Environmental Stewardship: A Greener Parish
“We are called” to protect our planet
Our Catholic social teaching calls upon us to be careful stewards of the world that God created. We can implement this principle in our parish by working together to conserve land, energy and water. Here are some "green" strategies to become better stewards of our environment.
REDUCE THE WASTE THAT GOES TO LANDFILLS.
Reduce Your Garbage!
- Don’t use products that are not recyclable like Styrofoam packaging, free brochures, catalogues and plastic shopping bags. To remove your name from junk mail and catalogs, go to www.catalogchoice.org, www.edf.org or www.41pounds.org.
- Do use biodegradable products like paper or reusable grocery bags.
Re-use and Recycle What You Have Left!
- Re-use what you have. Many products you now throw away can be used again. Be creative!
- Take advantage of the recycling service we have in the 19th Ward. By recycling our glass, cardboard boxes and plastic, over half our garbage and all our yard waste can now be diverted from landfills. For additional information on the City of Chicago recycling program, call 311 or visit www.bluecartschicago.org.
- Take your household electronics and hazardous waste to the city recycling facility at 1150 N. North Branch (2 blocks west of the Kennedy Expressway at Division).
USE LESS ENERGY.
- Conserve electricity by using compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, turning off unnecessary lights and purchasing energy star appliances. CFLs use 70% less energy. Taking shorter showers reduces energy consumption and water heating costs.
- Reduce gas consumption and pollution by using your car less often and not unnecessarily idling your engine. With the high cost of gas, walking or riding your bike to nearby destinations is not only good for the environment and your health, but will be good for your finances as well. Car pooling or taking public transportation will also help reduce pollution and our use of fossil fuels. Find a carpool at www.erideshare.com or www.carpoolworld.com.
Water shortages are expected in 36 states between now and 2013. Though 70% of the planet is covered by water, less than 1% is available for human use. You can reduce the amount of water you use by repairing leaky faucets, watering your grass less or early in the morning or late at night or getting a rain barrel to collect rain water and use it for watering your garden.
DECREASE AIR POLLUTION: Low emission paints and cleaning supplies
The emissions from traditional paints and cleaning supplies are called volatile organic compounds or VOCs. VOCs are a key element in the creation of pollution and can make those exposed to them sick. Almost all paint companies produce a low-emission alternative to regular paints at near the same price. Similar low-VOC alternatives exist for cleaning products.
These are just a few suggestions. You can get more recommendations at the links below: