Ecology is an important area of concern for the Catholic Church. Pope Francis last year released an encyclical letter on the environment in which he wrote, ‘The earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor.’
Never has it been so crucial for our community to protect the earth, if not for our physical wellbeing then for our moral integrity. Although the task of preserving the environment seems insurmountable, small acts of mercy can make a significant contribution to the preservation and conservation of our world.
1. Don’t bottle up your potential
If you are a member of our society who has not succumbed to the convenience and tantalising embrace of plastic water bottles, then we salute you. However, the rest of us should at least attempt to reduce our usage or reuse the containers we purchase. Plastic water bottles contribute to the disruption of the marine food chain.
By reducing waste, you are effectively contributing to the continued preservation of our precious aquatic ecosystem.
2. You’re in for a prize with a bigger size
On your next shopping trip, purchase long-lasting foods in large quantities to significantly decrease the amount of plastic wrapping. Non-biodegradable waste is a burden on our world that our descendants will have to deal with.
Products like rice and sugar can be purchased in bulk for both the benefit of your weeping wallet and your exasperated earth.
3. What e-waste
Your computer will eventually become redundant, as will most technology these days. However, you can make sure that when disposing of Ol’ Circuits you use appropriate recycling measures.
Although the closest bin is enticing and alluring, by using certified businesses you are guaranteeing that your beloved laptop is being put to rest without leaking acidic substances. Businesses such as TechCollect offer free collection services and can be found in numerous locations nationwide.
4. Pull the plug on wasted energy
Energy is a precious commodity in our contemporary society. However, the production of power often comes at the cost of the environment. Household appliances use a lot of energy, but the most gratuitous waste is when they are left in ‘standby mode’ and remain attached to power points.
By simply pulling the plug and flicking a few switches, you are greatly assisting the planet.
5. A sign to sign
The general public has an enormous influence upon the manner in which our society is run. As demonstrated by the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015, the rallying of international voices can create an astounding tremor across the world. Practical acts of environmental conservation are essential to the cause; however, promoting discussion is also crucial to the process.
Thus, one of the most influential yet simple ways in which you may pledge you support for the environment is via the signing of petitions such as the Citizen Signer Support (available from the Earth Day Network).
View the reflection questions and activities for 'Small seeds lead to big changes’ here