Feel proud to tell the world that you decided to change.

by Domenica Reyes, Global Catholic Climate Movement, Ecuador
February 2020

Around 3 years ago, I learned about the Encyclical Laudato Si’. To be honest, this was the first time I understood that my faith values are related to the care of our common home. This was a life changer! I’m a real believer that every single action matters, regardless of how big or small. Now I’m part of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, which has guided me further towards ecological conversion.

To live out my faith values, I started making changes in my daily life. One of those changes has been to reduce my use of plastic as much as possible. I carry my own reusable water bottle and do not buy bottled water. I also carry a cloth bag in my backpack to avoid using plastic bags when I shop. In the beginning, I would forget to put the cloth bag in my purse or backpack, but it has now become a habit which takes less than a minute when I’m preparing to go out for work or class.

At home, I recycle plastic bottles and bring them to the municipal recycling station. In doing this, I discovered a great innovation: eco-bricks. Eco-bricks are made by stuffing plastic wrap and bags in the bottles. In Quito, the city where I live, there is even a place where you can leave the eco-brick to be used in construction!

It’s a sad reality to know that in our day to day we are surrounded by plastic like food wrapping, bottles, bags, and medicine packages. We may think that it is impossible to stop using plastic, but it is not. Each one of us can contribute to reducing its use. We can start by making changes ourselves, then encouraging our friends, family, community, work and city to get involved. We can tell others what we are doing to inspire them to do the same. We can create a chain of action that will keep growing and replicating.

It’s time to act and God is guiding us! Feel proud to tell the world that you decided to change. Others will follow. As Pope Francis says in Laudato Si , “all it takes is one good person to restore hope!” People taking small actions together can protect our common home. Let’s start #LivingTheChange.

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