill, a hopeful, inspiring look at local leaders in rural America who are leading climate action in their communities.

This 30-minute film will be available for free online viewing July 10 – 25. Registration opens July 1.

You can watch the trailer and sign up to get a registration reminder here.

A screening kit from Interfaith Power and Light will be available on July 1.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates