A Home for All: Restoring our Common Home
The annual Season of Creation is celebrated by the global Christian family, beginning next week on 1 September and continuing until 4 October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi. Throughout the month-long celebration, the world’s 2.2 billion Christians come together to care for our common home.
Resources from the Laudato Si’ working group of the Irish Bishops Conference are available at www.catholicbishops.ie/2021/07/21/season-of-creation-2021
These include suggestions for Sundays (music and the sacred space, weekly short homily notes, Prayer of the Faithful, Communion reflections) an ecumenical weekday prayer service of creation, and practical actions for parishes.
The following resources can be viewed and downloaded here:
Committing ourselves to caring for creation requires effort and discipline. But there are many enjoyable aspects too, and one of these is tree planting. Plant a tree to commemorate a person, or an occasion. See www.treesontheland.com and futureforests.ie/pages/how-to-plant-a-tree.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Natural woodlands are home to thousands of species of insect, bird, mammals and plants. Trees help prevent flooding by storing rain and releasing it slowly.
Only 2% land coverage in Ireland has native trees. (Another 9% is planted with conifers: these plantations are now acknowledged to create pressure on protected habitats, reduce water quality through silting, and exacerbate water run-off.) Most of our native woodlands are extremely small. Europe, by comparison, has 35% forestation.
Be an effective consumer!
'Greenwashing' is a common advertising practise: providing misleading or false information about the environmental care a company takes in manufacturing and selling its produces. Environmentally conscious consumers can be lulled into a false sense of security if they hear words like ‘eco-friendly’, ‘sustainable’, or ‘green’, but often these words are just included to give us a feel-good factor when buying the products. Look for more detail... see this article for information on spotting and dealing with greenwashing.
The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) code requires that marketing communications relating to sustainability or eco-friendly materials should be supported by strong evidence. They must not mislead (or be likely to mislead) by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, or omission. If you think an ad or other company communication is in breach of this code then report them to the ASAI at www.asai.ie.
Engaging with Climate Change: a selection of resources
ICC General Secretary, Dr Nicola Brady, shares the importance of starting with oneself when it comes to responding to climate change:
Caring for God's Creation – resources for liturgy, preaching, and taking action from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Eco-Parish Guide – from the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM)
Prayer: the Laudato Si' chaplet (GCCM)