In Chapter One of Laudato Si, Pope Francis calls attention to climate change:

Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades. 

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, my approach to consumption of resources can be summed up with these five words: reduce, reuse, renew, rethink, and recycle. This time, I’d like to talk about reuse

Using something multiple times is always a better alternative to the use of single use items, even if those items are recyclable since there is a cost (in carbon) to recycling an item. After years of using plastic utensils at the office, about a year ago I realized that a better approach would be to bring in a set of stainless steel utensils from home. At my office, I also keep a steel mug for coffee and tea, and a steel water bottle. 

Of course, I haven’t worked at my office for months, but I think you get my point: always try your best to avoid using single use items.

Reuse can also mean reusing someone else’s things. Instead of purchasing a new car, book, dress, laptop, children’s clothing, or mobile phone, have you considered purchasing a used version of the same? I bought my copy of Laudato Si used! 

What items in your life can you reuse that you are not currently reusing? 

Working together, we can help take care of our common home. 

Paul Litwin

%d bloggers like this: