By Sr. Ricca Dimalibot, CCVI
The 2023 Oscar Best Picture, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, might as well be the title of the movie of our lives this summer. In different parts of the world, there are wildfires, flooding, drought, and triple-digit temperatures simultaneously compounding the ill effects of climate change and the poor suffer the most. In July, the daily global temperature set a record high. Let us increase our resolve to mitigate climate change through our congregation’s small contribution to the LSAP.
Goal #3 Ecological Economics and Goal #4 Adoption of Simple Lifestyle are intertwined and prompt us to temper our consumerist mindset as LS 204 reminds us:
“When people become self-centered and self-enclosed, their greed increases. The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume. It becomes almost impossible to accept the limits imposed by reality. In this horizon, a genuine sense of the common good also disappears.”
ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS: Challenging the current growth-driven economic system to protect the Earth’s biophysical limits.
GOAL: INVEST CCVI FINANCIAL RESOURCES IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS
We commit to making CCVI financial investments in an organization/s that promotes sustainable agriculture, Fair Trade products, or that funds community development and economic empowerment among the poor in Guatemala, US, Kenya, Ireland, or El Salvador or in an alternative, impact-first investment in climate/environmental solutions.
- The Social Concerns office will research at least four new organizations or projects for consideration by the Dubuis Community Investments Committee
- The congregation, through the CCVI Leadership and Finance Department, will consider new impact investment prospects and new investments in community development or climate/environmental solutions.
Leadership: Addressing the root of environmental problems and promoting systemic change are ways of effecting meaningful transformation of current global situations. More important than trying to “fix” the climate crisis is making every effort to act proactively. Intentional impact investing brings awareness and helps us recognize our responsibilities, not just here in the U.S., but also globally through the active participation of our Sisters in identifying and partnering with organizations. We strive to act justly and equitably in our decision-making.
ADOPTION OF SIMPLE LIFESTYLES: Sufficiency and sobriety in the use of resources and energy.
GOAL: USE LESS ELECTRICITY AND WATER
We commit to improving sustainability in our buildings and ministry facilities by implementing electricity and water-saving measures.
- Each region will commit to replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs for lamps and overhead lights when old bulbs burn out.
- Each region will implement at least one or more water or energy saving recommendations from the CCVI Energy Audit. Form is attached.
Where possible, we will track or estimate water and power savings from our improvements.
- Central America Region
- LED lamps have been installed at convents and ministries.
- Lights and appliances are turned off/disconnected when not in use and appliances are maintained.
- Water is being used only when needed.
- Awareness in repairing water faucets when there are issues.
- Use the dryer less and use the sun’s heat more.
- Ireland Region
- LED bulbs are common use in the convent.
- Water-filters are changed on regular basis, so we don’t use plastic water bottles.
- The heating system is on timer. Turning on radiators 30 minutes prior to community prayer time, meetings, and meals.
- The last person in any given area in the convent makes sure lights/ heater are turned off.
- The washing machine in the convent is able to detect the right amount of detergent thus able to conserve water consumption.
- Kenya Region
- Installed solar panels to save energy.
- Installed water tanks for rainwater harvesting.
- U.S. Region
- Replace old bulbs with LEDs; unplug items or turn off lights when not in use.
- Keep A/C within recommended range, close windows and doors to keep the temperature steady; install a thermostat that can be set for daily, seasonal temperature fluctuations thereby decreasing bill; replace old appliances with new energy-efficient appliances as well as ongoing care and upkeep of all current appliances.
- Wash a full load of clothes and avoid washing during peak hours; avoid using running water while washing dishes or brushing teeth; catch cold water in the shower while waiting for hot water for watering plants.
- Post commitments in guest rooms and laundry areas so as to remind us, and to invite visiting sisters and guests to support our efforts.
- VDM: Conducted energy audit; installed new water fountains, raised chill water discharge air temperature from 44 f to 46 F for A/C. lowered boiler heating temperatures from 160 F to 120 F, controlled fresh air, and turn-off sprinklers when it rains.
- VDM: Maintenance is working on proposing this new upcoming budget year, upgrading, and changing out air handlers and domestic water boilers.
REFLECTION: Share your thoughts about the need for responsible stewardship of water and electricity in your region?
- Central America Region
- We are aware that water and light are indispensable elements for human life.
- On a personal level, water conservation awareness has been fostered.
- Ireland Region
- We realized that electricity units have increased 100% in price, thus we are conscious of usage and conservation. It also made us mindful in spirit of prayers for our suffering brothers and sisters that have no water or electricity.
- Kenya Region
- Solar panels installation co-share in the reduction of carbon in the air.
- Installation of water tanks has led to a reduction in the cost of electricity and energy usage.
- It helps us to be in solidarity with those without sharing the water with them.
- U.S. Region
- It is teamwork. Together, we have helped one another to accomplish this goal.
- We are thankful and very conscious of the blessing of water, and of those who do not have safe drinking water, or electricity. By conserving water and electricity as if they are in short supply, we are in solidarity with the people in parts of the world that are affected by drought and other natural disasters and those who do not have the basic utilities for comfortable living.
- Periodic access to reports on utilities costs and how our efforts to reduce the costs would help to keep us informed and motivated.
To conserve energy and water, Sisters installed solar panels & a rainwater collection tank. Kenya
Left: Sister refilling her reusable mug at awater fountain Villa De Matel Convent,Houston, Texas, USA Right: Students in One of our ministries usereusable bags/baskets when shopping, Huehuetenango, Guatemala Bottom: Sisters participate in composting initiatives. Guatemala & USA
Sisters at the International Novitiate and in Central America cultivated fruits and vegetables in their gardens. St. Louis, MO, USA & Guatemala