It’s easy for individuals to fall into the trap of thinking there’s nothing they can do that will actually make a difference when it comes to global climate change, said Kathy Dubel, justice-and-peace director for Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler.
"I think it does tend to overwhelm when you think about climate change and all the big forces that are at work, like the melting of the ice caps," she said. "You have to think (about) what are the small steps that you can take."
The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., recently put together a resource — which the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change is helping to distribute — that will assist individuals and families do just that. For each day during Lent, the archdiocese’s Lenten Carbon Fast 2010 calendar — which is lists several simple suggestions people can take to reduce their carbon footprints and help care for God’s creation. A suggestion for March 5, for example, is to pick up at least one piece of litter from the ground and dispose of it properly.
"It looks at what are the simple, everyday steps during Lent that one person or family could take to begin to really live the practices the pope talks about in his letter," Dubel said, referring to "If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation," the pope’s message for the 43rd-annual World Day of Peace on Jan. 1. "It (the Lenten calendar) has very doable things to help people feel that they can make a difference, and they can if they do that."