“The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.”
“Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded”.
“I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”
Pope Francis’ appeal in his Encyclical Laudato Si’ (2015)
The Big Compost Experiment
UCL launched ‘The Big Compost Experiment’ back in November. The team at UCL asked members of the public to fill in an online questionnaire about their composting and recycling habits. With special reference to plastic packaging labelled as ‘compostable’, they want you to see whether your compost bin at home can break down these products. Despite starting in the coldest season, where compost production really slows down, they’ve had some success. To take part, go to https://www.bigcompostexperiment.org.uk/
An update on the experiment was given by the scientists in a Radio 4 broadcast of Inside Science on 27th February. The programme is available on BBC Sounds for a year. The experiment is the first in the world which focusses on who, how and where we compost our food waste. It also looks at how bio-degradable are certain items sold to us on a daily basis – coffee cups, spoons, bio-degradable magazine covers etc and will track decomposition of these items.
The aim of the survey is to provide data which can be fed back to government and companies in order to inform legislation and production.
Also see The Plastic Waste Innovation Hub website: https://www.plasticwastehub.org.uk/
Lenten ideas to care for our common home; our planet
Leave the car at home one day a week? Walk/cycle to school, the shops, church, work etc; use public transport or share a lift. Take the train instead of the plane?
Don’t buy any new clothes during Lent; mend some or use a charity shop? Wash clothes less frequently and save water and energy.
Be careful about how much food you eat and don’t waste food. Eat less meat, particularly red meat and try to buy local produce.
Use less energy – wear an extra layer and turn down the heating – ensure lights are turned off – have shorter showers. Have cold drinks instead of hot. Switch to a renewable energy supplier?
AND IF THIS SAVES YOU MONEY – GIVE IT TO CAFOD
Plant a tree in your garden or as part of an organised scheme.
Bear witness – tell someone else what you think about the beauty of God’s creation and how we all need to take responsibility for caring for our planet. Tell them what you are doing and why. Read the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’ – on care for our common home.
Lobbying – If you feel strongly about something to do with the environment, write and tell Government, local Councils, your employer or big business.
PRAYER PRAYER PRAYER
Climate Change – talk by Jack Wakefield (Tearfund)
On Saturday 30th November 2019, the Community and Companions hosted an afternoon on Climate Change, followed by Evening Prayer for the beginning of Advent. The invited speaker, Jack Wakefield (Tearfund*) gave an impassioned and informative talk and encouraged us to take positive action.
“Tearfund work with supporters and partners to influence powerful decision-makers around the world and we encourage everyone to alter their own lifestyles, as a way to love our neighbours. We realised that we would not be able to tackle extreme poverty in the world unless we tackled the issue of Global Climate Change so that is why it is such an important issue for us”. Jack Wakefield
Jack was such an enthusiastic and positive person; he spoke first about the wonder of Creation and how the beauty of the world is so often mentioned in Scripture. He talked about the situation now and what we have done to our world. As regards our world now, he encouraged us to be “Ambassadors of Restoration”.
He encouraged us to respond personally in the way we eat and live (consume less and live more simply) but also he encouraged us to influence governments and big business.
He challenged us to move away from fossil fuels and not be afraid to lobby global brands to do the same, as well as taking more responsibility for the packaging and rubbish they produce especially when selling to poor countries where there is probably no waste management.
*TEARFUND is a Christian charity, passionate about ending poverty. With over 50 years’ experience of responding to disasters and crises, they serve the most vulnerable people and communities – wherever they are