Tips For Reducing Your Impact
Adopt an Earth-Friendly Diet
Choosing to go meatless one day a week will make a big impact on your carbon footprint. Meat and dairy production generate large amounts of greenhouse gases. Explore vegetarian dining options once a week to delight your tastebuds and shrink your footprint.
ON CARE FOR CREATION, CLIMATE CHANGE, & CATHOLIC TEACHING
God, Creation and Climate Change: A Catholic Response to the Environmental Crisis, Richard W. Miller (editor). Orbis, Maryknoll, NY, 2010. Leading theologians and ethicists reflect on the most serious crisis of our time, offering insights from theology, history and ethics to aid in the transformation required to meet it. The problem is so large that it will require not only a conversion of the will but a transformation of the imagination.
Ten Commandments for the Environment: Pope Benedict XVI Speaks Out for Creation and Justice, Woodeene Koenig-Bricker. Ave Marie Press, Notre Dame, IN, 2009. The author draws together from many sources Pope Benedict’s teaching on the environment and creation. Koenig-Bricker makes the case that the pope is fully engaged in the environmental movement from pastoral initiative to diplomatic interventions and to bringing renewable energy to the Vatican itself.
Catholics Going Green: A Small-Group Guide for Learning and Living Environmental Justice, Walter E. Grazer. Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN, 2009. Using scripture, prayers and stories, Catholics Going Green guides groups or individuals through six study sessions. The sessions explore God’s gift of Creation, our individual and collective failure to care for this gift, how the poorest often bear the burdens of environmental degradation and what we can do to care for creation and the vulnerable at home and around the world.
Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth, by Ilia Dileo O.S.F., Keith Douglass Warner, O.F.M., and Pamela Woods. St. Anthony Messenger Press, Cincinnati, OH, 2008 A valuable resource for personal or group reflection and action, from a Franciscan perspective of “engaged contemplation,” and as healing response to environmental degradation of God’s creation. St. Francis’s life is lifted up throughout as an inspiring model for this “engagement” in the world, showing compassion for the most vulnerable, seeking justice, and understanding the whole created order as interrelated. Theologically rich and practical in its approach to daily life and collective action, this book weaves together current scientific knowledge about the evolution of the universe and biological diversity, an expansive Incarnational imagination, and spiritual and communal practices to sustain ourselves in the midst of this challenging time for humanity and the earth.
Confronting the Climate Crisis: Catholic Theological Perspectives, Jame Schaefer (editor), Marquette University Press, 2011. Participants in the Theology and Global Warming Interest Group of the Catholic Theological Society of America offer sixteen original essays reflecting on human-forced climate change from biblical to contemporary perspectives framed by an introduction to climate science and statements by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope Benedict XVI. Available here.
Green Discipleship: Catholic Theological Ethics and the Environment, Tobias L. Winright, PhD. (editor), Anselm Press, 2011. Due to the establishment of protection agencies and the efforts of activist groups, the wider public has become more conscious of the impact we humans make on the planet, and what we can do to preserve what we have. Religious communities, long concerned with broad issues of social responsibility and justice, have naturally become full participants in this greening movement. In this book scholars from the fields of theology and the social and hard sciences discuss this development, and consider how a proactive approach to the earth’s welfare is, essentially, a moral obligation of Christians, and those of other faiths around the world. Available here.
Stewardship of the Earth, Stephen J. Binz. Twenty-Third Publications, New London, CT, 2007. In the face of the earth’s ecological crisis, taking action in the current crisis is as much a religious challenge as a political one. This parish or educational resource for adult faith formation addresses the U.S. bishops statement that “at it’s core…climate change is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family.” Stewardship of the Earth, by Catholic biblical scholar Stephen J. Binz, integrates the ancient Scriptures with today’s ecological challenges. For more information about bringing Stewardship of the Earth to your church, visit www.thresholdbiblestudy.com or call 1-800-321-0411 at Twenty-Third Publications.
“And God Saw That it Was Good”: Catholic Theology and the Environment, USCCB Publishing, Drew Christiansen, SJ and Walter Grazer (editors). Washington, DC 1996. This book is a direct response to the U.S. bishops’ call to Catholic theologians, ethicists, and scholars to help research and articulate the Catholic contribution to an ecological ethic.
“In the Beginning…”: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall, Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger). William B. Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI, 1986. Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, provides a clear and inspiring exploration of the Genesis creation narratives. This is a rich and balanced Catholic understanding of these early biblical writings and is based on homilies exploring the meaning of biblical creation accounts, the creation of human beings and sin and salvation.