SAN DIEGO — Individuals can take simple steps to care for creation and mitigate devastating climate change. These small efforts, when done by many people over time, can have a meaningful impact in the community. These steps include:
- Increase efficiency: Turn lights off when not in use or don’t turn on if there is natural lighting. Replace inefficient light bulbs with LED or other efficient lighting.
- Conserve water. Take shorter showers and save water when brushing teeth. Replace water-thirsty green grass with rocks and native shrubs. Some public agencies offer rebates to homeowners who make this change.
- Eat wisely: If your budget permits, buy organic and locally grown foods. Grow some of your own food. Home cook more meals. Eat low on the food chain — at least one meat-free meal a day — since 18% of greenhouse gas emissions come from meat and dairy production. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Travel wisely: Ride your bike to local destinations, take public transit when possible, work from home, and carpool. Organize carpools for community meetings and activities and include transit information in directions for events. Cut down the number of car trips you make; every little bit of pollution you save adds up. If feasible, buy an electric or hybrid car.
- Reduce waste: Use washable dishes. Use a home filter instead of bottled water. Reduce food waste. Choose products with less packaging. Recycle paper, plastics, bottles and aluminum cans. Buy only what you need: food, clothing, furniture, technology, etc. Use less plastic.
- Go renewable: Consider rooftop solar, solar hot water, or other renewable choices.
- Talk to friends, family and coworkers about what you are doing to pollute less and be sustainable.
School / Parish / Community
You can join with others in your school, parish or community to advocate for or make one or more of these changes:
- Educate congregation and community members about the devastating effects of climate change and steps that can be taken to mitigate them.
- Use prayer as a sacred moment to reflect that we are one family in a common home.
- Organize workshops or a study group on “Laudato Si.’” Organize a Creation Care Team in the parish, school or community organization.