"The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change."
Laudato Si, p13
For Lent, give up waste.
During Lent, Catholics give up personal excesses to mirror Jesus' sacrifice during his 40 days in the desert. The Saint Pius X Creation Care Team invites you to focus on creation care as a special way to observe Lent. Our compilation of Creation Care Activities pairs action items with relevant excerpts from Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si', which calls on us all to care for our common home. Pope Francis asserts that caring for earth is caring for the poor and most vulnerable.
The Creation Care Team encourages you to give up wasteful energy this Lent by switching to efficient LED light bulbs. To make the switch easy, you can tally light bulbs in your home or business and order common LED replacements online through St. Pius X. The Creation Care Team will place the order the day after Easter, which coincides with Earth Day 2019, and deliver your order after the ensuing weekend Masses.
Care for Creation.
How to pick LED bulbs
When purchasing LED bulbs, there are several items to consider, including brightness (in lumens); energy usage (in watts); and color (in degrees Kelvin). On the packaging is a label from the US Dept. of Energy, as described in its Shopping for Light Bulbs video.
After all Masses on March 10 the Saint Pius X Creation Care Team will set up an exhibit in the Parish Life Center to help you discern the difference in light colors and to answer your questions about LED bulbs and other energy savng measures.
The Creation Care Team will offer typical household bulbs for sale: 60 watt-equivalent bulbs, 40 watt-equivalent bulbs, and 65 watt-equivalent dimmable indoor floodlights. Even if you do not buy from us, swapping out your old incandescent bulbs with LEDs of your choice will serve our common home.
Consider the color...
LED bulbs come in several colors that correlate to their temperature in degrees Kelvin (K). The colors are described ranging from warm (or soft) to cool (or daylight). The warmer colors have a reddish appearance and the cooler colors have a bluish appearance. While aesthetics, purpose, and personal preference for each application will guide your choice, consider some emerging science implications, too.
Warmer colors are best for the human body prior to sleeping. In outdoor applications, they contribute less to sky glow because of their longer wavelengths.
Cooler lights are good for alertness because they stimulate the circadian system as if it were day. However that feature is not conducive for sleeping because it tricks the body into thinking it's still daytime. Blue-rich LED lights peak at the same wavelength as the human circadian system's peak sensitivity, which has negative implications. Blue-rich lights should not be used outdoors, for they scatter light more, resulting in greater light pollution like sky glow.
Lights that are 2700K or 3000K are deemed warm or reddish. Lights that are 3500K or 4000K are bright white. Lights that are 5000K are considered cool or bluish.
The Saint Pius X Creation Care Team will offer standard bulbs (A19) and flood bulbs (BR30) manufactured by Sylvania in three temperatures--2700K, 3500K, and 5000K. Regardless of color, the 60 watt-equivalent bulbs are 800 lumens; the 40 watt-equivalent bulbs are 450 lumens; and the 65 watt-equivalent flood bulbs are 650 lumens. Expected lifetime of bulbs is 10 years.
If you want something that looks like your old incandescent bulb, choose the 2700K 60 watt-equivalent LED bulb.
Beyond light bulbs
While switching to LED light bulbs throughout your house or business is a first step, Pope Francis exhorts us to expand our sustainability practices further. In Laudato Si he writes,
"To seek only a technical remedy to each environmental problem which comes up is to separate what is in reality interconnected and to mask the true and deepest problems of the global system."
The Saint Pius X Creation Care Team generally meets the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 7:00 p.m. in PEC 216. We invite you to join us in our mission, which is "to pray, act, educate and advocate for the care of our common home, the Earth." The schedule of meetings and events is posted in the parish Bulletin.
Among the team's events have been celebrations of the Feast of Saint Francis and of Earth Day; the encouragement of sustainable practices parish-wide; and the compilation of Creation Care Activities. In the spring we will facilitate gardening by parishioners in the new garden beds behind the pole barn.
Meanwhile, the Saint Pius X parish has undertaken significant actions to reduce its footprint on earth. For example, the new church ws constructed with state-of-the-art technologies, from its HVAC system to its LED fixtures; foam cups have been replaced with a compostable alternative; students and staff separate recyclables from trash; temperature and lighting controls reduce consumption when areas are not in use; microfiber materials have replaced traditional cleaners and paper towels; and solar panels have been installed on the pole barn to power the Rectory.
"Featuring a list of action items, Light Fast combines secular and sacred endeavors to conserve light at night. Light Fast entreats you to take inventory of your light consumption, pare your waste of photons, and enlist others to value darkness for the benefit of creation. Whereas some people give up a vice for Lent, only to return to consumption afterward, Light Fast encourages you to give up wasteful light for good--'for good' in the sense of forever as well as 'for good' in the sense of for the goodness of all."
-From blog post Light Fast Encourages Awe and Wonder
Specific action items are accompanied by an excerpt from Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' from 2015. These have been included in the weekly St. Pius X Parish Bulletin, with some adapted from the Carbon Fast Calendar.