Sisters Adorers, Handmaids of the Blessed Sacrament and of Charity, committed to the care of the common home, join in the celebration of World Environment Day 2023.
2023 marks the 50th anniversary of this global day, first established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 and celebrated every June 5 since 1973. Each year the day is hosted by a country, in this case the hoster and organiser is Cote d Ivoire. It is a date celebrated by millions of people around the world.
The 2023 theme for World Environment Day focuses on solutions to plastic pollution through the Beat Plastic Pollution campaign.
According to the official website for the day, “the world is flooded with plastic. More than 400 million tons of plastic are produced every year, half of which is designed for a single-use life. Less than 10% is recycled.
An estimated 19 to 23 million tons of plastic waste end up in lakes, rivers and seas, equivalent in weight to an oil tanker overflowing with plastic bags, bottles and other items dumped into our waters every other day. Today, plastic is overflowing into landfills, invading the oceans and producing toxic smoke when burned, making it one of the most serious threats to the planet”.
The UN also reports that microplastics (plastic particles smaller than 5mm in diameter) invade food, water and even the air and that the problem of plastic pollution can be tackled by taking advantage of scientific advances and existing solutions.
The Environment Day website offers a guide to help achieve a plastic pollution-free planet, offering some useful tips on how we can all contribute to solving the plastic pollution crisis.
In May 2015, Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ was published. For the first time, a pontiff devoted a magisterial document as important as an encyclical to the ecological theme. In it, the Holy Father sets an ambitious goal: a change in human beings, a profound and integral change in the way we perceive, see and be in the world. In short, an ecological conversion.
The Holy Father emphasizes in the text that “we see increasing sensitivity to the environment and the need to protect nature, along with a growing concern, both genuine and distressing, for what is happening to our planet. This makes it possible to present a hopeful outlook that runs through the entire encyclical: “Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home”, “men and women are still capable of intervening positively”.
“There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily actions, and it is wonderful how education can bring about real changes in lifestyle. Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us, such as avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport, planting, trees turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices. All of these reflect a generous and worthy creativity which brings out the best in human beings” the Pope said.
In this line and on the occasion of World Environment Day 2023, the Congregation of the Sisters Adorers renews the commitment initiated from the encyclical Laudato Si’ to protect the common home and to live an integral ecology in communion with all creation.