Environmental Club Raises Climate Awareness
On Oct. 30, the Environmental Sustainability and Stewardship Committee (ESSC) in collaboration with the Environmental Club held an event at the Welcome Center. This event featured the movie “The Letter: A Message for our Earth.” Once the movie ended there was a discussion regarding the movie in which students, staff and faculty were all able to give their inputs.
“The Letter” is a movie that is based on Pope Francis’ “Laudato Si.” This is a movie about hope and climate change. “Laudato Si” and the movie are a call to action so that we can take care of our Earth as well as each other. This movie shows the real impact climate change has on the Earth and communities.
Dr. Abigail Kula, an environmental science professor at the Mount as well as a member of the ESSC, says that the attendance of the event was faculty, staff and students which is important to bring all together since we are all affected by climate change.
The movie shows these four groups of environmental leaders that have a different focus regarding the environment. These groups came together to talk to the pope about these climate issues. Dr. Kula says her favorite aspect of this film was “These four perspectives that you would have that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to get all in one room to address their common concern for the environment. I liked that it was pulling all these different people from different places, different kind of positions in life and different focus areas all to be able to come to come and share their perspectives with the Pope.”
Lilli Millender, the President of the Environmental Club, says that her favorite part about the movie was the people from different parts of the world coming together to discuss this issue. All these people did not speak the same language and did not have the same religion or set of beliefs but were able to come together with the Pope in order to have a conversation about climate change.
Both Lilli and Dr. Kula recommend people watch “The Letter” since it holds a lot of value.
Dr. Kula says, “ Overall you really see this sense of hope that if all of these different people are working on this issue then we can actually see a way forward. So I think sometimes we are caught up in the [thought of] climate change is only going to get warmer and warmer. If we think about how all of these different people are focused on this issue that it actually gives you a message of hope. So that you feel better about what you are doing, and you start to think about what little things you might be able to do.”
Lilli says, “Our Earth is dying. You hear climate change is real and some people think it doesn’t matter I am going to die anyway. Sometimes you have to be selfless, you have to think about the planet that gives to us. This movie shows [the impact it has to humans] like there is a person who can become homeless due to deforestation”
So, what can we do at the Mount?
Lilli says, “Education! Educate yourself in what is recyclable. Just trying to recycle and learn about the recycling systems where you live. Educate yourself about the source of the meat you are consuming.”
Dr. Kula says, "You can do like a day or a couple of days where you don’t eat meat. Since meat production has such a big impact on the environment. One thing we talked about the event was using the knowledge we just got from the movie as motivation. For example, today I am not going to eat meat because of those people I saw were impacted by climate change. Similar to dedicating a prayer for someone except you are dedicating a day or maybe an hour.”
For those who are interested in learning more about how to help the environment the movie “The Letter” is available for free on YouTube. Also, the Environmental Club meets in AC 127 on the first Wednesday and the third Monday of every month. The Environmental club does many activities like teaching how to mend ripped clothing as well as has events like going to local farmers markets.