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Earth Day is Every Day

Earth Day is Every Day
Since April 22 is designated as a special remembrance and celebration of planet Earth, let us remember and give thanks. Focus on your breath, feel the existence of and give thanks for trees, flowers, sunshine, animals, rain, fields, lawns, rocks, and moonlight. Bless all with peace. Several groups are providing Earth Day education, prayer, action suggestions, and Zooms throughout the month, including the BVM Earth ritual on April 21.

—Rose Mary Meyer, Care for Our Common Earth Home Committee
Source: 7 Daily, SHGINTO Rituals, Azumi Uchitani. Adapted.

The Congregation’s Commitment
In response to the congregation’s commitment to “Care for our Common Earth Home” and the invitation from the committee to participate, BVMs, associates, and employees are celebrating and caring for planet Earth in unique yet connected ways. These ideas encompass the Laudato Si’ Action Platform (LSAP) which outlines seven sustainability goals: care for the Earth; care for the poor; develop ecological frameworks for economics, education and spirituality; adopt a sustainable lifestyle; and encourage community engagement.

Sharing Ideas for Goal #3
On March 17, BVM Center staff gathered, not to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but for a prayer service and discussion of the third goal of LSAP ecological economics. The platform recognizes how our economic structures and practices impact creation. It includes sustainable production, purchasing fair-trade items, ethical consumption, ethical investments, divestment from fossil fuels and any economic activity harmful to the planet and the people, investment in renewable energy, etc. In other words, how and what we spend our money on does impact our planet.

As part of the prayer, staff member Rhonda Wernimont shared practical ways and suggestions to care for the Earth and your body. She suggested reducing use of plastic: replacing the plastic food covers with silicone lids; using glass and stainless-steel containers for food; replacing paper napkins with cloth ones; using tissues made of bamboo; drinking tap water; eliminating plastic bottled water; and using regular silverware, bamboo products, or compostable options.

She offered many other doable options, recognizing that the initial costs may be higher. In the long run however, using sustainable goods is good for the Earth, your body, and your wallet. A couple of other suggestions are to purchase fair trade coffee and chocolate, carpool, reduce gas consumption by combining errands, limit purchasing items that are plastic and/or packaged in Styrofoam and plastic.

The conversation about ways to be Earth-friendly continued long after the prayer service. It was a fun exchange of learning new and creative ways to care for the Earth in our ordinary, daily lives. —Nancy Miller, OSF, Social Justice Coordinator

Sharing with our Prayer Partners
On Sunday, March 26, Rhonda and Carol Marie shared their presentation with the Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, and BVM prayer partners. Everyone experienced “aha” moments as they shared how everyday practices and habits can be changed to care for our common Earth home. Changes in the use of laundry soap and fabric softener, cleaning materials, cloths vs. paper products, and plastics are ways to practically begin caring for our Earth. —Lori Ritz, Director of BVM Life and Mission

Sharing with our Followers
Inspired by what had been shared at the March 17 BVM Center prayer and discussion, the communications department worked with Rhonda and Carol Marie to develop and host a video series, “Make Every Day Earth Day.” The series highlights the hosts discussing various tips and ideas for our social media followers to be more Earth-friendly. Easy to follow tips on reducing, re-using, and recycling are shared as well as discussion about being mindful of our purchases both in terms of ingredients/materials and in supporting responsible companies that protect their workers and the environment. Click to Watch more of these simple tips you can do to “Make EveryDay EarthDay.”

 

We invite you to share your Earth experiences with the Care for our Common Home Earthy Home committee at careforearth@bvmsisters.org.

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