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Practical Questions for Implementing the CSJP Land Ethic

Click on each category below to view a series of related questions.

Spirituality
  • How do we consciously cultivate a relationship with Earth and bring an attitude of contemplative listening to Earth?
  • How do we deepen our understanding of our inter-dependence with all of creation?
  • Do we include the needs of all of Earth and not just human needs in our prayer?
  • Do we pray in gratitude for the countless ways in which Earth supports us and in which the beauty of Earth inspires us?
  • Are we conscious of the ecological implications of the materials we use in worship, e.g. natural beeswax candles, real flowers or plants, wine that is local and organic, avoiding unnecessary printed handouts.

 


Purchases
  • How is environmental cost as well as financial cost considered in purchase of a product?
  • Do we research purchases to ensure: good stewardship of the Congregation’s financial resources; just wages and decent working conditions for workers; environmental impact of the manufacturing, use and eventual disposal of the product?
  • What is the product made of? (Plastic from petroleum? Wood from clear cut forests?)
  • Where did it come from? (Carbon emissions in transport?  Slave labor?)
  • How much packaging is involved?
  • How long will the product last, and is it recyclable?

 


Food and Housekeeping

Do we consider important questions such as:

  • Where was this food grown?
  • Who grew it? Who picked it?
  • How much processing was required to grow it and bring it to this market?
  • Can we buy seasonal food from local organic sources?
  • Can we reduce meat consumption since meat production contributes heavily to the use of fossil fuels and the destruction of large tracts of land?
  • How can we reduce/eliminate use of toxic substances often contained in fertilizers, pesticides and cleaning products?

 


Energy and Water
  • What practices do we employ to conserve water and energy?
  • How do our transportation habits contribute to or reduce carbon emissions?
  • How are we reducing the amount of water used to maintain lawns and gardens?
  • What habits and practices are we developing to avoid bottled water?
  • Are we adopting more sustainable, clean, renewable sources of energy for our homes, institutions and ministries?

 


Advocacy and Education
  • How do we stay informed on issues of ecological sustainability?
  • How do we support policies, elected representatives and legislation that protect the well being of Earth?
  • With whom do we collaborate in protecting Earth? Organizations? Individuals? Movements?
  • Do we renew regularly the ecological criteria for our corporate investments and use our power as investors to promote the flourishing of Earth?
  • Are we divesting from fossil fuel industries and investing in sustainable energy?

 


Sustainability in Ministries and Sponsored Institutions
  • Do we do a regular sustainability audit and set regular, measurable goals to measure increasing commitment to sustainable practices?
  • How do our strategic plans reflect commitment to the preservation of the landscape; soil, rocks, water, air and species of the land?
  • How is environmental cost as well as financial cost considered in making decisions?
  • How do we facilitate ongoing environmental sensitivity, education and action in our institutions and ministries?
  • In choosing service providers, how do we assess their environmental expertise and commitment?
  • How does our grounds-keeping respect the land? Do we allow any of our land to return to its natural state?  How conscious are we of the well-being of the other species with whom we share land?
  • What further measures can we take to make our energy, water and waste disposal systems environmentally sound?
  • In considering land protection and the future are we aware of organizations and methods of preserving the land (for example land conservations, land trusts) that are available in our region?

 


"Life and prayer are intertwined, because the natural thing to do is to talk to God, to pray. Nothing is compartmentalized. "

Margaret Dove, CSJP