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Reflections

Caring for Earth, Caring for You—Sr. Judy Lu McDonnell

Caring for Earth, Caring for You—Sr. Judy Lu McDonnell

Sr. Judy Lu McDonnell, OP is retired and living in our Stockton community, and every day she celebrates “Care of Creation, Care of One Another.” Read a reflection she shares on the 2022 theme for Catholic Sisters Week.

“We do live on a planet of earth, air, fire, and water that counts on us for its health and sustainability!

Reflecting on the ever-increasing seriousness of climate change, in our home we decided to investigate two areas of our own consumption/ use of the earth’s resources:  the gasoline-fueled automobile and our source of household electricity.  Once we realized we could substantially reduce our use of fossil fuels by going “electric”, we decided to invest in a small-sized EV/Hybrid car.  In the last nine months, we have had to fuel the car less than once a month, depending on long-distance trips.  Otherwise, we can get up to 30 miles on a single electric charge, more than enough for local shopping and meetings.  And, since we charge the engine on one of our regular 12-volt home outlets, we have convenience and an easy way to track consumption.

Another avenue we took last year to conserve on electrical production by fossil fuels was to invest in solar panels.  Although we have a small, shaded home, we are still able to produce clean electricity for our consumption and, sometimes, send a little to the grid. These investments in an EV/Hybrid car and solar energy give us the satisfaction of knowing we are making at least a dent in the use of fossil fuels and the release of pollution-causing and global warming hydrocarbons and more.  We hope we are contributing to cleaner air and a cooler planet.

Especially here in California and in the Valley, we have been living with a shortage of water for several years and the drought seems to be worsening.  Taking shorter showers and using collected bath and dishwater help the garden.  However, when we moved into our home over twenty years ago, we pulled up the water-hungry grass and began cultivating shrubs and more drought-resistant plants.  We also put in a drip system for them, the grape vine, the citrus trees, olive, roses and annual bulbs.  The entire lot, front and back, except for the summer house and goldfish pond, is covered with “walk-on” mulch for water conservation.

A sustainable earth depends on consistent, serious recycling.  The city offers a very good system for collecting in separate bins:  yard and food waste for mulching; paper, glass, metal, and some plastics for recycling, and one for all none reusable discards to be taken to the waste disposal area.  And we make an effort to reuse containers or make purchases that use recycled and/or recyclable materials.

Our final way of thanking our earth community for sustaining us is by providing watering areas for our visiting birds, feral cats, skunks, possums, and raccoons (and probably rats, too!)

Care for Creation and Care for One Another is a joyful way of living!

#catholicsistersweek #changingtheworld #caringforearthcaringforyou #laudatosi

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Preachers of  Truth • Love • Justice