By SAMANTHA SMITH, Staff Writer | Published October 17, 2019
Oct. 4 was the feast day for St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and ecology, among others. Near his feast day, parishes may host a “Blessing of the Pets” which is a special prayer for the pets of all the faithful in the community. For the last few years, the Archdiocese of Atlanta has hosted a Green Mass, in honor of those who work to make our communities and world more sustainable and eco-friendly.
While Pope Francis continues to calls Catholics to combat climate change, the progress can be slow for some. It may be too inconvenient, some do not know where to start or maybe they are not sure how they feel about climate change.
Sustainability does require us to make changes to some of our habits, but that does not mean it cannot be fun! Here are a few simple and stylish ways to be more eco-friendly.
Reusable water bottles. Get your recommended ounces of water per day in a stylish, reusable water bottle! Not only do they release less carbon dioxide, they also do not pack landfills. There are various water bottles out there in multiple sizes, shapes, designs and colors.
Grocery tote bags: This is one of my favorite eco-friendly items. I usually keep three or four bags in my car at all times, and use them when I head to the store. Not only are they stylish and come in various sizes, they also make great gifts for family and friends.
Reusable food storage bags: These are perfect for dressing up your lunch or leftovers. Some are clear and others come in designs. The best part – many of them are dishwasher safe.
Wardrobe: There are more companies making clothes with recycled materials. Some companies also commit to reducing waste based on how many products they sell. The first sustainable wear I bought was a pair of Rothy’s shoes. While they are a bit expensive, they make their shoes out of plastic water bottles, recycled foam and eco-friendly out-soles. The best part is that if they get dirty, you can put them in your washing machine to clean them up. The shoes come in various styles and colors.
These are just a few suggestions to get you started. One small change can make a big impact, so do not be afraid to start small.
Also, check out the Laudato Si’ Action Plan of the Atlanta Archdiocese for more sustainable practices for your home and parish.
“Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home,” said Pope Francis.
Read about the 2019 Green Mass and Green Teams in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.