Ways to reduce your carbon footprint:
- Become more aware of our connectedness. Care for one another and creation includes understanding that “everything is connected” (no. 91) and that the economy, politics, community involvement, and technology all affect the future of the planet and humankind. How can we become more aware of our connectedness?
- Changes to lifestyle and consumption habits can make a big difference. For example, get a re-usable water bottle, take shorter showers, walk, bike or take public transportation instead of driving, recycle, compost food waste, and buy energy efficient appliances. Also, turn of lights when you leave a room and use fluorescent light bulbs. Use a programmable thermostat to turn off the heat/air when you are away from home. Eat local food to avoid the gas emissions that come from transporting food across the country. Check your faucets, showerheads, and toilets for leaks to avoid wasting water.
- Make changes institutionally at your parish, school, or workplace. For example, start recycling and composting, use washable dinnerware in cafeterias, share electronically instead of printing, do an energy audit, and install solar panels.
- Support local efforts to solve environmental problems. Community groups around the country are working to make city, county, and state-wide changes that can make a big difference. Find out what is going on locally and get involved.
- Contact your members of Congress to share Pope Francis’ message and urge action to address climate change. Sign up for action alerts with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at http://cqrcengage.com/catholicbishops/jphd.
- Volunteer with or financially support a charitable organization that is working to prevent poverty and provide a better life for those in need such as Catholic Charities of Central Florida, Hope Community Center, Catholic Relief Services or the Mission Office of the Diocese of Orlando.