Stories of change

Commitments by Faith Leaders

Diverse religious and spiritual leaders around the world are making personal commitments to sustainable living. By taking climate action on an individual and household level, these faith leaders are practicing their values and serving to inspire their fellow community members.

Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance

I commit to a vegetarian diet and to power my home with 100% renewable energy.

General Secretary, Friends World Committee for Consultation (Quakers)

Why?

“The spiritual imperative I feel as a Quaker and as a Christian to love one another is at the heart of my life and my relationships, with people and with the earth”.

Commitment

Purchase renewable energy to power my home

Muslim, Interfaith & Community Alliances Director of ISNA (Islamic Society of North America)

We have been entrusted to care for all creation and maintain the planet’s balance through moderation. We will all be held accountable.

That is why I commit to reduce food waste in my home by 50%

Co-Founder of 3BL Associates, Public-Planet Partnerships, Recipes for Wellbeing, Diabetes.bh, Diversity on Board. (FRSA) Bahrain

The Sufi tradition reflects that we must read nature as if it is scripture. My commitment is motivated towards contributing to protecting that ultimate scripture.

I commit to

  • Adjust my thermostat 1-2 °C (3-4 °F) higher during summer
  • Minimize my air conditioning use
  • Reduce food waste in my home by 50%

Archbishop of Cape Town, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa

I pledge to use more gas at home than electricity, to tree planting after major travelling and to continue abstaining from eating meat.

Baha'i, Switzerland, President of the International Environment Forum

As a Baha'i, my whole life has been devoted to environmental protection and education for sustainability, both professionally as a scientist and in the Baha'i community.

That is why I commit to make my next car a hybrid or electric car!

Catholic, USA, co-president of Pax Christi International

I believe deeply in the sacredness of creation and have tried to live lightly on the earth for many years.

I commit to walk or use a bicycle for my repeated errands

Franciscan Friar and teacher

This seems a natural corollary of seeing the earth as sacred and even the Body of Christ.

I commit to plan for non-stop flights - to avoid connecting flights or layovers.

  • Plan for non-stop flights (no connecting flights or layovers)
  • Avoid long-haul flights (5 hours or more)
  • Replace my home light bulbs with LEDs
  • Adjust my thermostat 1-2 °C (3-4 °F) higher during summer
  • Adjust my thermostat 1-2 °C (3-4 °F) lower during winter
  • Minimize my air conditioning use
  • Reduce food waste in my home by 50%Eat chicken instead of beef or lamb

Co-Founder of the Jewish Ecological Coalition (JECO) Australia

To take care of God's world for those humans, animals and species struggling today, and into the future.

I commit to:

  • Plan for non-stop flights (no connecting flights or layovers)
  • Make your next car a hybrid or electric car
  • Replace my home light bulbs with LEDs
  • Adjust my thermostat 1-2 °C (3-4 °F) higher during summer
  • Purchase renewable energy to power my home
  • Install a solar array to power my residence
  • Reduce food waste in my home by 50%
  • Make at least half of my meals plant-based (with exceptions for cheese and milk)
  • Eat meat only once each week

Primate of Sweden and Archbishop of Uppsala Sweden

I commit to eat at least five vegetarian meals each week.

Chair - Angligreen Anglican Church Southern Queensland Environment Group (“Angligreen”)

I commit to 100% renewable energy in my home.

My motivation is to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth as I recognize that climate change is a most serious threat to the lives of the present and future generations.

Personal Reflections, Stories, and Lessons

Living the change can be easier and more rewarding when we share about our experiences. These broad-based stories of change remind us that we are all in this together. They offer lessons, recommendations, and spiritual reflections for a flourishing future.

By telling personal stories within our community, we reaffirm our responsibility to care for our shared planet. Will you join us?

Mr. Tomás Insua, Executive Director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, discusses the Laudato Si’ Encyclical as an urgent call to action to transform the way we live and walk on the Earth.

Rev. Dr. Neddy Astudillo, a Presbyterian pastor in the United States, says we should eat regionally-harvested foods. As a Venezuelan-American eco-theologian, she also serves as Latin America Director of GreenFaith.

Mr. Arnd Riester, a practitioner of Shambhala Buddhism in Germany, says we should drastically reduce plastic packaging, in part by avoiding supermarkets.

Ms. Nana Firman is the Co-Founder of the Global Muslim Climate Network, as well as the Muslim Outreach Director of GreenFaith. As a Muslim working in Indonesia and the United States, she explains the Koran’s teachings that we must walk gently upon the Earth.

Rev. Henrik Grape, a Climate Change Officer with the World Council of Churches, discusses the difficulty of removing structural barriers to change.

Rev. Marc Andrus, an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of California, is working to reduce his personal carbon footprint.

Ms. Caroline Bader is the Director of “Living the Change” with GreenFaith. Based in Germany, and previously serving as Youth Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, she believes it is her responsibility as a Christian to care for her climate neighbors as her brothers and sisters around the world.

Mr. Gopal Patel directs the Bhumi Project, an international Hindu environmental network based in the U.K. This year, he is planning to go vegan.

Mr. Saffet Catovic, a Bosnian-American Muslim working with the Islamic Society of North America, wants to move towards a more plant-based diet, which is the diet of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him).

Rev. Bee Moorhead, a Presbyterian leader who directs Texas Impact’s interfaith legislative advocacy network, reflects upon feelings of community and a loving universe.

Ms. Merle Riester, a young practitioner of Shambhala Buddhism in Germany, reflects upon the strange experience of realizing how much material “stuff” we don’t truly need.

Mr. Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, the U.S. National Organizer & Spokesperson for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, celebrates seeing the transformation promised in the Gospel manifested in his own sustainable lifestyle.

Brother Lluc Torcal serves as Procurator General Cisterian Order of the Catholic Poblet monestary in Catalonia, where he supports an ecological conversion process that reflects a path of simplicity.

Marie Denis, co-president of the global Catholic peace movement Pax Christi International, helped establish an intentional community in an inner city neighborhood of Washington, DC, focused on social justice, peace, and active nonviolence.

Rev. John Dear, a Catholic priest who has written more than 30 books about the Gospel of Jesus, the way of nonviolence, and the call to make peace, reflects upon his decades of work as a justice and peace activist.

Sister Jayanti, European Director of Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, has moved to a totally plant-based diet in accordance with the law of “karma” (action and reaction) and respect for our natural resources.

Rev. Milton Mejía has developed an Eco-Theology Course in the Presbyterian Church of Colombia that seeks to recover the concepts and practices of austerity, saving, and pastoral care from an ecological perspective.

Sister Christin Tomy, OP, has sparked meaningful conversations among her fellow Catholic Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa about the spiritual and ethical foundations of her vegetarianism.

Per Ingvar Haukeland is a Quaker professor and senior researcher who has worked together with his wife to establish a sustainability transition initiative for residents of their small Norwegian town.

Shelley Tanenbaum, General Secretary of Quaker Earthcare Witness, has committed to traveling by train whenever possible while overseeing outreach to the Quaker community across North America.

Imam Zaid Shakir discusses how and why it is up to each person to make the lessons of Ramadan lasting and permanent.

BK Jayasimha collaborated with fellow members of the Brahma Kumaris community to build the solar energy systems that power their headquarters in Mt. Abu, India.

Rabbi Katy Allen reflects upon the individual, family, and societal factors that often determine how easy or difficult it can be for us to live sustainabily.

Lindsey Fielder Cook, Representative for Climate Change with the Quaker United Nations Office, discuss the benefits and challenges of making sustainable decisions both as an individual and as part of a family.

Call To Action