Diana Melo, Portugal “Climate change is increasing the periods of drought and heat waves. The increase in average air temperature and the heat waves are increasing the rate of diseases carried by mosquitoes, which has led tos dengue fever in the Island of Madeira. When the rains do come they are very intense and violent, increasing the risk of flooding. Many of the people I know are suffering.”
Adjust your thermostat. Air conditioning and heating are both very energy-intensive. Adjust by as much as possible in solidarity with your brothers and sisters around the world.
Heating and cooling our buildings is incredibly energy-intensive. Changing your thermostat by just a few degrees is one of the most impactful things you can do to protect our common home and the people who share it.
A programmable thermostat allows the user to enter settings for time periods throughout the week, with different temperatures when the building’s occupants are at home, away, or sleeping. This device, which is affordable and easy to install and program, ensures your home uses only as much heating and cooling as necessary.
If buying a programmable thermostat isn’t the right option for you, you may wish to simply turn down heating and cooling before you leave the house or go to sleep.
Simple changes in the way your home is used can help make up the difference at the thermostat. Closing the curtains during the day in summer and opening them during the day in winter can help a lot. Laying rugs during the winter and rolling them up during the summer can also help. Finally, using room-specific appliances, such as fans and radiator-style space heaters, can replace whole-house measures.
Reducing your dependence on home heating and cooling will protect vulnerable people around the world. As you discuss these changes with the people who share your home, the light of our faith can help guide the conversation. Read a reflection like this:
“The world is not something indifferent, raw material to be utilized simply as we see fit. Rather, it is part of God’s good plan . . . The justified concern about threats to the environment present in so many parts of the world is reinforced by Christian hope, which commits us to working responsibly for the protection of creation.”