Tag Archives: environment

One Climate, One World: Live your life as witness

Hilary Farey

This blog – by Hilary in Bristol – is the sixth of a weekly series to launch our One Climate, One World campaign. We can all take small steps to better love our neighbours and care for creation – but it’s hard to know where to start! These blogs show how CAFOD supporters and parishes are playing their part – we’d love to hear what you’re doing too in the comments below.

CAFOD’s work in the developing world is threatened by climate change, so as a CAFOD supporter it’s important to make climate-friendly lifestyle changes.

Ours became a Livesimply parish in December 2012 and receiving the Livesimply award in 2012 was welcome recognition of work done to build friendships and community spirit in the parish. The biggest challenge was making sure as many people as possible were involved so we could keep the Livesimply profile high – a Livesimply Thought for the Week in our newsletter helped do this.

Shout it from the roof!

We installed our 16 solar panels when we were having some roof repairs and there was already scaffolding on the roof. They cost £22,000 to install and we now get free electricity in daylight hours, and about £1,000 a year through the feed-in-tariff (a fee from the government for energy fed into the national grid). It will take a long time before the panels pay for themselves, but in the meantime our electricity bill has fallen. Continue reading

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One Climate, One World: Everyone’s responsibility

 livesimply imageThis blog – by Paul in the Lancaster diocese – is the fifth of a weekly series to launch our One Climate, One World campaign. We can all take small steps to better love our neighbours and care for creation – but it’s hard to know where to start! These blogs show how CAFOD supporters and parishes are playing their part – we’d love to hear what you’re doing too in the comments below.

Climate change is a major threat to the developing world and is partly the result of how we live in developed countries. It’s counter-productive to provide aid and development support to poor countries while worsening their prospects through our own lifestyle, so we need to act, both by making things better and not making them worse!

That’s why St Joseph’s parish committed itself to living simply – we’re trying to care for creation because it’s God’s gift to us and to future generations, to be shared equally for the benefit of all.

Go on a carbon diet…

During Lent this year we asked parishioners to try a ‘carbon fast’, which meant driving less and walking or cycling to school or church. Driving just 20 fewer miles each week saves 120lbs of CO2!

More ideas on how you can play your part, save energy and care for creation >>

And at home, school and work we asked people to turn out the lights when leaving a room and unplugging power leads when laptops and electronic games etc. aren’t in use. We also had weeks focussing on eating less meat and reducing waste packaging (details are on our parish website).

Through these small acts we’re living more sustainably and taking only what we need – in other words, we’re living the Gospel values of care and greater solidarity with the poor. Continue reading

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One Climate, One World: Tackle climate change in church, home and garden

Home grown garden produce

Growing your own is one way to become more eco-friendly.

This blog – by John in the Westminster diocese – is the fourth of a weekly series to launch our One Climate, One World campaign. We can all take small steps to better love our neighbours and care for creation – but it’s hard to know where to start! These blogs show how CAFOD supporters and parishes are playing their part – we’d love to hear what you’re doing too in the comments below.

It’s a real challenge to want less in a consumer society where the emphasis is on having more. Climate change is partly a product of spiralling consumption and we need to remember that some of the most valuable things in life are free: loving each other and being loved, enjoying nature and creation in all its glory, being able to weep at the injustices in the world.

Climate change is one such injustice. Some parishioners in our multi-ethnic church, St John Vianney, have first-hand experience of its effects because they come from – or have family in – countries that are feeling its impact, including Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Ethiopia, Congo and Kenya. Some are from central and south America.

Tackling climate change at home

As a Livesimply parish, living sustainably is our contribution to tackling this. It includes getting parishioners to recycle more, use low-energy bulbs, turn down the thermostat, support charity shops, use leftovers, consume less and walk more!

More ideas on how you can play your part, save energy and care for creation >>

It can be tricky to see where you need to make changes, so we used online calculators from WWF and the government to measure parishioners’ carbon footprints and figure out how we could shrink them.

The calculator highlights areas such as using low energy light bulbs and loft insulation, and loading the dishwasher when it has a full load and not after every meal. It also prompts you to choose an energy efficient A-rated product when buying a new kitchen appliance. Continue reading

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Filed under CAFOD, CAFOD Westminster, Campaigning, Climate Change, Fairtrade, UK

One Climate, One World: Live simply – and embrace the change!

Brenda Underwood

Brenda Underwood, Livesimply coordinator, Brentwood Cathedral.

This blog – by Brenda in Brentwood diocese – is the third of a weekly series to launch our One Climate, One World campaign. We can all take small steps to better love our neighbours and care for creation – but it’s hard to know where to start! These blogs show how CAFOD supporters and parishes are playing their part – we’d love to hear what you’re doing too in the comments below.

These days it’s easy to live in a bubble and think only about what makes life easy – not taking into account the effect it has on others. For me, living simply is about considering the impact of my actions (or inactions) on other people.

We have such a busy parish with so much good work going on that engaging parishioners in new things can be difficult. But having the support of the clergy and other groups in the parish is invaluable.

Have a light bulb moment…

In June our parish had Livesimply Week – a series of events encouraging parishioners to save water, walk to Mass, recycle clothes and so on. It was great to see so many parishioners get involved. The main aim was to raise awareness, but I know some parishioners have carried on with these actions.

More ideas on how you can play your part, save energy and care for creation >>

We changed all the light bulbs in the Cathedral to low energy ones which is great because they also last longer!  The presbytery had a new heating system fitted recently which helps keep down fuel bills and we’re lucky that the parish hall was completely renovated about five years ago so is well insulated. Continue reading

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Filed under CAFOD, CAFOD Brentwood, Campaigning, Climate Change

One Climate, One World: Eco-warrior. Who, me?

 

Wind turbine in Norfolk

The Norfolk landscape from the Green Britain Centre wind turbine at Swaffham.

This blog – by Anne in north London – is the first of a weekly series to launch our One Climate, One World campaign. We can all take small steps to better love our neighbours and care for creation – but it’s hard to know where to start! These blogs show how CAFOD supporters are playing their part – we’d love to hear what you’re doing too in the comments below.

The starting point wasn’t so much a commitment to becoming an eco-warrior but more being forced to think about whether I could afford to keep my old Nissan Micra.

It was falling apart, cost a fortune to run and the insurance bore no relation to its value – banger-owners will know the story! But as petrol prices topped £1 per litre, the decision was made: she had to go. She was taken away, with her £75 value donated to Shelter. I now have no car.

Cool those overheating bills

The next unwitting step to becoming an eco-warrior was to do with my doors and windows. My old Victorian terrace was as draughty as the next, and (uncomfortably chilled a few winters back) I made the decision to double glaze my home – mainly for comfort but also to cut bills. I can’t deny the initial outlay was high, but both my aims have been happily achieved. It’s difficult to be precise about money saved as energy prices have rocketed recently, but I know my home is retaining heat better and that I’m turning on the heater later in the year and for less time.

Having taken this bold step, I realised that my old back boiler was not as efficient as a combi-boiler, so I started saving up. My old system could only heat water alongside heating the house, but the combi just lets me heat the water I need, saving energy and costs. It all adds up.

More ideas on how you can play your part to save energy and care for creation >>

Measure – and shrink – your carbon footprint

Parishioners at St John Vianney’s Church were challenged to measure their energy use by doing an online assessment in the church hall one Sunday after mass (accompanied by tea and coffee). I picked up the gauntlet. To my surprise I found that some very small changes could cut my bills and use less energy.

Continue reading

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Filed under CAFOD, CAFOD Westminster, Campaigning, Climate Change, UK, Water