adopt sustainable lifestyles
A Laudato Si’ university focuses not only on the social-structural changes needed to care for the earth and human society, but also on the personal transformations needed to live a sustainable lifestyle. As Pope Francis states in Laudato Si’ 212: “We must not think that these [personal] efforts are not going to change the world. They benefit society, often unbeknown to us, for they call forth a goodness which, albeit unseen, inevitably tends to spread. Furthermore, such actions can restore our sense of self-esteem; they can enable us to live more fully and to feel that life on earth is worthwhile.”
What programs and actions can our institutions initiate to help everyone in the university community take today’s eco-social crises personally? Below are just a few outcome and action ideas for Goal 4 of Pope Francis’ Journey.
St. John’s College
Action Examples Chart
LOWER CARBON EMISSIONS
REDUCED CONSUMPTION AND WASTE
PERSONAL ECO-BANKING AND TRADING
CLOSER BOND WITH NATURE AND COMMUNITY
Create a program that better enables community members to walk, bike, and use of public transportation to and from campus.
Bar university-funded air travel within a six hour drive parameter.
Make free bicycles available for campus community use; create a campus bicycle repair shop.
Develop an incentive program for community members to uplug all electronic devices at night.
Develop an incentive program for community members to monitor daily cell phone/social media use and reduce by 50%.
Incentivize community members to reduce cell phone/social media use by another 50%.
Develop a campus protocol for community members to calculate their personal ecological footprint and follow reduction advice; develop a protocil for monitoring weekly consumption of meat and reduce by 50%.
Incentivize the reduction of meat consumption by another 50%, excess water use by 50%, and A/C use.
Bar commercial advertising on campus; reduce campus give-away promotional items; all campus events catered vegetarian.
Develop a campus protocol for community members to recycle, reuse, and reduce waste; assist community members with food waste composting.
Develop a protocol for community members to eliminate single use plastic, bottled water; and styrofoam ; reduce size of plates in university cafeterias; eliminate trays.
Support interdisciplinary, integral research in environmental psychology on the impact of consumption and waste reduction for human wellbeing.
Build a campaign encouarging community members to place personal accounts in community banks or credit unions.
Expand the community bank campaign to include Investment in green, sustainable business and organizations.
Support interdisciplinary , integral research on the relationship between the personal banking industry and environmental sustainability.
Provide education to all community members on how to read product labels carefully and make eco-friendly product purchases.
Organize second-hand fairs on campus and dorm deposits of unwanted items for incoming students.
Establish a campus surplus ‘stuff store’.
Plant flowers, vegetables, and trees; capture rainwater.
Organize annual guided ‘nature walk outings’ for university administrators, faculty, students, and staff.
Learn practices of Buen Vivir, living in simplicity and reconciliation with nature, others, and God.
Practice compassionate listening and nonviolence; support local food producers.
Participate in community environmental restoration projects.