100 Ways to Help Our Planet

100 Ways to Help Our Planet
Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si'-On care for our common home was published on the 18thJune 2015. This ground-breaking letter, written to every person on the planet, explores in detail the causes and effects of the environmental degradation that is being observed the world over including climate changeand the effects it is having on the most vulnerable of communities. Pope Francis calls all of us to urgent action to combat the destruction that is being inflicted on earth, our common home and reminds Christians of our duty to be good stewards of creation.
This list gives some practical ideas for what can be done in a parish and home setting to answer this call.
1.Arrange a prayer walk in a natural environment
2.Celebrate creation through seasonal liturgies, devotions, prayer services, and other activities and events
3.Pray for vulnerable people and communities affected by climate change
4.Host a ‘loaves and fishes picnic (use local, sustainably caught fish)
5.Hold a creation walk, vigil or reflection
6.Celebrate the Season of Creation from 1st September –4th October e.g. hold a parish autumn thanksgiving Harvest service
7.Celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Creation on 1st September
8.Mark the feast of St Francis, patron saint of the environment, 4thOctober
9.Plant trees for Baptisms, Confirmations and first Holy Communions
10.Read Laudato Si’ Available free online.
11.Have a reflection on the theme of water at Baptisms
12.Have a ‘Walk to Mass’ Sunday
13.Promote the Christian prayer in union with creation from Laudato Si’
14.Promote Trócaire’s Lenten Fast
15.Use Trócaire’s online resources to become more aware of what needs to be done to save our planet
16.Engage with Eco Congregation Ireland
17.Create a display of ‘Eco-Theology’ Books
18.Hold a ‘Pledging Ceremony’ for parishioners who commit to living more sustainably
19.Form a parish ‘Green Team’ to lead creation themed worship and implement eco-tips
20.Establish an outdoor space for prayer and contemplation
21.Hold a talk or workshop in the parish on Laudato Si’
22.Enforce ‘reduce waste’ rules for parish hall, events and parties
23.Compost kitchen and churchyard organic waste
24.Use washable -not disposable -napkins, mugs, cutlery, etc.
25.Email and text to reduce paper consumption
26.Print double-sided
27.Install a parish compost bin for kitchen waste
28.Host a ‘Green BBQ’ or ‘Green Tea’ using only locally sourced foods
29.Create and promote a toy or music library
30.Host a second-hand school uniform and school book exchange
31.Audit and monitor church energy use to see where reductions can be made
32.Install energy-saving lightbulbs
33.Switch off lights when leaving a room
34.Turn down thermostats
35.Only use Fairtrade tea and coffee at parish events
36.Reduce water usage by installing tap flow regulators (these are very easy to install!)
37.Timetable parish meetings to minimise heating
38.Reduce the use of floodlights
39.Turn off computers and photocopiers when not in use
40.Display and promote local bus routes
41.Install a water butt to conserve water
42.Provide bike racks
43.Encourage car-shares for Sunday Mass andmeetings
44.Use environmentally friendly cleaning products
45.Make your own environmentally friendly cleaning products
46.Use recycled paper and envelopes
47.Install bird feeders, boxes or bat boxes
48.Become a local drop off center for small waste electrical items
49.Promote your local council’s specific rules for recycling in the parish newsletter
50.Purchase only ethical banking and insurance
51.Encourage parishioners to live more sustainably at home
52.Promote a parish ‘Unplugged Day’ -No TVs, phones or computers
53.Post weekly eco tips of the week on the parish noticeboard or newsletter
54.Hold parish walks open to everyone to highlight the beauty of creation
55.Have a children’s gardening club
56.Host jumble sales
57.Publicise your own local recycling facilities
58.Host a film evening using Trócaire’s documentary The Burning Question or An Inconvenient Truth, or The Age of Stupid, This Changes Everything
59.Hold a climate change quiz night
60.Promote Church Social Justice
61.Encourage schools to develop a Climate Justice assembly for schoolchildren
62.Create links with local groups: Friends of the Earth, Wildlife Trust.
63.Hold a litter-pick event
64.Support local producers and hold a ‘Green Fair’ with locally sourced food and crafts
65.Plant butterfly and bee friendly plants and flowers in parish spaces
66.Write to local council leaders, TDs and MEP's on environmental issues on behalf of the parish
67.Write to local newspapers about local environmental issues on behalf of the parish
68.Make land available for allotments for local people to grow food
69.Provide household items for rehoused homeless people
70.Motion sensor lighting especially for storage cupboards and other rarely used rooms
71.Draught-proofing and insulation for church buildings
72.Renewable energy sources
73.Water efficient toilets
74.Double glazing
75.Use Freecycle, FreeTradeIreland or Freegle(N. Ireland)
76.Stop junk mail
77.Make your own gifts e.g. jam, clothes, arts and crafts etc.
78.Grow your own fruit, vegetables, herbs
79.Stop using disposable plastic water bottles
80.Use a slow cooker, it's more energy efficient than an oven
81.Avoid take-out cups
82.Use an electric shaver rather than disposable blades to reduce waste
83.Use the stairs rather than a lift
84.Enjoy more time in nature
85.Wash laundry at 30°C when possible
86.Campaign with Trócaire for Climate Justice
87.Buy ethical clothing
88.Check up on your own carbon footprint and see where you can make changes
89.Dry your washing outside
90.Walk, cycle, take the bus, tram or train
91.Reduce driving speeds to use less fuel
92.Don’t leave electrical appliances on stand-by
93.Use up leftover food
94.Discuss and promote environmental issues with friends and family
95.Buy locally sourced food
96.Reduce overall meat intake and have a weekly meat-free day
97.Volunteer with local charities or groups
98.Help Fareshare(NI) or FoodCloud(ROI) distribute surplus food from local businesses to people in need
99.Avoid Clingfilm -use a plate to cover bowls of food or a tea towel
100.Boil only the amount of water you need in the kettle

(Adapted from the Trocaire website)