Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Year's Suggestions on Environmental Stewardship

In an earlier post, Stewardship, not devastation, I mentioned the increasing stress that human activity is putting on the Earth's environment and how, as Christians, we are stewards of God's creation. Protection of the environment is also something the Holy Father has stated on several occasions is part of the authentic proclamation of the Church. I also mentioned this crucial issue in my homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother God, which is also the World Day of Peace.

Thanks to Conservation International (CI), we can translate this big theme into concrete action. CI's 10 New Year's resolutions strike at the heart of, what America magazine calls, "consumerist society's most ingrained habits". Here are five of the ten things we can do that will help protect the environment, in no particular order.

- Instead of drinking water from plastic bottles and cans, use reusable glassware. Last year the average person in the U.S. consumed over 400 bottles and cans, leaving behind a lot of waste and using petroleum to make all those plastic containers

- As your lightbulbs burn out, replace them with compact florescent bulbs, which use two-thirds less energy, thus saving you money, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and are safer because they burn at a lower temperature

- Turn your water heater down to 130○ and keep your thermostat 3○ lower this winter and 3○ higher in the summer. These simple steps could prevent up to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year being put into the air

- Plant a tree, but a natural species that belongs in your area

- Buy locally produced meats and produce. CI helpfully tells you how: "Just type in your zip code on Local Harvest's website to see a list of farms and farmers’ markets close to home, as well as nearby restaurants committed to supporting their neighbors. Buying locally produced food cuts out the middlemen and the vast amounts of energy required to get your products onto store shelves. Most produce in U.S. supermarkets travels an average 1,500 miles before it is sold!"

For the remaining five, follow the link to CI above.

1 comment:

  1. A Mid-Year Reminder

    ...Buy re-usable grocery bags. ($1 ea. at Albertsons). They carry alot more stuff per bag and they're even great totes when not being used for grocery shopping!

    ...Unplug cell phone charger from the wall once the phone has finished charging.

    ... and Happy Live Earth Day!!