Creation CareOur Vision

Creation Care was formed to raise the awareness of MPB parishioners:

  • That our love to our Creator and our communion with Creation are essential parts of our faith.
  • That we cannot interfere in one area of the ecosystem without paying due attention to both the consequences of such interference in other areas and to the well-being of future generations.
  • That it is manifestly unjust that we, a privileged few, should accumulate excess goods, squander available resources, while masses of people are living in conditions of misery at the lowest level of subsistence.

Our Mission

Creation Care Ministry seeks: to promote the ideas of sustainability and the interdependence of all Creation; to engage our parish in reflection and to inspire action – so that we can face together the imperative environmental issues of our time.

Who are we?

We are parishioners of MPB with a variety of interests that focus on how our Catholic faith and traditions are tied to environmental, ecological and society issues within our family, community, state, nation and the world.

Laudato Si

Encyclical letter of Pope Francis on the care of our common home. Visit: https://tinyurl.com/mpblaudatosi

Meetings

Quarterly Creation Care events meetings are typically held the second Monday in February, May, August, and November from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. This schedule may be modified as needed. Location during the construction of the new Parish Center will be announced in the Sunday bulletin. A variety of topics/issues are presented, followed by Q/A and discussion.

Monthly working meetings are scheduled the second Monday of each month from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. for prayer, planning and preparation of on-going events and presentations. Creation Care invites those who are interested in this ministry to join us. Walk-ins to these meetings to observe or contribute ideas are welcome. Location of the monthly working meetings during the construction of the new Parish Center will be announced in the RCIA Room. Agendas for the monthly working meetings are available at creationcaredenver@gmail.com

Monthly Tips

July

July 7

Helium-filled balloons pollute the environment and threaten birds and other wildlife when they fall to earth. Nationwide there’s a growing awareness of the problem. The result is several states working on legislation banning “the intentional release of large numbers of balloons.” Colorado is not yet one of those states but we don’t need to wait for legislation banning such releases of balloons. We can do the right and better thing and celebrate without sending balloons into the sky. (Reported in the Denver Post April 29, 2019.)

July 14

Would you like to have your yard certified as an Official Wildlife Habitat? Appreciating an ecosystem begins in your backyard and developing an understanding that even in an urban environment, humans and wildlife can coexist. Denver Parks, in collaboration with the National Wildlife Federation, has established a process to certify urban areas resulting in the creation of habitat gardens throughout the city while elevating citizens’ awareness of their multiple benefits for Denver’s people, wildlife and water. For more information on how to qualify your yard, go to https://tinyurl.com/GardenCertification

July 21

The U.S. Catholic Church is following the plea of Pope Francis in Laudato Si – Care of Our Common Home. Catholic Energies will be installing the largest solar array ever in Washington, DC: a 2-megawatt system that dramatically reduces emissions and zeros-out the electric costs for all 12 buildings owned by Catholic Charities (both in DC and in Maryland). The savings will be diverted to core mission activities: feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, caring for the sick, and supporting the expectant mother. (Catholic Climate Covenant) Please consider supporting the 2020 Laudato Si Fund via the Catholic Climate Covenant website. https://Catholicclimatecovenant.org

July 28

“A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying [God]. It ‘consents,’ so to speak, to [God’s] creative love. It is expressing an idea which is in God and which is not distinct from the essence of God, and therefore a tree imitates God by being a tree” – Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation. Take a meditative walk in your neighborhood, work/play in the grass and plants, give thanks for creation.

June

June 2

Who said “When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and hope?” It was Wangari Maathai of Kenya. She won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace. She founded the Green Belt Movement where, for nearly thirty years, she mobilized poor women to plant 30 million trees. She passed away in 2011 but her work continues on in Africa. Read more about this amazing person and her work at https://tinyurl.com/PeaceSeeds And here at home, learn how we can make an impact on our local environment by planting trees: https://tinyurl.com/TreeBenefits.

June 9

Spend Time in Nature. Listen for God in nature by using Jesus’ model. Live your life. Allow moments of pause. Notice the splendor of God’s creation around you. Reflect on what God is teaching you through visual reminders in the beauty of nature. God has much to teach us if we simply pause to listen.

June 16

Environmental Working Group’s “2019 Dirty Dozen” (substitute these fruits/veggies with organic) and “2019 Clean Fifteen”. Read more at: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/.

June 23

Denver Water recommends keeping your sprinkler system in good shape and gives 3 simple steps to keep your system well maintained: a) Check the control box for proper time settings; b) Check each and every sprinkler head. Heads will get clogged, possibly cracked and broken and develop leaks; and c) Check sprinkler head alignment to avoid watering surfaces like sidewalks and driveways resulting in wasted water. Read more at https://tinyurl.com/yb35h7ww.

June 30

How green are you? Are you willing to take a brief survey (less than 10 minutes) to indicate your attitude or belief in caring for creation? To view survey questions and how to determine your score – visit: https://tinyurl.com/HowGreenRU

May

May 5, 2019:

So why is the brown cloud able to make a comeback at all? In short: Denver has major oil and gas drilling right in its back yard. Studies have consistently shown that oil and gas facilities along the Front Range are major contributors to the region’s high levels of ozone, responsible for as much pollution as all its cars and trucks put together. Learn more at https://tinyurl.com/Denver-sBrownCloud

May 12, 2019

Are people in your neighborhood using 2-cycle, gasoline-powered backpack leaf blowers? Did you know that governments in Asia and elsewhere (including our nation’s capital) have been banning and phasing out two-stroke engines on anti-pollution grounds? Even though 2-cycle, gasoline-powered backpack leaf blowers may look relatively innocuous, they are serious contributors to ozone pollution–and the noise they make contributes to hearing loss. Learn more and find out what you can do at https://tinyurl.com/atlanticleafblower.

May 19, 2019

Drive less. Walk, bike and/or use public transportation more. “Transportation is now the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States. In many U.S. cities and towns, the personal automobile is the single greatest polluter because emissions from millions of vehicles on the road add up.” Learn more at https://tinyurl.com/c2estransportfootprint.

May 26, 2019

A loophole in Colorado law allows oil drilling and fracking to take place without obtaining a federally required permit. Tons of toxic chemicals from each well (nearly 200 industrial sites with multiple wells across the state) are being released into the atmosphere affecting health of humans, animals and the environment. See https://tinyurl.com/O-GDrillingLoophole

April

April 7 Give a Child a Houseplant! It can teach the child life lessons such as taking responsibility, delaying gratification, considering the needs of another living thing and the consequences if they don’t. When a plant fails to thrive, play detective and look for clues to the problem using a magnifying glass. Use the acronym PLANTS–place, light, air, nutrients, thirst (water) and soil to figure out what need isn’t being addressed. Learn more at https://tinyurl.com/houseplantsteachkid

April 14 Throw Away Culture What have we done to this precious gift of Creation? Consequences: https://tinyurl.com/consequnces Our throwaway culture hits poor people and poor countries “first and worst,” with consequences we all share no matter where we live. Visit: https://tinyurl.com/economic-injustice-of-plastic (A 12 minute TED talk)

April 21 April 22 is Earth Day! “Spring & Easter: a conspiracy between nature and religion, creation and redemption, to make newness, to thaw things out, to rejuvenate and re-virginize, to make sunshine, to warm frozen places, and to produce new buds on the trees and new enthusiasm in the heart?” Ronald Rolheiser: The Passion and the Cross. See more at https://catholicclimatemovement.global/

April 28 Disappearing Insects A worldwide report card on the state of insects, highlights the dreadful state of insect biodiversity in the world, as almost half of the species are rapidly declining and a third are being threatened with extinction. https://tinyurl.com/disappearing-insects. When the Dalai Lama was asked the most important thing to teach children, his response was “teach them to love the insects”. https://tinyurl.com/importantinsects.

March

March 3: Water Conservation Tips from Denver Water. Slow water leaks add up. Indoor self-audits are easy to perform and help conserve water. For instance, in the bathroom, you can check for leaks with food coloring and a utility bucket. Check the toilet by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank and wait 30 minutes to see if the color appears in the bowl. If it does, the toilet might have a leaking flapper valve. Flapper valves are easy to install and are available at most hardware stores. Also, look at the back and bottom of the toilet for leaks from the supply line. Find more tips at https://tinyurl.com/mpbwaterconserve.

March 10:

So, friends, every day do something

That won’t compute. Love the Lord.

Love the world. Work for nothing.

Take all that you have and be poor.

Love someone who does not deserve it.

–Wendell Berry

March 17: Save orangutans! Wean yourself off palm-oil products commonly found in processed foods such as cookies, frozen pizzas and candy. Read ingredients labels. Palm oil plantations have reduced the orangutan population by 50%. This and more tips are available in Creation Care’s brochure, “The Call to Relationship: Fasting for Lent 2019” available in the Gathering Space.

March 24: Refuse to buy food with lots of packaging—including fast food. Fast food creates lots of excess trash. This and more tips are available in Creation Care’s brochure, “The Call to Relationship: Fasting for Lent 2019” available in the Gathering Space.

March 31: Fast from “all digital technologies you don’t absolutely have to use—including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even casual texting with friends. Keep control of your time and attention” (“The Weekend Interview with Cal Newport” WSJ 26 Jan. 2019).

December

Dec 2

Creation Care Tips of the Week: Reduce the environmental impact of the holiday season. Consider buying less, decreasing holiday lighting, choosing a live tree then composting it, making cards, finding alternatives to wrapping paper and giving gifts of service (e.g., cleaning, cooking, repairing). Learn more at https://tinyurl.com/ydbmcwv2.

Dec 9

Creation Care Tip of the Week: Purchase holiday gifts that are good for: your loved ones, the poor and the planet. Locally made and fair trade shopping options include, but are in no way limited to: Earthlinks, Gypsy Souls, Nokero, Sanyork Fair Trade, and Women’s Bean Project. Check out their products via the internet or in person.

Dec 16

Creation Care Tip of the Week: Got Cork? This Holiday Season Make A Difference One Cork At a Time. ReCork.org recycles natural (not plastic) wine corks. Find drop-off locations at www.recork.org

Dec 23

Creation Care Tip of the Week: Recycle Christmas lights and more at SustainAbility. They take Christmas lights, batteries, corks, electronics and styrofoam. You will also be supporting “a diverse workforce, which includes individuals who have intellectual/developmental disabilities”. For drop-off locations and list of possible fees visit https://tinyurl.com/sustain-recycle

Dec 30

Creation Care Tip of the Week: Denver Treecycle 2019 will pick up Christmas trees at the curb on Dec 31, Jan. 2 thru 5 and Jan 7 thru 11 Have trees out by 7 a.m. Learn more at https://tinyurl.com/RecyclePine or call 311.

October

Oct 13/14

Creation Care Message of the Week: WORLD FOOD DAY October 16

What can you do to stop world hunger? For starters, make and eat smaller portions. More tips: https://tinyurl.com/zerohunger18

Here’s 8 reasons why Zero Hunger will change the world; https://tinyurl.com/worldfoodday18

Oct 20/21

6 Tips for a Green Halloween

How about going green this Halloween. Here’s a couple of simple tips; buy local pumpkins. Or instead of a plastic pumpkin to carry off the treats, use a pillow case. For more simple ideas to help our environment this Halloween visit: https://tinyurl.com/greenhalloween18

Oct 27/28

Tip of the Week: Stop Before You Shop!

Support Companies with Strong Social and Environmental Records

Did you know some of the products that come from companies with the best social and environmental records are readily available for purchase in local stores? Try Cliff bars, Seventh Generation detergents, Organic Valley milk and eggs. Check out various brands and be a “Better World Shopper” and make an impact as an ethical consumer. Learn more at betterworldshopper.org.

September

Sept 1-2

Creation Care Tip of the Week: DRINK SAFE WATER

Denver Water test results are now available online.  According to EPA and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment guidelines, Denver drinking water “is safe and meets or exceeds federal and state requirements.” But if you have an older home, you may want to request a free Leadcheck Kit at denverwater.org.  Other water tests are also available.

Sept 8-9

Creation Care Tip of the Week: CONSERVE WATER

Did you know that the average American’s daily water footprint for all the (non-food) household goods they purchase, use and throw away is 583 gallons? Water conservation is about more than taking shorter showers.  It can be about saving money by shopping less.  For example, while a simple shower uses up to 5 gallons of water per minute, to produce one new cotton t-shirt takes 450 gallons of water.  To produce one new Smartphone  takes 3,190 gallons of water.  Conserving water prevents water pollution and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with treating and distributing water and it saves money.  Reduce your water consumption footprint by shortening your showers and by reducing your shopping.  Learn more at https://www.watercalculator.org/

Sept 15-16

Creation Care Message of the Week: INTERNATIONAL PEACE DAY

Sept. 21, 2018, International Peace Day, join Campaign Nonviolence for a day of reflection. For more details visit: https://tinyurl.com/InternationalPeace18

Sept 21-22

Creation Care Tip of the week: SLOW THE FLOW 

Slow the Flow offers inspections on residential water usage and suggests simple measures to increase water use efficiency in the home.  Through Resource Central’s partnership with Colorado water providers, Slow  the Flow “measures outputs from faucets, toilets, and shower heads, and performs a cost/benefit analysis on fixture replacement options.”  Inspections and installation of high-efficiency shower heads and faucet aerators are free for qualifying residents.  Learn more at https://tinyurl.com/slowtheflow

Sept 29-30

Creation Care Message of the Week: CELEBRATING SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI

His name was Francis…and he used to praise God the Artist in every one of God’s works. Celebrate the feast of St Francis on Oct 4, by living the gospel as he did.  Read more at: https://tinyurl.com/StFrancis10-4-18

August

Staying Cool : Staying Earth Friendly

Running your air conditioning at 78 degrees F instead of 72 degrees F can save between 6 and 18 percent on your cooling bill. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling will be, so set your thermostat as high as possible during the summer months. Also, make sure the air filter is clean. Dirty filters cause air conditioning units to work harder, using more energy.

For more summer energy saving tips:  https://tinyurl.com/saveenergysummer

Creation Care Tip of the Week: KNOW THE SIZE OF YOUR FOOTPRINT

Do you ever think about the size of your carbon footprint?  Lots of carbon footprint calculators are available online; e.g., you can learn how many planets it would take for everyone to live like you at https://www.footprintcalculator.org/.  You might even want to invite your children (or grandchildren) to get involved.  Trees for Life has a “Kids Carbon Calculator,” which not only identifies use of carbon but also suggests ways for kids to reduce their carbon impact.

Creation Care Tip of the Week: BEE KIND

People need bees and now bees need people.  Approximately every third bite of food in the human diet is dependent on bee pollination, yet bees are now battling extinction.  What can you do? Plant a variety of wildflowers—making sure various blossoms are available throughout the growing season.  Also, “leave a little bare ground. Most species of bees are solitary, and some 70 percent of them dig a nest in the ground to raise their young—something they can’t do if mulch is in the way.”  Learn more at https://tinyurl.com/beekind2bees

Creation Care Tip of the Week: DRINK SAFE WATER

Denver Water test results are now available online.  According to EPA and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment guidelines, Denver drinking water “is safe and meets or exceeds federal and state requirements.”  But if you have an older home, you may want to request a free Leadcheck Kit at denverwater.org.  Other water tests are also available.

Creation Care Tip of the Week: CONSERVE WATER

Did you know that the average American’s daily water footprint for all the (non-food) household goods they purchase, use and throw away is 583 gallons? Water conservation is about more than taking shorter showers.  It can be about saving money by shopping less.  For example, while a simple shower uses up to 5 gallons of water per minute, to produce one new cotton t-shirt takes 450 gallons of water.  To produce one new Smartphone  takes 3,190 gallons of water.  Conserving water prevents water pollution and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with treating and distributing water it saves money.  Reduce your water consumption footprint by shortening your showers and by reducing your shopping.  Learn more at https://www.watercalculator.org/.

July

Creation Care Tip of the Week: REDUCE PLASTIC BAG USE!

When reasonable, use cloth and nylon produce bags for shopping. Also consider washing and reusing Ziplock and other plastic bags before dropping them off at collection bins. Did you know King Soopers recycles thin plastics? Remember plastic bags are not bio-degradable so will end up in landfills or the ocean. For more great info on options, see https://tinyurl.com/singleplastic REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!

Creation Care Tip of the Week: Be a Plogger!

It’s the rage in Sweden and it’s gaining momentum in the U.S.—good for your health, good for the environment. Pick up litter while walking or running. You can even use one of your plastic bags. Google “plogging.” Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, PLOG!

Creation Care Tip of the Week:SHOPPING WITH A CONSCIENCE.

Look for the Safer Choice label when shopping. The label identifies products with safer chemical ingredients—safer for you and your family, safer for our environment. More info at https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/learn-about-safer-choice-label.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Shop with your conscience!

Creation Care Tip of the Week: USE A WATER BUCKET; SHORTEN YOUR SHOWER.

Place a bucket in your shower or kitchen sink to catch the water while it warms up. Pour the water on outdoor plants. Reduce your shower time by 2 minutes and save 10 gallons of water. Better yet, turn off the shower while soaping. REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!