Inspired by LAUDATO SI’, the Encyclical Letter written by Pope Francis ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME




“Avoiding the dynamic of dominion and the mere accumulation of pleasures.”(LS222)

“Such sobriety, when lived freely and consciously, is liberating…

It is a way of living life to the full.” (LS223)

 The United Nations Conference COP27 is currently taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt from 6-18th November 2022.  The annual conference seeks to bring almost every country in the world together to try and reach agreement on how to address climate change.

Over the last year, we have witnessed many extreme events from floods and drought to fires and storms and this has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths globally.  Millions of people are suffering from food and water insecurity, disease, and poor air quality, loss of livelihoods, conflict, competition for resources, and mass migration.  Climate change against this backdrop of global crises has become a collateral victim of the war between Russia and Ukraine and has resulted in an energy and cost of living crisis across the world.   If there was ever a reason to move more quickly and effectively to cleaner energy, it is now! 

The last few years have been unprecedented and nobody has remained untouched by these global effects.  We see, we hear, and we feel the effects that climate change is having on the planet, on nature and humanity, yet, on a large scale, we remain frozen in a state of anxiety, indecisiveness and what’s become known as ‘Green Fatigue’. Truly, if we were to walk for one day in the shoes of those suffering in Pakistan and the Horn of Africa, we would quickly awaken from our slumber. Time is of the essence and as it is better to do something than to do nothing, let’s take a look at what we as individuals can do collectively, whilst remaining in hope that our world leaders will take the decisive action required and make good on their Paris Agreement promises.


So what are the Key issues that COP27 will address? 

Putting it quite simply, they are Nature, Food, Water, Industry decarbonisation and climate adaptation.  By staying informed and educating ourselves we can be agents for change in leading by example, spreading the word and identifying ways you, your work environment, school, family and friends can implement cleaner, greener measures.  Sign those petitions, every signature is a voice and vote, get involved in your local environmental group, do something, no matter how small and insignificant it seems!

What can we do in our everyday lives to protect, restore, mitigate and adapt?  Below are the 5 key areas with practical everyday tips. Let’s start with Nature:


  • Avoid artificial grass, real grass contributes to ecosystems
  • Set aside a portion of your lawn for a wildflower meadow
  • Opt for a cordless, battery-powered lawnmower
  • Put up a bird box and bird feeder
  • Build an insect hotel and place in your garden
  • Plant trees and shrubs in the right place
  • Grow your favourite vegetables
  • Plant fruit trees
  • Grow your own herbs
  • Use peat-free compost
  • Carry out a litter pick up
  • Join a riverbank/beach clean-up Club



  • Choose seasonal fruit and vegetables
  • Buy organic where possible
  • Reduce meat and dairy-milk intake
  • Try plant-based options of meat and dairy
  • Shop on a full stomach, make a list and stick to it
  • Opt for paper, cardboard or glass packaging over plastic
  • Say no to paper receipts. Opt for digital when necessary
  • Visit your local eco store
  • Switch from cling-film and tin-foil to more eco-friendly alternatives
  • Choose loose-leaf tea leaves or biodegradable teabags
  • Buy 100% recycled and biodegradable toilet and kitchen roll
  • Choose tinned pet food over pouches
  • Buy chicken and fish over beef and lamb for your pets
  • Buy dry pet food in recyclable bags
  • Choose biodegradable poop bags



  • Turn off tap when you brush your teeth
  • Turn off tap when you are shaving
  • Fix leaks in toilets and taps
  • Think before you flush
  • Fix a water-saving device to your shower head
  • Choose a shower over a bath
  • Reduce your shower time
  • Opt for a cold shower
  • Use a dishwasher in preference to washing by hand
  • Only wash full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine
  • Use an eco-setting
  • Install a water butt to collect rainwater
  • Wash your car with a bucket of water and sponge
  • Avoid hose pipe by using a watering can to water plants
  • Descale your kettle regularly
  • Only kettle-boil the volume of water you need
  • Use a thermos flask, it saves on re-boiling for cuppas


Industry De-carbonisation 


  • Switch to a green energy company
  • Make a start and lower your thermostat by 1˚C
  • Set the timer on your heating system
  • Switch to heat pumps
  • Replace lighting with energy-saving light bulbs
  • Turn lights off when you leave a room
  • Invest in smart bulbs
  • Install a smart meter
  • Close your curtains at night
  • Draft-proof windows and doors
  • Fit cavity wall insulation
  • Insulate your attic
  • Install under-floor insulation



  • Use Wi-Fi rather than 4G (4G burns more energy than Wi-Fi)
  • Clear your email inbox
  • Unsubscribe to unnecessary emails
  • Send fewer emails
  • Turn off your devices
  • Unplug electricals when not in use
  • Protect your phone and hold onto it longer
  • Opt for a pre-owned phone
  • Trade in your old phone when upgrading
  • Donate your old phone or tablet to people in need
  • Sell your fully-working electrical items
  • Switch to rechargeable batteries
  • Recycle electrical equipment



  • Choose sustainable fashion options
  • Borrow, swap, rent, repair
  • Buy pre-owned clothes before buying new
  • Keep clothes in good condition
  • Only wash items when necessary
  • Remove a stain rather than wash completely
  • Opt for a low temperature wash
  • Air-dry rather than tumble-dry



  • Measure and manage your transport impact
  • Walk or cycle
  • Reduce your car journeys
  • Car share
  • Hire an eco-friendly car
  • Use public transport
  • Choose the least polluting, most efficient vehicle that meets your needs
  • Buy an electric vehicle
  • Choose optimal eco-driving techniques
  • Choose staycation Ireland
  • Opt for zoom meeting to minimise transport impact
  • Educate yourself on sustainable air travel
  • Fly direct, economy and light


Climate Adaptation 

  • Accept that every individual has a moral imperative to act now
  • Be pro-active
  • Carry out a climate risk assessment on your home
  • Get involved in a climate risk assessment in your workplace and local community
  • Petition for world leaders to fulfil their promises in the Paris Agreement
  • Advocate for the development of an early warning universal system within five years to help everyone adapt to climate change and more extreme weather
  • Support government led solutions to tackle climate resilience and adaptation to Biodiversity Loss
  • Advocate for governments to make available clean technology systems that are cheaper and accessible everywhere
  • Choose financial institutions and banks that are transitioning to a sustainable operating business model
  • Support innovations to promote transformative climate resilience and adaptation solutions