Marist Sisters in Australia taking Action to Care for the Earth
Plans and Concrete Actions: what we are doing now
Goal 1 Cry of the Earth
Solar panels installed: modifying daily routine to make the best use of the resultant energy.
Water usage: house, garden, personal (showering, washing) including recycling water. Moderate amount of water used.
Appliances: when purchasing choose energy and water-efficient appliances
Electricity: turn appliances off at point, limit opening and closing of frig door, defrosting, boiling only the required amount of water, cutting vegetables into smaller pieces so they cook faster, place lids on saucepans to reduce cooking time.
Recycling of disposable packaging, batteries.
Temperature: moderate temperature level: heating, air conditioner when used.Avoid use of electric clothes dryer unless essential.Short washing cycles, warm or cold water wash.
In hostel: open door to allow cooler air from corridor to flow in to room.
Composting: food scraps, garden waste.
Paper: when possible purchase/use of recycled paper, double-sided paper, use of email and texts rather than paper.
Conscious of adding to the environment: usage of environmentally-friendly cleaning products (more “elbow grease”?), use of more natural methods of pest control rather than chemical pesticides.
Fuel: walking or choice of public transport rather than using car.
Promoting biodiversity by cultivating garden, growing vegetablesIn hostel: joining other residents in requesting gardener to address neglect.
Support for groups promoting climate justice and for industries creating ways of using waste material.
Goal 2 Cry of the Poor
Prayer: both of petition and of gratitude for what we have.
Awareness: increasing our knowledge of injustices which give rise to the neglect of minority groups.
Aiming to choose food and other products from ethical sources – conscious of the reality of trafficking and slavery, appreciative of the work of Fair Trade. Educating oneself by studying the Social Justice Statement (2021 – 2022), the encyclical and other informed sources.
Advocacy: letters/petitions to Members of Parliament. Email advocacy e.g. through Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others. Sharing posts on Facebook (personally as also on team – SMCC). Spreading awareness through conversation.
Support: as well as prayer and advocacy, monetary support for disadvantaged groups including victims of trafficking and slavery, First Nations people, the homeless, refugees, asylum seekers, those affected by fire, flood and drought. Supporting the work of St. Vincent de Paul society and ACRATH. Supporting the work of those who work with indigenous communities, migrants, women and children at risk through slavery.
Visiting vulnerable elderly people, including Eucharistic visits. Phone calls (especially during these times of Covid restrictions). Liaising on behalf of others.
In the context of a parish ministry: Providing food for the homeless/mentally ill on Saturdays and Sundays. Supporting refugees. Collecting used clothes and shoes and distributing to the homeless and victims of domestic violence. Collecting used jewellery for victims of domestic violence for them to use and sell. Collecting used brassieres for overseas women in hot climates. Sourcing household items for rehoused homeless people. Advertising the needs of the poor in e-letter and parish bulletin
Respect: seeking to treat all with equal respect and dignity.
Goal 3 Ecological Economics
Cultivating awareness of the chain of production
Seeking out products and companies that adhere to the values of Laudato Si.
Buying: fresh produce (where possible) reducing packaging and Australian-made products to reduce our carbon footprint. Products which are Fair Trade/ethically resourced or support those who are at risk. Energy-saving appliances/devices
Gardening: cultivate though a small space, a garden which gives pleasure to people for its beauty and provides food and habitat for birds, lizards, butterflies, bees. Plant specifically aware that bees are endangered and crucial in the ecosystem.
In hostel Pray for wisdom for our leaders in distributing finances, choosing projects etc. Seek to learn, understand and share knowledge of current world/earth situation and future needs. Recycle paper (e.g. envelope containing circular returned to leader), cardboard, plastic, bottles and other containers as possible in hostel setting.
Goal 4 Simpler Lifestyles
Overlap with Goals 1 and 3
Reduce meat intake Spend time in garden Plant some vegetables Compost: nurture worms Use eco-friendly biodegradable cleaning, garden products: conscious of what we add to the environment. Use handkerchiefs rather than tissues Limit computer printing Walk or use public transport rather than car Turn electricity off at the point Exercise moderation in use of water and electricity (communal and personal) Take good care of both house-hold and personal items to reduce the need for replacement
“Reuse, reduce, recycle”: Recycle paper, glass, tins, biodegradable plastics, ink cartridges, batteries, fluorescent tubes, mobile phones etc., computers, printers, TV’s. Plastic: avoid use of plastic wrapping (“Gladwrap”) Use own bags (e.g. cloth) at supermarket. Avoid single use plastic bags. When necessary to buy plastic bags (i.e. for garbage disposable) choose biodegradable/compostable. Recycle clothing via charity shops Declutter/cull own belongings Buy second-hand (charity shops)
Use plants as gifts.
In hostel: development of personal daily programme - particularly helpful during prolonged periods of lock-down - ensuring balance with prayer, relaxed activity, focused serious activity and when possible, social interaction.
Goal 5 Ecological Education
Personal education Books and other publications, internet, Church documents, podcasts, webinars, seminars. Topics including Climate Change and its effects, divestment from fossil fuels, ethical investment, investment in renewables.Completion of Laudato Si MOOC (massive Open Online Course)
Reflection Personal and group
Witness Raising issues in personal conversations. Raising awareness (via webinar and in schools) of the importance of making ethical choices when purchasing goods.
In context of a parish ministry: Educating others by using recyclable materials (cups, containers etc.) in providing food for homeless Encouraging others to educate /witness Exploring other ways that volunteers can assist in recycling.
In school ministry Having yearly themes around care of creation and/or care of our common home. Assisting in the organisation of activities and liturgies around the annual theme. Sharing resources (Laudato Si Movement, Anne, other organisations).
Goal 6 Ecological Spirituality
Personal Prayer: thanksgiving, praise, sorrow. Frequent use of the Creation Psalms.
Community Prayer: marking events such as The Season of Creation
Parish: including in the Sunday Prayer of the Faithful, petition for care or the earth and petition for leaders to recognise the needs of our planet and the consequences of their policies.
Reflection/study: of Laudato Si, of Bishops’ 2021 Statement, “Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor.” Discussion.
Participation in ecologically focused retreats.
Sharing appreciation (beauty, awe) with each other.
Choosing plants for the garden which will delight
Enjoying creation, walking in parks, gardens, by the bay, giving thanks.
Trying to be respectful to all people.
Goal 7 Community Involvement and Participatory Action
In hostel Awareness-raising in conversation. Trying to be an involved, supportive, encouraging, loving person in this mixed community. Spending time daily with an incapacitated resident. Linking with people of various needs, via phone. Involvement in several parish groups. Wrote to local MP to advocate for both carers and those cared for re unjust conditions.
Supporting local efforts e.g. “Clean Up Australia”. Picking up litter in local street. Caring for grass verge on Council land outside our house. Contributing to our local area by insuring our garden is well-kept
Involvement in: Marist Family Facebook group Diocesan Activities including those of the Justice and Peace Office Zoom meetings.
Conscious of the need to be advocates for the promotion of a more ecologically-aware and just society.