This edition of the monthly CCT email focuses on Earth Day 2018 (April 22nd or another date of your choosing). I hope your community will be celebrating! I invite you to use the resources included in this email to help you plan and enrich your Earth Day activities.
The theme of the Covenant’s Earth Day program this year, is “Beyond a Throwaway Culture: Reducing Waste-Building Community”. We are pleased to share with you our one-hour educational program which invites your community to participate in projects to reduce waste in sustainable, and sustained ways. Your community can choose the projects that best fit its needs and abilities while expanding participation and strengthening fellowships.
Please send me an email or call me if you have questions or need more resources for your Earth Day celebration or for the “Beyond a Throwaway Culture” project. I’m here to help!
Please also send me stories and photos of your Earth Day celebrations! We can include them on social media, such as the CCT Facebook page and Twitter, and on our webpage.
How will you take action?
How can we best work on care for creation and care for the poor? How can we best channel our efforts to reduce waste?
Linda Perrone Rooney author of “Walking the Disciple’s Path: Eight Steps That Will Change Your Life and the World” offers several suggestions for putting Pope Francis’ words about using our God-given gifts into practice: “Admit that all is gift, it’s not a result of our own genius or hard work. God is the gift-giver and what we have is gift to us. Thinking in this way begins to deepen a sense of gratitude as well as a surrender of our sense of entitlement and/or possessiveness. It decreases the false idol of less is less and opens a way for us to embrace the idea of abundance.
“Step 2” is to do a “life review” and give serious thought to our resources and gifts — financial, intellectual and spiritual.
What is practical will vary with each individual and family … I think of stewardship as the way in which I engage the resources at my disposal with gratitude and praise to the Creator so that they benefit not just me and my family; but also, others around me and ultimately the world at large.”
Download the 2018 Earth Day program.
Now is the time to schedule the Earth Day program (if you haven’t already). Talk to your pastor, your parish office, your principal. Reserve a room, a projector, and start promoting the event in your parish bulletin, newsletters, social media, etc. Check the CCT Communications 101 Toolkit for more promotion ideas.
Brainstorm with your Creation Care Team members on scheduling, programming, roles and responsibilities. The Facilitator Guide can familiarize you with all the resources you will need.
Earth Day Preparation: You will need a block of time to familiarize yourself with the program, choose a facilitator and readers, make copies of the program and handouts, and brainstorm some possible projects for how your community will commit to reduce single use plastics.
The program itself is designed to last one-hour. Of course, give yourself more time to set-up, and to clean-up the room.
Other possible Earth Day activities:
• Plan an Earth Day themed worship service. Check here for worship resources and here for homily helps.
• Some groups are planning to host an Earth Day Fair on the same day. Contact representatives of local environmental groups who might be delighted to set up a booth at your Earth Day event. You might also want to invite local growers, food producers and artisans to set up booths to showcase and sell their products. Check to see if there’s a timely local/state advocacy issue in which your community might like to get involved.
• Invite a local leader to talk about waste reduction and care for creation in your community. Is your school or parish already doing all it can to recycle and reduce waste? Earth Day 2018 could be a great springboard to begin a recycling program or reinvigorate an existing one.
• Host a Green Church workday to focus on one or several activities, like setting up rain barrels, do native landscaping on church grounds, and replace incandescent or compact fluorescent light bulbs with LED lighting.
• Continue the momentum after Earth Day by scheduling future activities, such as a waste audit, joining stream or road clean-up activities, or starting a community garden? Spring is a great time to get people out to help start a garden!
Here are some excellent resources to help you delve deeper into the issues of throwaway culture and reducing single-use plastics:
a) The Earth Day Network’s toolkits for Earth Day 2018. Their Ending Plastic Pollution Primer is a must!
b) Project 0 - a global movement by renowned scientists, business leaders, celebrities, campaigners, ocean experts and individuals, working together to restore and protect the ocean.
c) Videos on plastic pollution:
• Plasticized: A 48-minute documentary focused on plastic waste with an eye-opening story about a global mission to study the effects, reality, and scale of plastic pollution around the world.
• Plastic Ocean by the United Nations.
• Open Your Eyes: a short video by the Plastics Pollution Coalition.
d) Say No to the Straw project, by the Plastics Pollution Coalition
e) Europe is at the forefront of the movement to reduce disposable plastic. Many nations in Europe have set target dates for zero-plastic waste. Check-out the Church of England’s Plastic Less Lent resources!
f) In December 2017, the United Nations pledged to stop plastic waste in our oceans once and for all, with a resolution on marine litter and micro plastics adopted at the Environment Assembly by 193 member states. Sadly, three nations refused to sign: China, India, and the United States.