A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Cigarette Butts and Coffee Cups

Posted on: August 7, 2014

I’d like to think most people respect the environment. I’d like to, but I don’t.

On Tuesday night, a group of people came out to cheer on a player on my son’s soccer team. And left behind a number of empty iced cappuccino cups and sport drink bottles.

This morning, I was walking my dog and saw a man take a final puff on his cigarette and then throw the butt into a storm drain.

And tomorrow morning, I’m sure to see that many people in my area still refuse to use their green bins.

recycling day

Bins at the curb on waste collection day

It shouldn’t have to be Earth Day for us to be good stewards of this beautiful planet God has given us. For as far as we know, there’s nowhere else that life as we know it can survive and flourish.

Even those who don’t believe in climate change recognize the limits to our natural resources. And even small efforts make a big difference:

  • using rechargeable batteries and recycling non-rechargeable ones
  • bringing reusable bags to stores
  • keeping our compost out of the garbage and putting it in the green bin
  • printing on both sides of computer paper
  • choosing more eco-friendly, organic and fair trade products
  • bringing reusable cups for hot and cold drinks to the coffee shop
  • packing lunch in reusable containers
  • donating gently used clothing and household items to charity
  • providing recycling and compost bins at church events (and bringing home the bins if our parish doesn’t have recycling pickup)

No new ideas here, it’s true, but how many of these ideas have we incorporated into our lives until they became a habit? Do we set a good example of environmental stewardship for our children and grandchildren?

From September 15th to October 15th, the Tim Hortons Cleaning the Capital fall campaign runs here in Ottawa, with registration starting on August 15th, and the Capital Cleanup Weekend runs from September 26th to 28th. Residents can register a project to clean up litter or remove graffiti, and high school students can earn volunteer hours for their efforts. What a great way this would be to show our commitment to the environment and teach our children and youth to do the same!

I pray that we would commit to respecting creation, as we’re reminded to do in s. 2415 of the Catechism:

Man’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbour, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.

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2 Responses to "Cigarette Butts and Coffee Cups"

Reblogged this on Jean'sBistro2010's Blog.

Thanks for the reblog 🙂

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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