International Earth Day

The adage – “never too old to learn” is a great comfort to me – Catherine McAuley

With International Earth Day (Sunday 22 April) in our orbit, our minds and spirits can be truly enriched by thinking about our relationship with Mother Earth.

Pope Francis has an important invitation for us: make the works of mercy also include care for our common home. We have a global Mercy response to the cry of the Earth and you play a vital role in attending to its needs. Here are some suggestions as to how you can show mercy to our common home, not only on International Earth Day, but every day.

Establish a ‘care of creation’ group in your parish or community: from tree planting to cleaning up waterways and streetscapes, many hands make light work. Be proud to take a leadership role in helping your peers build a caring and more nurturing relationship with their environment. Open their eyes to the perils of the planet and champion the vital change to give Mother Nature the voice and respect she deserves.

Shop smarter: plastic bags present a major issue for our environment. Say no to plastic and use your own cotton bags for shopping. 160,000 plastic bags are used globally every second and 5 trillion plastic bags are produced yearly. These are toxic to the environment and our unique flora and fauna. Be proud to take a stand against plastic.

Home is where the environmentally friendly heart is: from paying attention to the way you use water, to recycling and composting, every little bit counts. As a family unit, write down a set of achievable but ambitious goals that can unify your efforts and set the standards that will keep the earth forefront of your mind each and every day.

Share the love: take a stand against pollution by adopting some healthier habits with your peers. Instead of driving your own car to school, start a carpool, or, better yet, agree as a group to bike or walk. It’s a great bonding opportunity.

Switch the lights off: we need to urgently prioritise our planet’s biodiversity and nature and turning off non-essential electric lights when they are not needed is so important. Flick the switch and save the future of our beautiful Mother Earth.

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