Organizations: Ways to live more simply

The second part of the Laudato Si’ pledge calls us to Live More Simply.

In Laudato Si’ Pope Francis invites us to, “return to that simplicity which allows us to stop and appreciate the small things, to be grateful for the opportunities which life affords us, to be spiritually detached from what we possess, and not to succumb to sadness for what we lack.” (222). As a way to live Laudato’ Si, we invite you to look for ways to use less, to share more, and to focus on relationships instead of things.

    1. Buy less stuff—Before purchasing something new, ask, “Does our organization really need this? Will it help us in our mission? Will it serve our community?” To the extent able, have items repaired rather than throwing them out.

    3. Buy more consciously—Look for goods that have less packaging. For instance, for events don’t buy individually wrapped cheese, or individual snack packs. Buy fewer things, but spend more to buy local, or support businesses that pay fair wages.

    5. Eat more intentionally—Go meat free for events. This is good for the environment, but could also showcase vegetarian examples for individuals. And try to use local or Fair Trade products wherever possible, such as any coffee or tea.

    7. Waste less—Reduce food waste, and avoid throwing away food whenever possible. Use reusable flatware, cups, and dishes in the office. And get rid of the single-serve coffee pods, a huge hidden source of waste and cost in an office.

    9. Share more—Look for ways you can help your employees share more and cut down on individual costs, such as setting up clothing or homegood swaps.

    11. Drive Less–Make it easy for your employees to bike, walk, or use public transportation whenever possible. If you offer a parking subsidy, offer a public transportation subsidy as well. Set up a way for employees to find each other to carpool.

    13. Encourage quality time—Make sure you allow your employees to have a good work-life balance. Allow time for them to unplug, and respect personal and family time.

    15. Examine your office for waste. Turn the air conditioning up by one degree, or the heat down by one degree. Don’t buy bottled water for events. Cut down on your “phantom energy” use-unplug items when they don’t need to be charged.

    17. Take time to pray and give thanks—Try to take few minutes as part of each meeting to pray, to give thanks, and to savor the things that you do have.