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.
- In daily personal prayer spend contemplative time outdoors or looking out a window praying with and for the EARTH.
- 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.
- Pray that all humanity remembers and responds to its responsibility to care for the Earth.
- 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.
- Whenever possible use the outdoors as a setting for group prayer.
- In your ministry–within parish, school, family or volunteer activities raise up EARTH concerns when you are gathered for prayer.
- 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.
- Instead of running water from the tap until it is cold enough to drink, keep a jug of water in your refrigerator
- Combine trips to town/store/doctor, etc. for yourself and/or carpool.
- If your destination is a mile and a half or less, walk instead of driving
- Take public transportation or bike for local trips whenever you can.
- When traveling for vacation, consider going by car or train rather than plane to cut down on carbon emissions.
- While staying in a hotel or even at home, consider reusing your towels
- Look for eco-friendly products like clothing, swimsuits, sandals, towels, and skin care
- Mend clothing when you can, or ask a seamstress friend to help.
- Dry your clothes on a clothesline
- Limit the use of all plastics to emergencies.
- Use reusable bags at the grocery store or choose paper over plastic
- Go shopping in mid-afternoon, the hottest part of the day, and enjoy the air-conditioned stores.
- Shop at garage sales and thrift stores
- Spend the summer outdoors when you can: gardening, walking/hiking, reading, etc.
- Avoid overexposure to the sun by wearing hats and using eco-friendly skin protection products
- 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.
- Avoid recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water.
- Maintain tools and equipment for safety and efficiency.
- 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.
- 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.