Jessica Shea, Manager of Museum Tours and Education at Old Mission Santa Barbara, fills her water bottle at the new filtered water fountain tap. Jim Balsitis, the Director of Facilities, suggested changing their own old-fashioned water spigot with this new model that makes refilling water bottles easy. With a counter to see how many plastic bottles have been avoid by refilling instead, Jim said that ‘We are looking forward to hitting the 10,000-bottle mark!’
Linda Causee at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, CA is focused on true Franciscan hospitality by not only creating a lovely guest experience but one that is also environmentally conscious. Linda recently ordered 200 stoneware place settings to be used at special events rather than buying disposable plastics or paper. The dishes provide a nicer dining experience and will be used for event after event, making it a much more sustainable choice.
At the St. Anthony Foundation in San Francisco, there’s something new on the menu: choice. Rather than offering each guest the same selection of foods, out of respect for the guest’s dignity, each is offered a choice of items from the daily menu. This simple change honors the dignity of and preference of the guest AND greatly reduces food waste, keeping unwanted food out of landfills.
Janet Gardner of the San Damiano Retreat in Danville, CA holds the retreat center’s newest letterhead stationery. The stationery was selected with Laudato Si’ in mind and bears the statement discretely across the bottom of the page: “This letter is printed on carbon neutral paper made with 100% renewable energy.”
At the St. Francis Center in Los Angeles, so much of the delicious food served there at one time would have been tossed in the trash and ended up in a landfill. Through the efforts of St. Francis Center and a great number of community relationships, everyday this high-quality food is being rescued. After developing relationships with waste management companies, St. Francis Center was alerted as to which organizations (grocery stores, big-box warehouse stores, restaurants, etc.) were throwing away quality food and then reached out with an invitation to instead donate their surplus fresh high-quality foods to them. Several days a week, drivers from the St. Francis Center visit these organizations and rescue an abundance of high-quality, fresh food and produce which is then shared with guests in the form of meals served or in pantry boxes to be taken home.
Serra Retreat in Malibu received a donation of two dozen pots of drought tolerant yellow lantanas and at just the perfect time. With recent water restrictions, the gardeners at Serra Retreat were trying to think of how they could be more creative with water use in the landscape to retain the beauty of the grounds yet comply with the new mandate. As it turns out, Tom Cosentino, the owner of a local nursery, with Fr. Ray as his spiritual director, was looking for some way to give back, especially involving the care of creation as well as helping others.