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Food for Thought Drive for Advent

Food for Thought Drive for Advent

We are hosting a FOOD DRIVE during the first week of Advent.

But this is not a typical food drive—it’s more of a food for thought drive—an effort to raise awareness about making environmentally considerate choices in the area of food. And who doesn’t have food on their mind around the holidays? Each day in this first week of Advent (from Dec. 4-8) we will share some “food for thought” on Facebook and Instagram @sanrafaelop—please follow and share with your friends and family! Hopefully, there will be some ideas and concepts you can readily consider putting into practice and/or giving some thought.

A little background to whet your pallet:
OPartners—a special group made up of Sisters and lay partners was formed to study, reflect, and then act in terms of a response to Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’. Over the past year, they have worked to identify goals and priorities that have been added to the global Laudato Si’ Action Platform. A couple areas of focus surfaced from their study, and the group has committed to making improvements in the areas of water usage and our carbon footprint. As part of their ongoing learning, the group hosted three guest speakers in the fall: a water conservation specialist of Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD); the Director of Stewardship at Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT); and a representative from Zero Waste Marin and Senior Planner for Waste Management for Marin County.

Our education and outreach efforts are inherently Dominican, and our group wishes to share their knowledge through action and engagement with others. Enjoy the “drive” and thanks for helping to share our messages for maximum impact.

Here is a recap of our 5 messages:


For the love of leftovers–plan ahead! When we make the most of our food, we ease the pressure on the food supply system, help the environment, and reduce waste! Shop your refrigerator and pantry first (we love leftovers!), then create a list before venturing to the store! By planning ahead and having a list, we can focus on what we really need, rather than consuming excess and generating additional waste. Further inspiration from Pope Francis: “With the help of God’s grace, let us adopt lifestyles marked by less waste and unnecessary consumption…” — 2023 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation



Your groceries have a (w)rap sheet – take heed! Consider food packaging: Glass comes from sand, paper from trees, aluminum mined from Bauxite rock, and plastics from oil. Aluminum and glass are both infinitely recyclable! Paper can be recycled if it’s clean (or composted if it’s soiled). Some plastics can be recycled – but many cannot – and most can only be recycled once (so they eventually end up in landfills)! When we do not take the time to sort our waste, it is as if we are throwing the Earth’s precious resources into a deep hole – devoid of sunlight and oxygen, where it generates harmful greenhouse emissions. Further inspiration from Pope Francis who calls us to a: “renewal of our relationship with creation so that we no longer see it as an object to be exploited but cherish it instead as a sacred gift from our Creator.”



Reduce and reuse! Going out for coffee or a meal? Commit to bringing reusable materials and making positive choices that help our planet. We’re all familiar with reusable bags and travel mugs, but are we committed to using them every time? Other choices we can make include: putting dressing on our ‘to go” salads, rather than having it in a plastic container on the side, or making a point to decline condiment packages and plastic utensils. Further inspiration from Pope Francis: “Let us cooperate in God’s ongoing creation through positive choices: using resources with moderation and a joyful sobriety, disposing and recycling waste, and making greater use of available products and services that are environmentally and socially responsible.”



Up your Ag game! Did you know that approximately one-third of surplus carbon dioxide in the atmosphere found to be at the root of climate change comes from mainstream agriculture and land management practices? When shopping for produce, meat, or dairy for your next feast—consider supporting your local farmers and ranchers at Farmer’s Markets or in your community grocery stores. Here in Marin, MALT Protected Stemple Creek Cattle Ranch actually sequesters more carbon than it emits, by using organic, regenerative farming!



As we conclude our Advent FOOD DRIVE, brought to you by OPartners and their Laudato Si’ Action Platform efforts, we encourage you to pay attention to packaging when getting your groceries! Looking for fruits and veggies? Whether you are at your local Farmer’s Market or grocery store, hand-pick your fruit and vegetables and avoid the plastic produce bags.



Want to get involved or learn more?
Be an OPartner—a group that meets once a month for one hour in person or via Zoom. Please contact Sr. Barbara Green, OP at Barbara.green@sanrafaelop.org to express your interest and learn about the next learning opportunity.

Preachers of  Truth • Love • Justice