Dean of Identity | Assistant Dean of Identity, Mr Chris Zammit
Ecological Sustainability – It’s time to act!
For a long time we have been aware of the enormous detrimental effects that humans have on the environment. The words ‘Climate Change’ have become synonymous with environmental protection, leaders around the world have signed treaties committing to lowering carbon emissions and environmental focused organisations and political parties have grown in numbers as society becomes more aware and passionate for change in the way we treat our Mother Earth. But creating change in our world involves far more than big institutional and policy efforts; it requires each of us as individuals to be conscious of our own behaviours and create cultural change through our collective action.
“...a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice...so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”
Pope Francis, Laudato Si (2015)
In 2017, schools around the Edmund Rice network committed to an ‘Ecological Conversion’; new ways of thinking, seeing and living in our schools and constant reflection on how we can act in more ecologically sustainable ways. We are challenged by Pope Francis in his encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ (Care for our Common Home) to respond to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. And so it is important that as a College community we continue to ask ourselves what we are doing to ensure that, as custodians of this planet, we tread as lightly as possible on our journey for the sake of all living beings, both present and yet to come.
As a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice tradition we take up Pope Francis’s call to respond to the cry of the earth and the poor and act as custodians of the land. We acknowledge our connectedness with the earth and all living things and encourage a culture of awareness of our actions to the environment and to each other.
We are committed to stewardship of a whole-school approach that encompasses all aspects of College life, empowering every member of the Terrace Family to take responsibility for ensuring ecological sustainable practices.
Through teaching and learning we are committed to a curriculum that educates and promotes ecological sustainability, encouraging students to become sustainable citizens, and advocate change through fresh perspectives for their/our world.
We are committed to ensuring an integrated approach in all areas of master planning and any capital works. We are committed to enacting practices on all College property for the most sustainable use and disposal of resources.
With this vision in mind, St Joseph’s College will be undertaking a number of actions to harness the passion and commitment of our community to make positive change in our approach to the environment. Students and staff are committed to improving our actions and looking to foster an ecological conversion among all members of our community – that we may support each other on our journey towards creating a better world, one where we are more conscious of the effects of our actions towards the earth and those living on it.
In Term 1 we begin our paper recycling initiative, enabling students to carry out small and simple actions on a day to day basis in the classroom with a greater awareness of the direction of their rubbish and reduce the amount of landfill created by the College. As the year continues we hope to harness the passion and energy of a variety of members of our school community to create a greater impact and awareness of how we can best be custodians of this earth, both individually and collectively.
We look forward to working closely with staff, students and the wider community to create the greatest impact possible in our mission to create a better, more just world. In the words of Pope Francis: “All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.”