The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Ohio Province has responded to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Action Platform by creating the Dorothy Stang Initiative for Laudato Si’ Action. While in the process of gathering data from sisters, associates, staff, donors and others in our circle, we were reminded that all steps we take are important - both big and small. We therefore introduce Your Little Bit of Good, a short weekly one-pager that focuses on some aspect of the environment. It is an attempt to bring forward small things we can do.

Teresa Phillips
Director of Justice, Peace and Care for Creation

Prayer

Many countries around the world are dealing with wildfires, floods, droughts, excess heat, all worsened by climate change. Many people have fled from their homes. The world’s temperature continues to rise, while governments around the world are trying to find short-term solutions to deal with it. Let us pray together for our Mother Earth and all human beings. May God give us strength, consciousness and hope to continue our path towards integral ecology and to ask political leaders to take concrete actions in the short, medium and long term.

Adapted from JPIC Roma

Knowledge

Let’s De-Plasticify! As follow-up to the YLBG Plastics Series, we have a new short series on alternatives and the process of ridding (or at least reducing) plastics from your home.

My suggested process is to go room-by-room and make changes as your budget allows. Last week it was the kitchen. This week … the bathroom.

The easiest change is to switch your bottle of body wash to bar soap. Most bars are packaged in cardboard. But, the multi-packs wrap those in plastic. Buy singles, or, take it one step further and advocate with your favorite company to wrap multi-packs in paper, not plastic. When you finish your last body wash bottle, consider tossing your plastic shower poof too. Switch to regular washcloths, or, get a cotton poof.

Shampoo is a little harder to part with. Most people find a brand they love and never waver. Can you try a shampoo bar? They are becoming more popular as more people switch to sulfate free hair care. There are conditioner bars too.

For me, the biggest challenge to reducing plastic in the bathroom is cleaning products. I love antibacterial wipes. It is difficult to part with them for the cloth rag and bucket my mom used. I have to admit, I still have those wipes in the bathroom. But, I use them as little as possible. Comet cleanser in the cardboard can and a scrub brush or rag are my go to now.

The reality is that we cannot eliminate all plastics. For some things, like food packaging, we can only do what we can do. If we look to the ways we can reduce, and advocate with those businesses that have no options, we can make a difference.

Action

There are many options for your plastic free bathroom.

I love Clean Cult products. After the initial purchase of glass containers, refills are purchased in paper “milk carton” style containers. They even track their carbon footprint for shipping and donate to carbon reduction projects. Some of their refills are available in stores, so no need to purchase online.

Parrotfish is a sustainable company for body and hair care products and accessories. Bar soaps and shampoo bars packaged in paper not plastic. This is a source for cotton shower poofs too.

One other thought, your toilet paper comes packaged in plastic. There are several sustainable toilet paper companies out there. Some are better than others. Google “NRDC toilet paper scorecard” for a graded list of companies and choose wisely