April: Care of Creation

Listen as a podcast!


Care of Creation will examine the massive environmental challenges we face and our responsibilities to address them. What exactly does it mean to care for creation? How do the impacts of climate change affect the most vulnerable? And what are some of the steps we can make to be wise stewards of the earth’s resources, and create a sustainable future for humankind?

Panelists: Leah Clyburn, Catherine McComas-Bussa, Christin Tomy, OP – Learn more about our panelists below.
Host: Charish Badzinski

ACTION ITEMS
  1. Shift toward a plant-based diet.
  2. Have a mindful conversation with a child about Earth.
  3. Get involved in community environmental organizations.
RESOURCES

How This Activist Farmer Fights Racism Through Food
https://www.youtube.com
Determined to end racism and injustice in the modern food system, Leah Penniman co-founded Soul Fire Farm, a community farm dedicated to training people of color. Through education and advocacy, Penniman has dedicated her life to mentoring the next generation of activist farmers.

Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at Washington University School of Law
Environmental Racism in St. Louis
This report was prepared by the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic at Washington University School of Law to assist the following organizations in educating the St. Louis community about environmental injustices that disproportionately endanger public health for people of color and low-income individuals in St. Louis, and in advocating for systemic changes to remedy these injustices and enhance public health.

What is the Climate Impact of Eating Meat and Dairy?
https://interactive.carbonbrief.org
In this interactive Q&A, Carbon Brief explores how greenhouse gas emissions from meat, dairy and other diets compare, as well as whether changes to the production and transportation of meat could help to stem its climate impact.

What’s Your Diet’s Carbon Footprint?
https://www.bbc.com
Switching to a plant-based diet can help fight climate change. But what is the difference between beef and chicken? Does a bowl of rice produce more climate warming greenhouse gases than a plate of chips? Is wine more environmentally friendly than beer?

What is a Plant-Based Diet and Why Should You Try It?
https://www.health.harvard.edu
Plant-based or plant-forward eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.

Simply in Season Cookbook
https://store.mennomedia.org
Simply in Season serves up more than three hundred recipes organized by season, along with a popular and expanded fruit and vegetable guide.

The Dirty Truth About Utility Climate Pledges
https://coal.sierraclub.org
The next decade is critical to averting the worst impacts of the climate crisis and transforming our economy to run entirely on clean energy. Science shows that unless utilities retire all their coal plants by 2030, abandon all plans to build gas plants, and aggressively build out renewable energy resources, we risk destabilizing our livable climate. Despite this pressing deadline, utilities are either not moving fast enough toward these goals, or not moving at all. Dozens of utilities may have pledged to become “carbon neutral” by 2050 — but research conducted by the Sierra Club shows that all but a handful of utilities in the United States aren’t moving toward clean energy in the time frame needed to avoid the worst of the climate crisis.

Exposure to Air Pollution and COVID-19 Mortality in the United States
https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/files/covid-pm/files/pm_and_covid_mortality.pdf
United States government scientists estimate that COVID-19 may kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans. The majority of the pre-existing conditions that increase the risk of death for COVID-19 are the same diseases that are affected by long-term exposure to air pollution. We investigate whether long-term average exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) increases the risk of COVID-19 deaths in the United States.

Native Land Digital
https://native-land.ca
We strive to map Indigenous lands in a way that changes, challenges, and improves the way people see the history of their countries and peoples. We hope to strengthen the spiritual bonds that people have with the land, its people, and its meaning.

Recipe for a Green Life: A Holistic Sustainable Living Handbook & Recipe Book
https://recipeforagreenlife.wordpress.com/2021/03/17/recipe-for-a-green-life-now-available-through-free-instant-download
Download this guide book and recipe book for more sustainable living by CS Sherin for FREE. You will get 433 pages with photography and copious endnotes. It includes a holistic, inclusive approach to the green living movement, tons of recipes (green cleaning, hygiene and meals), and helpful information on a wide variety of topics related to sustainability, health, the environment, communities and the challenges we all face.


Meet Our Panelists

Leah Clyburn
Activist, Organizer

Leah Clyburn is an activist and organizer in St. Louis, Missouri, who advocates for the advancement of underrepresented constituents, fighting for social, economic, educational and environmental justice for all through a spiritual lens. Her focus includes community base- building, education and leadership training.

Ms. Clyburn’s personal and professional experiences have enabled her to effectively advocate for families from all demographics and to be a leading advocate for Missouri to raise the minimum wage and for democratic reform during the 2018 election year. Currently, Leah is the senior organizing representative with Missouri Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal  national campaign and co-founder of Community First Plus. In these roles, she partners with community leaders and local organizations throughout Missouri in addressing environmental justice concerns in relation to our daily lives.


Catherine McComas-Bussa
Student, Advocate
Northland College

Catherine McComas-Bussais a sophomore at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where she is student body president and is designing a major focused on climate justice. Raised in Shakopee, Minnesota, and surrounded by the state’s natural beauty, Ms. McComas-Bussa’s Catholic parents instilled in her the need to prioritize justice and to find the sanctity of the feminine divine, especially in creation. Her love of nature has led to work experiences at a YMCA family camp on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) and in community at a Catholic Worker farm in Lake City, Minnesota. 

Ms. McComas-Bussa is committed to seeking food justice, water protection and youth advocacy; a commitment demonstrated by her work with the state legislature and like-minded young people in bringing about a time when no decision is made about youth without youth.

Her list of seasonal outdoor favorites includes camping, canoeing, pruning tomatoes, eating crisp apples, and taking in the beauty of Lake Superior.


Sister Christin Tomy, OP
Sister, Farmer, Student
Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa

Sister Christin Tomy, OP, has spent the past several years working on sustainable agriculture and food justice in the rural Midwest. Although she hails from the heart of farm country (Iowa), her passion for farming and gardening came later.

While pursuing her undergraduate degree in Spanish and peace and conflict studies, Sister Christin volunteered with a local nonprofit that served Central American immigrants, many of whom had been farm workers. Upon graduating, she became a social worker with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Belize. When she returned to the United States, she coordinated a food pantry. This combination of experiences opened her eyes to the intersections between environmental degradation and various forms of oppression, with a focus on food and agriculture.

Since joining the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa eight years ago, Sister Christin has volunteered at an organic produce farm, interned at an eco-justice center, and coordinated a summer farming program for high school students. She spent the past five years at her community’s motherhouse farm in rural Wisconsin, where she ran a collaborative farming program to train and support beginning farmers, facilitated retreats and educational experiences, and grew fresh produce for sisters, guests and area food pantries.

Now living in Chicago, Sister Christin is working on a Master of Divinity degree at Catholic Theological Union and looking forward to getting involved in the Windy City’s urban garden scene.

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