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Growing from Earth Day
April 22, 2017

Leslie Porreca, RSM, Cranaleith Spiritual Center

When some part of your body is not able to function because of an injury, like a cut on your finger, you may find it difficult to button a shirt, tie shoe laces, or even send a text message. Yet, while such a deficit is an inconvenience, it is not impossible to accomplish daily tasks, and facing such challenges may allow for growth and transformation.

This past March, I participated in Earth Hour, a global event where millions of people set aside an hour to host events, switch off their lights, and make a positive impact on climate change. In celebration of Earth Day, I ask you to consider setting aside some time for an Earth Hour by spending 60 minutes without a phone, music, or TV. Read by candlelight and savor the darkness, slow down and reflect…unplug. In fact, why not make this a regular practice several times a month? By participating in Earth Hour we can invite in the experience of gratitude.

The generation of electricity creates CO2 emissions and is a contributor to climate change. Unless we pay attention to our usage and support renewable resources for creating energy, we may have to get used to living without in the near future.

I invite you to participate in Earth Day. To show up in your life and pay attention to what you personally are doing to care for the environment. The place we call Earth.

There are many ways you can show mercy to our common home. Please consider taking action. And if you like, tag #Mercy2Earth on Mercy2earth.org.

  1. I will join a local climate march on April 29.
  2. I will begin a group for the “care of creation” in my parish, community or institution.
  3. I will organize a workshop or educational talk about the care of creation.
  4. I will incorporate #Mercy2Earth into the Sunday liturgy.
  5. I will organize a Divine Mercy Chaplet that incorporates care for creation in my family, parish or community.
  6. I will advocate for local and national policies that promote the transition to renewable energy.
  7. I will buy from companies that support the switch to a low-carbon future.
  8. I will reduce my consumption of meat.
  9. I will calculate my carbon footprint. (www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx)
  10. I will divest my personal investments from fossil fuels.
  11. I will encourage my organization to divest their funds from fossil fuels.
  12. I will avoid flying whenever possible, fly less frequently, fly shorter distances, and fly economy class.
  13. I will reduce the use of my car by carpooling or taking public transport, bicycling or walking.
  14. I will watch my driving habits: Speeding and unnecessary acceleration waste gas and money and increase your carbon footprint.
  15. I will buy local fruit and vegetables, or even try growing my own.
  16. I will plant a native plant or tree.
  17. I will buy foods that are in season locally
  18. I will begin a recycling campaign in my family, community or parish.
  19. I will compost my food waste.
  20. I will hang out the washing instead of tumble drying.
  21. I will use my own bag for all purchases.
  22. I will turn down the heating by 10C.
  23. I will purchase less things.
  24. I will add solar panels to the roof of my home.
  25. I will not buy bottled water if my tap water is safe to drink.
  26. I will look for ways to better insulate my home.
  27. I will only fill the kettle & boil the amount of water needed.
  28. I will spend less time in the shower.
  29. I will turn electrical equipment off when not in use.
  30. When necessary, I will replace my appliances with energy efficient ones.

List courtesy of Mercy2earth.org, 30 Acts of Mercy for Our Common Home.

Leslie Porreca, RSM, MSS, LCSW, is head of Cranaleith’s earth keeping, sustainability and permaculture activities, including management of the garden and kitchen. She is a former co-director at Mercy Farm at Lumen Christi, Vermont. Leslie is assisted by a committee of volunteer advisors and a dedicated cadre of program volunteers.

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