22 Apr 2018 - 12:00 AM 11:59 PM

Earth Day is April 22

Since 1970, April 22nd has been set aside to raise consciousness of the violence being done to Earth and Earth’s inhabitants. With each passing year there has been a greater awareness of what we do to Earth we do to ourselves for in fact we are Earth! This expanded consciousness led to the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Act. Unfortunately today many of the EPA regulations are being rolled back and the US has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accord.

As Sisters of St. Joseph, our Charism calls us to love of God and neighbor without distinction. We believe that all is one and that our call is to an active inclusive love that seeks this union with God and the sacred community of life that includes all of creation-air, soil, water, plants and animals. We see ourselves in union with this community that we hold as the neighbor through whom God continues to be revealed. (CSJ Land Ethic)This is why we recognize everyday as Earth Day!

This year the global community is focusing on ending plastic pollution. While once considered a breakthrough product, plastics produced by natural gas and oil are not biodegradable presenting challenges with discarding them.

While we can reduce, reuse, and recycle the most sustainable choice is to remove plastics from use.

As the month of April unfolds let us think about our use of plastics, individually and as a local community:

  • Reduce: When considering purchases ask…Do I need it? Can I use something else?
  • Refuse: When you order a drink at a restaurant, you can tell the waiter you do not need a straw. Bring canvas or reusable bags when shopping. As you shop, try to avoid products with plastic packaging.
  • Reuse: Shopping bags, dishes, glasses and metal silverware. Bring your mug to meetings!
  • Recycle: Know the rules of recycling in your community especially as they are expanding programs. Some good things are happening with recycled plastic.
  • Remove: Eliminate the use of plastics, support organizations or local groups in removing plastics from the environment or purchase innovative products created from recovered ocean or environmental plastics.

Let us not underestimate some of these small steps to the reduction of plastics in our lives!