10 Ways You Can Make a Difference
Be energy efficient. During the summer months, close your curtains to block heat from the sun. During the winter, open your curtains during the day to allow the sun to warm your home. These simple steps can significantly reduce the need for air conditioning and heating, which are likely the most energy-intensive aspects of your home.
Calculate your carbon footprint. Understanding which activities are carbon-intensive allows you to know where you can take action. The EPA has a free carbon footprint calculator you can use.
Adjust the thermostat. Turning down your air conditioning or heating when you leave the house will further shrink your carbon footprint. A change of just 5 degrees is a good start.
Adjust your driving routine. By combining multiple errands into one trip, you reduce the amount of fossil fuel you use.
Go meatless on Fridays. Livestock production accounts for 4% of Americans’ greenhouse gas, according to the EPA. By going meatless one day per week, you’ll both honor Catholic teaching and better care for Creation.
Recycle More. Recycling reduces your carbon footprint both because landfills emit greenhouse gases through decomposition, and because manufacturing from scratch is carbon-intensive. Find where and how to recycle almost anything in your area at search.earth911.com.
Use less water. Water processing accounts for approximately 3% of energy use in the United States, according to the EPA. Saving water means saving energy. Post a “please conserve water” sign at sinks and showers, install low-flow spigots, or select the “eco” setting on laundry machines and dishwashers.
Petition policy makers. Your elected officials have the power to take action on climate change. Write policy makers to tell them that you stand for the stewardship of creation.
Write to your local newspaper. Writing a letter to the editor has effects beyond your local community. Legislators assign their staffs to read letters to the editor as an important barometer of constituents’ interests. For tip sheets and templates, contact Kissairis Muñoz, Catholic Climate Covenant’s advocacy coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Form a study or action group at church. We are all strengthened when we act together as a community. Consider forming a Creation Care Team, and visit CatholicClimateCovenant.org for more information.