Tips for conserving water in your parish
I grew up in the arid West: the land of prairie, tumbleweed, and newly-constructed subdivisions. I remember, as a kid, noticing the paradox between public concern about drought—and the fact that seemingly every house had a green, water-guzzling lawn. Later, I studied the intersections of human culture and ecology, especially with regard to fresh water. And now, in the 21st century, global fresh water scarcity is one of the major challenges facing humanity. What can we do about this serious situation?
High and dry: Water poverty in the United States
Some of us take for granted the most precious resource of all. Lack of water harms families not only in the Third World, but also here at home.
It’s 9 a.m. in the high desert of rural New Mexico, and the heat is already oppressive. People begin their day as you might expect: grabbing backpacks and heading to school, feeding goats and watering horses, patching holes in fences or crawling under cars to make small repairs. There is plenty to do.
Bee forewarned: Lessons from the deaths of bees
As the bee population declines, we can either listen to the buzz or feel the sting.
For years scientists have been puzzling over a vast die-off of bees in the United States and throughout Europe. After significant drops in recent years, alarms started sounding in 2012 when as much as 50 percent of the bee population in the United States perished. Finding the answer to the bee-pocalypse is important not only to save one of the wondrous sounds of nature—the soothing hum of the honeybee at work—but because bees represent an enormous industry in their own right.
How does our food system affect what we eat?
“We’ve gotten away from the real meaning of food, and the power of food,” Michael Pollan told us in a December 2013 interview. The famous food author has helped spur a movement encouraging people to return to using whole, real ingredients in home-cooked meals. He is known for touting a primary rule about food and eating: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
How cooking can create community
This famous food author insists there’s much to be gained from sitting around the table and sharing a home-cooked meal.
How college campuses are going ‘green'
At many Catholic colleges, an environmental revolution is under way: Out with the ubiquitous plastic water bottles, the reams of wasted paper, the showers that use a flood of water! In with being eco-friendly! And leading the way are the students themselves.
How will climate change affect the next generation?
So-called “cheap” energy sources will have a high cost for future generations.
We have been told that we live in a threshold age of energy production, an era when industrialized nations are poised to migrate from the combustion of fossil fuels to a solar- and wind-powered, renewable energy future. That has been the political assurance of the Obama administration and the appealing scenarios served up by energy futurists, even from the marketing departments of the large oil and gas corporations which today call the tune on energy policy.
Slideshow: Going green at college campuses
When it comes to church teaching on stewardship of the earth and care for God’s creation, students at Catholic colleges and universities around the country are getting more than just a classroom education. New initiatives—many led by the students themselves—are taking these teachings out of the lecture hall and applying them from dorm rooms to dining halls, implementing new sustainability efforts to reduce their collective carbon footprint.
Let it rain: Marymount University puts an eco-friendly spin on gardening
Students at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia worked together to construct a rain garden outside of their library. The idea took root to help reduce pollution levels in water runoff and to improve water quality on campus. Learn more in this short film about the benefits—both environmental and educational—of their unique garden.
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