Moments of Mercy: 10 Ways To Care for Creation

“We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now” (Romans 8:22).

BE ENERGY EFFICIENT. During the summer months, close your curtains to block heat from the sun. During the winter, open your curtains during the day to allow the sun to warm your home. These simple steps reduce the need for air conditioning and heating, which are likely the most energy-intensive aspects of your home.

CALCULATE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. Which of your activities are carbon-intensive? Use the EPA’s free carbon footprint calculator epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/ to learn how you can take action.

ADJUST THE THERMOSTAT. Turning down your air conditioning or heating when you leave the house will shrink your carbon footprint. A change of just 5 degrees is a good start.

ADJUST YOUR DRIVING ROUTINE. Combining multiple errands into one trip reduces the amount of fossil fuel you use.

GO MEATLESS ON FRIDAYS.  Livestock production accounts for 4 percent of Americans’ greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA. By going meatless one day per week, you’ll both honor Catholic teaching and better care for Creation.

RECYCLE MORE. Recycling reduces your carbon footprint, because landfills emit greenhouse gases through decomposition, and manufacturing from scratch is carbon-intensive. Find a way to recycle almost anything in your area at search.earth911.com.

USE LESS WATER. Water-processing accounts for approximately 3 percent of energy use in the U.S., according to the EPA. Saving water means saving energy. Post a “please conserve water” sign at sinks and showers, install low-flow spigots, or select the “eco” setting on laundry machines and dishwashers.

PETITION POLICY-MAKERS. Write your elected officials to tell them that you support the stewardship of creation.

WRITE TO YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER. Writing a letter to the editor has effects beyond your local community. Legislators assign staff members to read letters to the editor as an important barometer of constituents’ interests.

FORM A STUDY OR ACTION GROUP AT CHURCH. We are all strengthened when we act together as a community. Consider forming a Creation Care Team.

Visit CatholicClimateCovenant.org for more information.

“Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.” Pope Francis, LAUDATO SI’