The complexities of today’s environmental injustices and the interconnectivity of them to all things and people, rich to poor, reveals an imperative call to action.
Digging deeper unveils the question: how can we possibly reverse this cataclysmic ‘throw-away culture’? (Laudato Si’, 22). Pope Francis warns “once we lose our humility, and become enthralled with the possibility of limitless mastery over everything, we inevitably end up harming society and the environment” (Laudato Si’, 224).
Furthermore, in today’s Gospel reading we are reminded, “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son” to save us (JN 3:16). As a community, we must care for this home that God gifted and loves.
As a student catalyst for change at Walsh Jesuit High school, I am humbled by how my community has embraced the complex ways in which we are guilty of environmental injustice. This movement started small with one boy, terrified by the complexity of the issue but inspired to work for change, and it has begun to transform an entire school community.
This tall-task begins with a realignment of our values towards love and care for God’s creation. From this love, we can move toward universal solidarity in order to cultivate action against environmental injustices. We must begin to make big change by divesting in big oil companies and switching to renewable energies, but also making small change, which is just as pivotal, by recycling, switching to reusable products (water bottles, tupperware, shopping bags etc.), and being aware of consumption habits—combatting our society’s “throw-away culture,” one small act at a time.
“How does my drop of change in an ocean of problems make a difference?”
We must remind ourselves: there is no one action or person that will completely change the tides of this ocean. The bucket of change takes time to fill, it takes persistence, and it requires that everyone rise up in community and add their drop, no matter how big or small.
Roman Gioglio (’17) is Senior Class President at Walsh Jesuit in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Last summer he underwent a life-altering experience during an immersion trip to Immokalee, Florida where he discovered a love of helping others. This discovery was further developed when he participated in ISN’s 2016 Ignatian Family Teach-In, where he cultivated a passion for justice. After ending his career in soccer as a captain of Walsh’s varsity team, he stumbled upon ISN’s Ignatian Carbon Challenge, and from there he has been in a constant endeavor to integrate sustainability and raise awareness on environmental injustices at his school with a club he pioneered: WJ Green Team.