Our climate action team identifies and implements changes we can make in our church, homes, and community. To contact us, send a message using the form at www.crossofglory.com/contact-cat.
God calls us to be stewards here on earth,
to take care of the air, water, flora and fauna.
Resources (Web sites, Videos, Books, and Projects)
- Will County Green has information and links about recycling, rain barrels, composting, and other green initiatives right here in Will County, Illinois. Visit https://www.willcountygreen.com/
- Sag Moraine Native Plant Community is located in northeast Illinois. They are dedicated to restoring native plants to our residential, business and public landscapes. They sponsor an annual native plant sale. Visit https://sagmoraine.org/
- Wild World Gardens (Co-Creating Landscapes for Habitat, Health, and Healing) does Garden Design, Native Plant Gardens, Edible Gardens, and Therapeutic Horticulture. They are located in Chicago and we’ve referenced some of their garden designs used by Sag Moraine for their plant sale. Visit their site at https://wildworldgardens.com.
- Faith in Place are people of diverse faiths and spiritualities leading the environmental movement to create healthy, just, and sustainable communities for all. They host the Green Team Summit each year. This year it is September 11-14. Visit https://faithinplace.org
- ELCA’s Caring for Creation social statement expresses a call to pursue justice for creation through active participation, solidarity, sufficiency and sustainability — commitments expressed through individual and community action, worship, learning, moral deliberation and advocacy. Visit https://www.elca.org/Faith/Faith-and-Society/Social-Statements/Caring-for-Creation
- Creation Justice Ministries represents the creation care and environmental justice policies of major Christian denominations throughout the United States. Visit https://creationjustice.org
- ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Visit https://www.energystar.gov/campaign/home
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency site offers information on many climate topics as well as links to a number of other government sites. Follow the Science at https://www.epa.gov/
Kiss the Ground (2020 Netflix)
Activists, scientists, farmers, and politicians turn to regenerative agriculture to save the planet's topsoil, and combat climate change.
The Letter (~2019 YouTube)
The Letter, tells the story of a journey to Rome of frontline leaders to discuss the encyclical letter Laudato Si’ with Pope Francis. The exclusive dialogue with the Pope, included in the film, offers a revealing insight into the personal history of Pope Francis and stories never seen since he became the Bishop of Rome.
Ice On Fire (2019 HBO)
Executive produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, this documentary explores how the world is feeling the effects of climate change, while examining the need to reduce carbon emissions. Through interviews with visionaries and scientists, the film captures the crisis while offering hope that climate change can be mitigated, and global warming reversed.
Chasing Coral (2017 Netflix)
The temperature is increasing and so are the oceans. This documentary tells the story of the bleaching corals around the world, and why they're so important for our ecosystems.
Before the Flood (2016 Disney+)
Although most known for his acting, Leonardi DiCaprio is highly engaged in environmental issues. He's the narrator in Before the Flood, explores the effects of climate change and the actions needed to prevent its catastrophic consequences.
Remothering the Land (2021 YouTube)
Remothering the Land is a short 10-minute film by Patagonia — a clothing and outdoor gear company known for its environmental activism. The documentary focuses on the efforts of regenerative agriculture and its potential to mitigate climate change, improve soil health, and enhance food security.
Cowspiracy (2014 Netflix)
A highly debated political documentary about the meat industry and our massive consumption worldwide, and how it affects our climate and land.
A Plastic Ocean (2016 Amazon | Apple TV| Peacock)
A Plastic Ocean sheds light on the damaging effects of plastic pollution on the world’s oceans and its sensitive (yet wildly resilient) inhabitants.
Life on Our Planet (2020 Netflix)
One of the world’s most respected naturalists, Sir David Attenborough combines stunning footage from his over 60 years of broadcasting and filmmaking to provide a powerful call to action for global action on climate change and conservation.
Gather (2020 Amazon | Apple TV |Vimeo)
Gather is an intimate documentary film that explores the relationship between Indigenous communities, the land, and its resources. The film highlights the importance of Indigenous knowledge and finding solutions to the current global climate crisis.
2040 (2019 Amazon | Apple TV)
Award-winning director Damon Gameau embarks on a journey to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we embrace the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet.
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (2018 Amazon | Apple TV)
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch covers various aspects of human-caused changes to the Earth’s systems, including the mass extinction of species, the alteration of ecosystems, and the depletion of natural resources.
The Biggest Little Farm (2018 Amazon | Apple TV)
The Biggest Little Farm follows the journey of John and Molly Chester, a couple who leave their city life for 200 acres of barren farmland. The film showcases their struggles and successes as they learn about regenerative farming practices and the challenges of growing food in a changing environment. The couple works to create a diverse, interdependent ecosystem that includes crops, livestock, and wildlife.
An Inconvenient Truth (2006 Amazon | Apple TV)
Al Gore’s 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” was one of the first climate change documentaries that opened our eyes to the serious effects of global warming.
Our Planet (Series) (2019 Netflix)
Just because sometimes we need to be reminded of all the amazing species and processes taking place on the same planet as us.
The most important thing you can do to fight climate change: talk about it (2018)
by Katharine Hayhoe
In this inspiring, pragmatic talk, Hayhoe shows how the key to having a real discussion is to connect over shared values like family, community and religion -- and to prompt people to realize that they already care about a changing climate. "We can't give in to despair," she says. "We have to go out and look for the hope we need to inspire us to act -- and that hope begins with a conversation, today." 17 minutes Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BvcToPZCLI
Saving Us recorded by Citizens Climate Lobby (2021)
By Katharine Hayhoe
In SAVING US: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World Dr. Hayhoe draws upon interdisciplinary research and personal stories to demonstrate that whether you’re a parent or a person of faith, a beachgoer or a sports fan, a foodie or a travel junkie, climate change affects someone or something you care about, which means you already have power to act for change. While other books in this space offer doomsday scenarios, Hayhoe ‘s approach is optimistic and inclusive. She argues that climate action isn’t about being a certain type of person or voting a certain way. It’s about connecting with our communities based on the values we already have, to inspire collective action. 57 mins Yr 2021 Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ClzS49vj9Es
Christians and Climate Change with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe (2020)
Presented by The Meeting House
Hear from climate scientist and follower of Jesus, Katherine Hayhoe, on what we know, what we believe, and why it matters. 43 mins Yr 2020 Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOJuHpeWoPE
Where will You Be Able to Live in 20 Years?
Explore how coastal communities are impacted by climate change and how they’re adapting to rising sea levels and extreme weather. 5:00 mins Yr 2021 Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3XZBYVSnJ0
Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World By Katherine Hayhoe (2022)
In Saving Us, Hayhoe argues that when it comes to changing hearts and minds, facts are only one part of the equation. We need to find shared values in order to connect our unique identities to collective action. This is not another doomsday narrative about a planet on fire. It is a multilayered look at science, faith, and human psychology, from an icon in her field—recently named chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy. Drawing on interdisciplinary research and personal stories, Hayhoe shows that small conversations can have astonishing results. Saving Us leaves us with the tools to open a dialogue with your loved ones about how we all can play a role in pushing forward for change.
Books referred to in Saving Us
Climate Courage: How Tackling Climate Change Can Build Community, Transform the Economy, and Bridge the Political Divide in America By Andreas Karelas (2020)
How Americans can take action in their own communities and unite across the political spectrum in pursuit of solutions to climate change.
Andreas Karelas has a message we don’t often hear: we have all the tools we need to solve the climate crisis and doing so will improve our lives, our economy, and our society. But to engage people in the climate fight, we need stories that are empowering, inclusive, and solutions-oriented, not based in fear. Karelas digs into the latest data on the rapidly falling costs and increased efficiencies of clean energy technologies compared to fossil fuels, looks at the rate of job creation in the clean energy sector, and introduces the reader to the inspiring work of climate heroes on both sides of the aisle—from Republican mayors and governors to activists, from businesses to faith communities. Climate Courage shows us how we can move past our collective inaction on climate change and work together in our communities to create a more sustainable, just, clean energy–powered economy that works for everyone.
The Uninhabitable Earth – By David Wallace-Wills (Published 2020)
The Uninhabitable Earth is both a travelogue of the near future and a meditation on how that future will look to those living through it—the ways that warming promises to transform global politics, the meaning of technology and nature in the modern world, the sustainability of capitalism and the trajectory of human progress. The Uninhabitable Earth is also an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation—today’s.
The Coquies Still Sing: A Story of Home, Hope, and Rebuilding – By Kariva Nicole Gonzales, Illustrated, 40 pages, ages 4-8, Published 2022
THE COQUÍES STILL SING: A Story of Home, Hope, and Rebuilding, told by Karina Nicole González in English and Spanish editions, introduces us to Elena, a school-age girl who lives in Puerto Rico’s central mountains with her family. Krystal Quiles’s bright illustrations of their home and beloved mango tree turn muted when Hurricane María sweeps in, tearing off the roof, stripping the leaves and silencing the coquíes, the chirping tree frogs that are a symbol of Puerto Rico itself.
Dear Wild Child: You Carry Your Home Inside You – By Wallace J. Nichols, Illustrated, 32 pages, ages 4-8, Published 2022
DEAR WILD CHILD: You Carry Your Home Inside You written by a father-daughter duo whose house burned to the ground in a wildfire, is about reframing loss. Based on a real-life letter Wallace J. Nichols wrote to Wallace Grayce Nichols in the aftermath of a fire, the story introduces us to a girl who grows up among California’s redwoods in a house her parents built while awaiting her birth. Her childhood — spent frolicking in the nearby canyon and surrounded at home by music and dinner parties — appears a bit too idyllic at times, but this can be forgiven as a loving father’s nostalgia. “I had hoped this house would be yours someday,” he writes. But after the fire, all that’s left standing is the ledgestone chimney.
Two Degrees – By Alan Gratz, 365 pages, ages 8-12, Published 2022
Buckle up for a Hollywood thriller of a book intended for children in fourth through sixth grades that strikes me as essential for this moment. Alan Gratz’s novel braids three story lines of middle schoolers fighting for their lives: a girl in California surrounded by a giant wildfire, two boys in the Canadian Arctic hunted by hungry, sea-ice-deprived polar bears and a girl in Miami swept away by a massive hurricane. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does.
The Rescue Effect By Michael Mehta Webster (2022)
In The Rescue Effect, Michael Mehta Webster reveals the science behind nature’s inherent resilience, through compelling stories of species that are adapting to the changing world—including tigers in the jungles of India, cichlid fish in the great lakes of Africa, and corals in the Caribbean. In some cases, like the mountain pygmy-possum in the snowy mountains of southeast Australia, we risk losing species without intensive help from people. As observers to—and the cause of—species declines, we must choose whether and how to help, while navigating challenging questions about emerging technologies and the ethics of conservation actions.
Ultimately, Webster argues that there are good reasons to expect a bright future, because everywhere we look, we can see evidence that nature can rescue many species from extinction; and when nature alone is not up to the task, we can help. Combining rigorous research with gripping storytelling, The Rescue Effect provides the cautious optimism we need to help save life on Earth.
Jungle: How Tropical Forests Shaped the World By Patrick Roberts (2021)
From the age of dinosaurs to the first human cities, a groundbreaking new history of the planet that tropical forests made. To many of us, tropical forests are the domain of movies and novels. These dense, primordial wildernesses are beautiful to picture, but irrelevant to our lives. Jungle tells a different story. Archaeologist Patrick Roberts argues that tropical forests have shaped nearly every aspect of life on earth. They made the planet habitable, enabled the rise of dinosaurs and mammals, and spread flowering plants around the globe. New evidence also shows that humans evolved in jungles, developing agriculture and infrastructure unlike anything found elsewhere. Humanity’s fate is tied to the fate of tropical forests, and by understanding how earlier societies managed these habitats, we can learn to live more sustainably and equitably today. Blending cutting-edge research and incisive social commentary, Jungle is a bold new vision of who we are and where we come from.
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850 By Brian Fagan (2019)
Only in the last decade have climatologists developed an accurate picture of yearly climate conditions in historical times. This development confirmed a long-standing suspicion: that the world endured a 500-year cold snap — The Little Ice Age — that lasted roughly from A.D. 1300 until 1850. The Little Ice Age tells the story of the turbulent, unpredictable and often very cold years of modern European history, how climate altered historical events, and what they mean in the context of today's global warming. With its basis in cutting-edge science, The Little Ice Age offers a new perspective on familiar events. Renowned archaeologist Brian Fagan shows how the increasing cold affected Norse exploration; how changing sea temperatures caused English and Basque fishermen to follow vast shoals of cod all the way to the New World; how a generations-long subsistence crisis in France contributed to social disintegration and ultimately revolution; and how English efforts to improve farm productivity in the face of a deteriorating climate helped pave the way for the Industrial Revolution and hence for global warming. This is a fascinating, original book for anyone interested in history, climate, or the new subject of how they interact.
How to Speak Whale By Tom Mustill (2022)
“When a whale is in the water, it is like an iceberg: you only see a fraction of it and have no conception of its size.”
On September 12, 2015, Tom Mustill was paddling in a two-person kayak with a friend just off the coast of California. It was cold, but idyllic—until a humpback whale breached, landing on top of them, releasing the energy equivalent of forty hand grenades. He was certain he was about to die, but they both survived, miraculously unscathed. In the interviews that followed the incident, Mustill was left with one question: What could this astonishing encounter teach us?
Drawing from his experience as a naturalist and wildlife filmmaker, Mustill started investigating human–whale interactions around the world when he met two tech entrepreneurs who wanted to use artificial intelligence (AI)—originally designed to translate human languages—to discover patterns in the conversations of animals and decode them. As he embarked on a journey into animal eavesdropping technologies, where big data meets big beasts, Mustill discovered that there is a revolution taking place in biology, as the technologies developed to explore our own languages are turned to nature.
From seventeenth-century Dutch inventors, to the whaling industry of the nineteenth century, to the cutting edge of Silicon Valley, How to Speak Whale examines how scientists and start-ups around the world are decoding animal communications. Whales, with their giant mammalian brains, virtuoso voices, and long, highly social lives, offer one of the most realistic opportunities for this to happen. But what would the consequences of such human animal interaction be?
Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid By Thor Hanson (2021)
In Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid, biologist Thor Hanson tells the remarkable story of how plants and animals are responding to climate change: adjusting, evolving, and sometimes dying out. Anole lizards have grown larger toe pads, to grip more tightly in frequent hurricanes. Warm waters have caused the development of Humboldt squid to alter so dramatically that fishermen mistake them for different species. Brown pelicans have moved north, and long-spined sea urchins south, to find cooler homes. And when coral reefs sicken, they leave no territory worth fighting for, so aggressive butterfly fish transform instantly into pacifists.
A story of hope, resilience, and risk, Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid is natural history for readers of Bernd Heinrich, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and David Haskell. It is also a reminder of how unpredictable climate change is as it interacts with the messy lattice of life.
Life on Our Planet By David Attenborough (2020)
In this scientifically informed account of the changes in nature over the last century, award-winning broadcaster and natural historian David Attenborough shares a lifetime of wisdom and a hopeful vision for the future.
As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world - but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day — the loss of our planet's wild places, its biodiversity. I have been witness to this decline. A Life on Our Planet is my witness statement, and my vision for the future. It is the story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake — and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right. We have one final chance to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited. All we need is the will to do so.
Climate Chaos: Lessons on Survival From Our Ancestors By Brian Fagan (2020)
A thirty-thousand-year history of the relationship between climate and civilization that teaches powerful lessons about how humankind can survive.
Human-made climate change may have begun in the last two hundred years, but our species has witnessed many eras of climate instability. The results have not always been pretty. From Ancient Egypt to Rome to the Maya, some of history’s mightiest civilizations have been felled by pestilence and glacial melt and drought.
The challenges are no less great today. We face hurricanes and megafires and food shortages and more. But we have one powerful advantage as we face our current crisis: the past. Our knowledge of ancient climates has advanced tremendously in the last decade, to the point where we can now reconstruct seasonal weather going back thousands of years and see just how people and nature interacted. The lesson is clear: the societies that survive are those that plan ahead.
Climate Chaos is a book about saving ourselves. Brian Fagan and Nadia Durrani show in remarkable detail what it was like to battle our climate over centuries and offer us a path to a safer and healthier future.
Flush: The Remarkable Science of an Unlikely Treasure By Bryn Nelson (2022)
The future is sh*t: the literal kind. For most of human history we’ve been, well, disinclined to take a closer look at our body’s natural product—the complex antihero of this story—save for gleaning some prophecy of our own health. But if we were to take more than a passing look at our poop, we would spy a veritable cornucopia of possibilities. We would see potent medicine, sustainable power, and natural fertilizer to restore the world’s depleted lands. We would spy a time capsule of evidence for understanding past lives and murderous ends. We would glimpse effective ways of measuring and improving human health from the cradle to the grave, early warnings of community outbreaks like Covid-19, and new means of identifying environmental harm—and then reversing it.
Flush is both an urgent exploration of the world’s single most squandered natural resource, and a cri de coeur (or cri de colon?) for the vast, hidden value in our “waste.” Award-winning journalist and microbiologist Bryn Nelson, PhD, leads readers through the colon and beyond with infectious enthusiasm, helping to usher in a necessary mental shift that could restore our balance with the rest of the planet and save us from ourselves. Unlocking poop’s enormous potential will require us to overcome our shame and disgust and embrace our role as the producers and architects of a more circular economy in which lowly byproducts become our species’ salvation. Locked within you is a medicine cabinet, a biogas pipeline, a glass of drinking water, a mound of fuel briquettes; it’s time to open the doors (carefully!). A dose of medicine, a glass of water, a gallon of rocket fuel, an acre of soil: sometimes hope arrives in surprising packages.
Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Little Secret (2022) By Katherine Coleman Powers
Catherine Coleman Flowers, a 2020 MacArthur “genius,” grew up in Lowndes County, Alabama, a place that’s been called “Bloody Lowndes” because of its violent, racist history. Once the epicenter of the voting rights struggle, today it’s Ground Zero for a new movement that is also Flowers’s life’s work—a fight to ensure human dignity through a right most Americans take for granted: basic sanitation. Too many people, especially the rural poor, lack an affordable means of disposing cleanly of the waste from their toilets and, as a consequence, live amid filth. Flowers calls this America’s dirty secret. In this “powerful and moving book” (Booklist), she tells the story of systemic class, racial, and geographic prejudice that foster Third World conditions not just in Alabama, but across America, in Appalachia, Central California, coastal Florida, Alaska, the urban Midwest, and on Native American reservations in the West.
The New Climate War By Michael E Mann (2021)
Recycle. Fly less. Eat less meat. These are some of the ways that we've been told can slow climate change. But the inordinate emphasis on individual behavior is the result of a marketing campaign that has succeeded in placing the responsibility for fixing climate change squarely on the shoulders of individuals. Fossil fuel companies have followed the example of other industries deflecting blame (think "guns don't kill people, people kill people") or greenwashing (think of the beverage industry's "Crying Indian" commercials of the 1970s). Meanwhile, they've blocked efforts to regulate or price carbon emissions, run PR campaigns aimed at discrediting viable alternatives, and have abdicated their responsibility in fixing the problem they've created. The result has been disastrous for our planet. In The New Climate War, Mann argues that all is not lost. He draws the battle lines between the people and the polluters-fossil fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats, and petrostates. And he outlines a plan for forcing our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change, including...A common-sense, attainable approach to carbon pricing - and a revision of the well-intentioned but flawed currently proposed version of the Green New Deal... Allowing renewable energy to compete fairly against fossil fuels...Debunking the false narratives and arguments that have worked their way into the climate debate and driven a wedge between even those who support climate change solutions...Combatting climate doomism and despair-mongering with immensely powerful vested interests aligned in defense of the fossil fuel status quo, the societal tipping point won't happen without the active participation of citizens everywhere aiding in the collective push forward. This book will reach, inform, and enable citizens everywhere to join this battle for our planet.
The Village of New Lenox recently hosted their second annual Earth Day Celebration.
This was the Climate Action Team‘s first Earth Day event. Our theme for the day was Zero Waste and we had climate themed games for the kids. Other exhibitors also focused on what we can do to protect the earth. Things like native plants, rain barrels, bucket gardening, saving coral reefs, reducing food waste, protecting our water, bird feeders, electric vehicles, and more!
It was a cold and windy day, but we made some good contacts with other groups working towards the same goals. Thanks to Bill Bavirsha for bringing the canopy. It was appreciated by our volunteers (and the volunteers in the neighboring booths) when the rain/snow showers popped up!
View New Lenox Community TV video here. (Bonnie and Dana interviewed at the 22:29 mark of the YouTube video.)
Electronic Recycling May Be Included With Your Trash Service
Homer Glen / Mokena / Tinley Park…
Homer Glen, Lansing, Markham, Mokena, Oak Forest, Park Forest, Richton Park and Tinley Park residents with Homewood / Nu-Way Disposal Service can get their electronics picked up for free. Visit Homewood Disposal site for more details about their Electronic Waste pick up.
Will County has several “Drop-off” sites throughout the county. If your Television is too large to bring to one of the collection sites, their contracted collection service charges $40. Click here for complete information or see below for nearby sites. Limit 2 Televisions per vehicle. ID Required to prove Will County area residency.
City of Lockport
17112 Prime Blvd (East of 355).
Lockport, IL 60441-1311
Tuesday and Friday Only, 6am-11am
(lines will be cutoff at 11am)
11000 W. Lincoln Highway
Frankfort, IL 60423
2nd and 4th Tuesday 5pm-7pm
(lines will be cutoff at 7pm)
New Lenox Township
1100 S. Cedar Road
New Lenox, IL 60451
2nd and 4th Wednesday 5pm-7pm
(lines will be cutoff at 7pm)