An Eco-Friendly Motherhouse

June 18th marks the anniversary of Pope Francis releasing his historic encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home. The week prior to this day has been deemed Laudato Si Week. This week is a celebration of the anniversary and an opportunity for us all to reflect on the Laudato Si message and think of ways in which we can take action to help our Earth.

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are attempting to do their part in more ways than one. One of the best ways that we feel we can live out the message of Laudato Si is by leading by example. That's why our sisters and staff continually look for ways to make our home, the CSJ Historic Motherhouse, environmentally friendly.

Top 18 Ways the Motherhouse has Gone Green

  1. Recycling of containers, paper, cardboard and household batteries.
  2. Use of eco-friendly cleaning products and laundry soap. We also reuse the product bottles.
  3. Use of low-flow shower heads and water-saving toilets.
  4. Toilet tissue, facial tissue and guest room note pads are made from recycled products.
  5. LED light bulbs added in many areas and incandescent bulbs completely removed.
  6. Use of cloth napkins by Motherhouse residents, staff and guests for meals.
  7. Turn off the heating units in rooms that are not occupied.
  8. Use locally-grown seasonal foods.
  9. Reuse water from the dehumidifiers to water plants.
  10. Installment of water sensors for automatic sprinklers.
  11. Use of Roman pavers in the courtyards allowing the water to soak between bricks, leaving no puddles and helping with safety.
  12. Use of automated hand towel dispensers.
  13. Overnight guests are asked to reuse towels when they can.
  14. Installation of occupancy sensors for light control to keep rooms dark when not in use.
  15. Monitoring annually of all energy use patterns to show trends and areas for improvement.
  16. Installation and maintenance of a vegetable and flower garden on site, courtesy of Sisters Barbara Jennings and Monica Klefner.
  17. Building automation systems in conjunction with new chillers to increase cooling inefficiencies of the system.
  18. Addition of more eco-friendly windows to correct issues of old wooden windows and frames.

To view the entire Laudato Si' encyclical by Pope Francis, click here..

By Abigail Blaes, information from Joe Wingbermuehle