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Call to Respond

In the spirit of caring for the environment that we inherit from the Franciscan tradition of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, we call on one another to address the challenges of climate change in concrete ways.    1.  In a Franciscan spirit of gratitude for God’s gifts, use the “ecological footprint” below to identify your own and your congregation’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and choose to make changes to your lifestyle. www.carbonfootprint.com 2.  In the Franciscan spirit of fraternity, encourage your communities and churches to reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing carbon offsets or carbon credits from companies that invest in projects that reduce CO2 emissions.www.carbonfootprint.com/carbonoffset.html, http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/249 3.  In the Franciscan spirit of simplicity, choose to reduce, reuse, recycle – when we “throw things away,” where is “away” but landfills that hold our trash while it supposedly deteriorates and disintegrates, but science shows us that much of our “trash” remains intact for hundreds of years. 4.  In the Franciscan spirit of joy for Brother Sun, insulate your home and install weather stripping or caulk around doors and windows. This alone can reduce home heating costs by more than 25 percent by reducing the amount of energy needed to heat and cool your home. 5.  In the Franciscan spirit of poverty, be an informed consumer so you can make wise choices; buy items that are reusable and come with less packaging. 6.  In the Franciscan spirit of conversion, turn down appliances; set the water heater at 120 degrees to save energy. Buy low-flow showerheads to save water. Wash clothes in warm or cold water to reduce use of hot water and the energy required to produce it. Only use a dishwasher if full and then use the energy-saving setting. 7.  In the Franciscan spirit of caring for Sister Water, use a rain barrel to water your garden. 8.  In the Franciscan spirit of penance, eliminate red meat and dairy once weekly; this saves water and energy, both used heavily in its preparation.  The average American diet contributes an extra 1.5 tons of greenhouse gas each year compared to a vegetarian diet. 9.  In the Franciscan spirit of caring for our Sister Mother Earth, just say no to plastic – 2.5 million individual plastic bottles are discarded every hour in the United States. Begin using reusable water bottles.  http://www.pnas.org/content/111/28/10239.full 10.  In the Franciscan spirit of love for our Sister Mother Earth, buy organic or locally produced food that is free of the pesticides and other chemicals used in modern agriculture that pollute our water supply and require excessive energy to transport across the continent. 11.  In the Franciscan spirit of celebration, plant a tree (perhaps as a memorial); trees absorb carbon dioxide cleaning the air that we breathe. 12.  In the Franciscan virtue of charity, unplug unused electronics that, even though “off,” use energy. 13.  In the Franciscan virtue of wisdom, invest capital toward a low-carbon path to innovative new technologies and infrastructure. Invest in LEED (green) building construction.

Call to Respond

© Copyright Franciscan Federation 2015
In the spirit of caring for the environment that we inherit from the Franciscan tradition of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, we call on one another to address the challenges of climate change in concrete ways.    1.  In a Franciscan spirit of gratitude for God’s gifts, use the “ecological footprint” below to identify your own and your congregation’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and choose to make changes to your lifestyle. www.carbonfootprint.com 2.  In the Franciscan spirit of fraternity, encourage your communities and churches to reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing carbon offsets or carbon credits from companies that invest in projects that reduce CO2 emissions. www.carbonfootprint.com/carbonoffset.html, http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/249 3.  In the Franciscan spirit of simplicity, choose to reduce, reuse, recycle – when we “throw things away,” where is “away” but landfills that hold our trash while it supposedly deteriorates and disintegrates, but science shows us that much of our “trash” remains intact for hundreds of years. 4.  In the Franciscan spirit of joy for Brother Sun, insulate your home and install weather stripping or caulk around doors and windows. This alone can reduce home heating costs by more than 25 percent by reducing the amount of energy needed to heat and cool your home. 5.  In the Franciscan spirit of poverty, be an informed consumer so you can make wise choices; buy items that are reusable and come with less packaging. 6.  In the Franciscan spirit of conversion, turn down appliances; set the water heater at 120 degrees to save energy. Buy low-flow showerheads to save water. Wash clothes in warm or cold water to reduce use of hot water and the energy required to produce it. Only use a dishwasher if full and then use the energy-saving setting. 7.  In the Franciscan spirit of caring for Sister Water, use a rain barrel to water your garden. 8.  In the Franciscan spirit of penance, eliminate red meat and dairy once weekly; this saves water and energy, both used heavily in its preparation.  The average American diet contributes an extra 1.5 tons of greenhouse gas each year compared to a vegetarian diet. 9.  In the Franciscan spirit of caring for our Sister Mother Earth, just say no to plastic – 2.5 million individual plastic bottles are discarded every hour in the United States. Begin using reusable water bottles.  http://www.pnas.org/content/111/28/10239.full 10.  In the Franciscan spirit of love for our Sister Mother Earth, buy organic or locally produced food that is free of the pesticides and other chemicals used in modern agriculture that pollute our water supply and require excessive energy to transport across the continent. 11.  In the Franciscan spirit of celebration, plant a tree (perhaps as a memorial); trees absorb carbon dioxide cleaning the air that we breathe. 12.  In the Franciscan virtue of charity, unplug unused electronics that, even though “off,” use energy. 13.  In the Franciscan virtue of wisdom, invest capital toward a low-carbon path to innovative new technologies and infrastructure. Invest in LEED (green) building construction.