Season of Creation 2022 & Sustainability Tips

Celebrating the Season of Creation 2022

St. Matthew's Care for Creation Green Team invites you to celebrate the Season of Creation 2022 (September 1 - October 4, 2022) via Zoom, touching on all Seven Laudato Si’ Goals.
 

View the Season of Creation 2022
St. Matthew's Green Team Event Series flier ⇒

 

Sustainability Tips from the Green Team

For each day of the Season of Creation 2022, St. Matthew's Creation Care Green Team shares below a tip for sustainable living. Check here regularly through October 4! Source: SUSTAINABLE LIVING: 58 TIPS FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE

What does sustainable living mean?

Climate change, air pollution, world hunger, and water scarcity are among the most pressing global problems. The root of the problem is that most of us, unfortunately, do not live sustainably. By consuming more resources than are available in the long term, we live at the expense of the environment and of less developed nations.

The "carbon footprint" indicates how many raw materials we use and how many pollutants we cause with our consumption. The way we buy, what we buy, how we travel, work or spend our free time - all impact our ecological footprint. Sustainable living is a philosophy to reduce personal and societal environmental impact. So, sustainability does not only mean environmentally friendly but also socially acceptable. For example, buying products that people have produced under fair conditions. Sustainable living means keeping your carbon footprint as small as possible and acting in a socially responsible manner. It encourages people to minimize their use of Earth's resources and reduce the damage of human and environmental interactions. Our tips will help you to do this. Have fun!

19 Sept- 25 Sept:  Home sweet home – Tips for Sustainable Living at home

19 Sept.  Pack the washing machine really full, also then fewer fibers come loose. Wash synthetic fibers with cold water

20 Sept.  Wash stains one by one instead of washing the whole garment

21 Sept.  Air your not-so-dirty clothes to get rid of smells instead of washing

22 Sept . Reduce plastic waste

Plastic packaging is everywhere, from food to toys, cosmetics to electronics. These tips will help you reduce plastic waste: Buy unpackaged things whenever possible, for example at an unpackaged shop. If you can't avoid it, dispose of plastic directly when shopping in the rplastic ecycle bins at the shops or in the plastic recycle bins at home. For liquid packaging, such as all-purpose cleaners, look for the “Ecolabel".

23 Sept.  Buy second-hand furniture

24 Sept.  Buy second-hand clothes

25 Sept.  Turn off the lights when you leave a room

 

12 Sept- 18 Sept: Home sweet home – Tips for Sustainable Living at home

12  Sept  Reduce your energy consumption

Your oven, washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, hoover, and other electrical appliances consume resources when produced and energy during use. Before you buy a new appliance, consider whether you can buy it second-hand or perhaps share it with someone else. When buying a new device, look for the new energy labels. If you don't use your computer for more than five minutes, don't leave it in standby mode, but switch it off. All this will reduce the eco-balance of your purchase and thus your carbon footprint. Go one step further and replace incandescent lamps and energy-saving lamps with LEDs - this will save you electricity and money in the long run.

13  Sept  Cook and wash up cleverly

A kettle uses a lot of energy, but you can still save energy with it: Only fill it with as much water as you need; if you need water to cook pasta, heat it in the kettle first. When cooking on the cooker, put the lid on the pot so that water boils faster. Are you cooking a dish in the oven? Then use the baking energy for the entire dish. For example, don't just cook fish fingers in the oven, but add potato wedges and vegetables to the dish. When it comes to washing up, pack the dishwasher full and choose the economy program. When washing dishes by hand, do not rinse under running water.

14  Sept Ventilate and heat properly

Most living spaces are still heated with fossil fuels, which is harmful to the climate. Therefore, clever heating and ventilation will reduce your ecological footprint. Airing your home at regular intervals instead of tilting windows and setting the thermostats at a consistent temperature will reduce CO2 emissions and your utility bill.

15  Sept Washing and cleaning

Every year, millions of barrels of chemicals from detergents and cleaning agents are washed into the wastewater by private households in the U.S.. A third of these are toxic. It is recommended t o avoid particularly aggressive agents such as pipe cleaners or oven sprays. Four cleaning agents are sufficient: All-purpose cleaner, dishwashing liquid, bathroom cleaner, and scouring agent. Products with the Ecolabel mark environmentally friendly and health-friendly detergents and cleaning agents. When washing, pay attention to the correct dosage, do not use fabric softener, fill the washing machine properly and select the eco-program - this is how you achieve sustainability in everyday life. If you want to become even more sustainable, make your own cleaning products and cosmetics for yourself, your flat mates, or friends and family.

16 Sept Ban microplastics from your bathroom and clothing

Two types of microplastics pollute our environment and are a major threat to the entire food chain, especially in the oceans. Primary microplastics are pieces of plastic that are smaller than five millimeters when they enter the environment. They enter wastewater from a variety of sources: from cosmetics and detergents, as abrasion from tires, or as fibers from synthetic textiles. Secondary microplastics are created when large pieces of plastic, such as plastic bottles, break down into small pieces through weathering. Conventional brand-name products of shampoos, shower gels, body lotion, scrubs, and facial care contain microplastics. Neither type is banned, nor do they have to be labeled. With natural cosmetics, you are on the safe side when it comes to microplastics.

When synthetic clothing such as fleece jackets or sports textiles are washed, tiny fibers come loose. They enter the sea via wastewater, where they are one of the main sources of microplastics. Because more and more fashion, outdoor, and sports clothing is being produced and consumed worldwide, the environmental impact of textile-related microplastics is increasing. You can help reduce the number of microplastics ending up in the ocean.

17  Sept  Buy clothes made from natural fibers like wool and cotton.

18  Sept  Do not wash hard textiles such as jeans together with fleece fabrics, because this creates a lot of mechanical friction

 

 

7 Sept - 11 Sept: Mobility and climate change: 5 tips for Sustainable Commuting

7 Sept  Fly less

You suspect it, you know it - with air travel you undeniably boost your carbon footprint. Because no means of transport is more harmful to the climate than air travel. Since 1990, global air traffic has almost tripled and continues to grow strongly. Realize that air travel is so cheap because environmental damage is not priced in. And kerosene for air travel is not taxed, unlike energy for rail and car travel. Consider whether or how often you can do without air travel in order to live more sustainably. How about taking the train? Or how about less spontaneous city trips and more biking tours? If it still has to be a flight, look for ways to offset your CO2 emissions.

8 Sept  Bike instead of driving: drive less and save fuel

Car traffic is not only a burden on cities, but on our climate as a whole. In cities, it is easier to move in an environmentally friendly way. Public transport and rail connections make it possible. The healthiest way, of course, is to bike. It helps you stay fit and protects the environment. If you want to buy a car yourself, find out about environmentally friendly models. Don’t use fossil fuels anymore. If neither the train nor the bicycle is an alternative for you, try alternative car use: ridesharing, car sharing, neighborhood cars - the available options are growing rapidly, especially in cities. 

9 Sept  Try to combine multiple errands in one trip instead of multiple trips throughout the week

10 Sept  Take off and touchdown consume more fuel than cruising at a high altitude, so when flying try to take direct flights to reduce your carbon emissions. 
  
11 Sept  When flying: pack light. More weight = more fuel = more CO2 emissions
 

1 Sept - 6 Sept: 6 Tips for Sustainable Eating

1 Sept  Eat less meat
One third of our carbon footprint is determined by our diet, as stated by the organisation Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World). Animal-based food accounts for about 80 percent of this. Their production requires an extremely large amount of water, pollutes our groundwater with liquid manure, and consumes valuable land for fodder cultivation. In addition, often working conditions in the meat industry are anything but fair, and industrial factory farming is ethically questionable. The most effective way to improve your ecological footprint is to avoid or reduce the consumption of animal-based foods.

2 Sept  Buy regional products

Due to transport by lorry, ship or even plane, the carbon footprint of many foods is extremely poor. Sure, some fruits don’t grow in the U.S., so they have to be imported. But you can perhaps resort to less exotic fruits or foods. Instead, take regional fruits and vegetables. This is easy with many varieties, for example, strawberries, tomatoes, or apples. In the meantime, packaged and unpackaged foods are labeled so that you can recognize the country of origin. When strolling through the weekly market, you can buy from producers from your region. In many cities there are now even "market hawkers" - you order online and pick up the regional products from various suppliers at a collection point. Fresh produce boxes also deliver regional produce to your home. You discover new types of vegetables and the recipes provided explain how to prepare them. You like drinking juice? Then try naturally cloudy apple juice from meadow orchards. It has traveled fewer kilometers than orange juice concentrate. In addition, local orchards are a playground for insects and birds.

3 Sept  Look for seasonal food (locally grown food)

Seasonal foods from your region travel less miles and are therefore more climate-friendly and cheaper. What does your farmers’ market offer?

4 Sept  Drink tap water instead of bottled water

If your tap water is strictly monitored and is perfectly safe, drink it! It's always cold and fresh, less expensive, and always available. You don't need to carry boxes, buy plastic bottles, or return deposit bottles. A squeeze of lemon, syrup, or juice adds flavor to the water. If you prefer drinking sparkling water, you can also use home carbonated water makers to make your sparkling water at home.

5 Sept  Plan your shopping and save food (Eat the food you buy and reduce food waste)

Sustainable living or living green also means wasting less. Food waste is a big problem. Use a shopping list to buy what you really need. Check what you have in stock. Large quantities are often cheaper - but if you have to throw too much away, you haven't saved anything. You don't know what to do with two carrots, a stick of leek, and feta cheese? Simply google the ingredients and you will get plenty of recipes that need only these ingredients. You could also join food-sharing and save food from being thrown away. You can find locations near you on the web and make new friends by joining in.

6 Sept  Go organic and fair

Sustainability includes social responsibility as well as ecology. Fairly produced foods such as coffee, juice, or chocolate help to ensure that more money ends up with the producers of the products. If you buy organic, you reduce your carbon footprint and support environmentally friendly food production.