Catholic Conference of Ohio

Care for Creation Educational Resouces - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Catholic Climate Covenant

The Catholic Climate Covenant supports and complements USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development and the bishops’ Environmental Justice Program. The Covenant is guided by top staff from fourteen national Catholic organizations.

The Covenant is seen nationally and globally as a catalyst, convener and clearinghouse that urges Catholic individuals, families, parishes, schools and other organizations to embrace and act on Catholic teaching as it relates to care for creation and climate change.

The Covenant’s primary organizing tool is the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor.

The St. Francis Pledge

I/We Pledge to:

  • PRAY and reflect on the duty to care for God’s Creation and protect the poor and vulnerable.
  • LEARN about and educate others on the causes and moral dimensions of climate change.
  • ASSESS how we-as individuals and in our families, parishes and other affiliations-contribute to climate change by our own energy use, consumption, waste, etc.
  • ACT to change our choices and behaviors to reduce the ways we contribute to climate change.
  • ADVOCATE for Catholic principles and priorities in climate change discussions and decisions, especially as they impact those who are poor and vulnerable.


Catholic Youth Care for Creation Program

Care for Creation Site: Pray, Learn, Assess, Act and Advocate

, National Federation for Catholic Youth

Catholic youth ministry has always taken seriously the need to form young disciples in Catholic Social Teaching. Social justice is one of seven components of a comprehensive ministry with young people. Apprenticing youth in both direct action (charity) and social change (justice) is a powerful means and holistic lens to view the many ills of our world including climate change.

Some might be surprised that the Catholic Church has anything to say about the environment, thinking that all the Church is concerned with are issues of faith and morals. But, if you think about it, it makes sense that the Church would have a lot to say about the earth. In the first chapter of Genesis we read that after creating the heavens and the earth, and all the living creatures, “God blessed [the man and woman], saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that move on earth.’” (Gen. 1:28) God entrusted the care of the earth to humanity and all people have a responsibility to care for the environment. This is not simply a responsibility to the earth itself nor to just humanity alone. Being good stewards of the environment is, ultimately, humanity’s responsibility toward God.


Catholic Health Association Resources on the Environment

Catholic Health Association Resource Pages on the Environment

As Catholic health care providers, climate change is a moral concern and our faith demands prudent action to reduce our carbon footprint, care for "the least of these" (Mt 25) and raise our voice on behalf of Creation and the poor.

Specifically, the escalating problem of global warming is an issue for Catholic health care because:

  • We are people of faith and believe "the earth is the Lord's and all it holds." (Ps 24:1)
  • We understand there is substantial body of scientific knowledge showing "warming of the climate is unequivocal." (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007)
  • As health providers, we are concerned that "many diseases will surge as the atmosphere heats up." (Scientific American, August 2000), and that burden of caring for people will be born, in part, by the Catholic health ministry.
  • We can help reduce our own carbon footprint because "as one of the largest users of energy, hospitals are major contributors to climate change." (Global Health and Safety Initiative, 2008)


Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education: A Toolkit for Mission Integration

The Catholic Climate Covenant, with support from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities, and the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, with the help of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, have produced Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education: A Toolkit for Mission Integration (PDF; 3MB).

Through mission-based initiatives, the Toolkit offers practical suggestions to inspire individuals, families, schools, parishes, and dioceses to more fully care for God's creation.

The Toolkit guides institutions of Catholic higher education to incorporate environmentally sustainable practices and

  • identifies who on campus can most effectively address each dimension
  • offers proposals for how each element might be implemented on campus
  • suggests ways in which the institution might go "beyond the campus" and into the community
  • includes stories about how other Catholic colleges and universities are living each aspect


National Catholic Rural Life Resources on Climate Change, Food and Justice

Catholic Rural LifeThis faith-based study guide on Global Climate Change uses a reflection/action methodology called Shared Christian Praxis*.

The reflection/action process has five progressive movements, beginning with identifying where people are in their life experiences, then engaging them in critical reflection on their experiences and relating those experiences to the Story and Vision of our Catholic faith.

This process concludes by outlining the dimensions for future actions – by an individual, a group or an entire community.

The end result is meant not only to change attitudes, but to change behaviors on behalf of solidarity with the world and the care of God’s creation.

Catholic Relief Services Lesson Plans on Care for Creation

Catholic Relief Services is witnessing first-hand the effects of environmental degradation and climate change on poor and vulnerable people around the world. Today, developing nations are prone to experiencing major devastation as a result of climate-related disasters. Homes, livelihoods, crops, livestock and human lives are being destroyed in the wake of these storms and floods. Severe hunger and disease often follow these disasters at a slower but just as deadly pace. CRS works to help the poor become more resilient to natural disasters and the effects of climate change.

Catholic Conference of Ohio Environmental Checklist

Environmental Checklist (PDF Version)

More than Just Recycling

☐ Place special "recyclables only" bins around your facility.
☐ Consider recycling as a potential income stream.
☐ Ensure that your trash vendor recycles.
☐ Consider e-waste, cell phone and ink cartridge fundraisers.
☐ Educate and involve your parishioners, especially the kids.

Office Equipment Savings

☐ Use power strips dedicated to specific equipment.
☐ Turn equipment off when you are done.
☐ Activate power management software on all your computers.
☐ Unplug charger units when not in use.

Paper Products

☐ List and compare all your paper and consumable purchases.
☐ Use eco-friendly high recycled content office paper.
☐ Distribute documents electronically.
☐ Print on both sides of your paper.
☐ Recycle as much paper as possible.
☐ Use single space when possible.

Maintaining Your Kitchen

☐ Service large and walk-in freezers and coolers annually
☐ Do a "dollar bill test" on your refrigerator.
☐ Clean refrigerator coils and door seals.
☐ Create an air gap behind your refrigerators.
☐ Use a timer on the coffee pot.
☐ Be wary of old donated refrigerators and freezers. Consolidate fridges and switch off the oldest one.
☐ Calibrate your freezers and coolers. Colder isn’t always better.
☐ Install EPA-approved WaterSource®- approved flow restrictors and aerators.

Eco-Friendly Kitchen Supplies

☐ Eliminate all Styrofoam products.
☐ Utilize reusable supplies such as coffee mugs, refillable water bottles, glasses, dishes, utensils, etc., when
☐ Coffee filters: Either purchase a permanent cleanable coffee filter or use unbleached disposable coffee filters
where needed.
☐ Paper towels and napkins: Consider the use of items that have a high recycled content and are unbleached.
☐ If purchasing new appliances, look for the ENERGY STAR® label. Check with your local utility for available rebates and incentives for major appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, etc.
☐ Use "Fair Trade" coffee in support of Social Justice.

Investing in Energy Savings

☐ Consider HID lighting for outdoors and high ceilings.
☐ Turn off your lights when not needed.
☐ Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs.
☐ Install occupancy sensors.
☐ Install LED exit signs.
☐ Replace T12 fluorescent tubes with T8s.
☐ Clean all light fixtures.
☐ Seasonally adjust all interior and exterior lighting timers.
☐ Remove excess lighting.

Eco-Friendly Low Cost HVAC Solutions

☐ Set your cold thermostat at 78°F and hot at 68°F during class or service hours.
☐ Seal off unused offices and passageways.
☐ Close exterior doors.
☐ Turn off exhaust fans.
☐ Install timers or programmable thermostats to turn off non-essential equipment during off-hours.
☐ Set economizers properly.
☐ Replace worn or cracked weather stripping and seal up all holes.
☐ Check all thermostat settings.

Saving With Your Car

☐ Create your own carpool.
☐ Walk or bike to church or school.
☐ Tune up your car,including your tires.
☐ Use your GPS to avoid traffic.
☐ Drive slower and smarter.