Peace & Justice

Cora balls
Source: Cora Ball

Season of Creation
The Ripple Effect

by KC Young, OP

During the Season of Creation Sept. 1–Oct. 4, the Sinsinawa Care of Creation Committee invited Sisters and Associates to participate in a project to address plastic pollution that has engulfed our world for too long a time. In one month, 128 Sisters, Associates, and some spouses gathered and weighed about 167 pounds of plastic. Not a lot, you might query. However, there have been many ripples from those who participated in collecting plastic.

Mary Ann Mueninghoff, OP, received a Cora Ball (pictured above), which collects plastic microfibers in clothes in the laundry before the microfibers go into the water supply. She then invited Sisters in her small community at Sinsinawa Mound to use it also.

The participation of Judy Lund, OP, caused more ripples. She invited students and faculty at St. Matthew School where she teaches in Kalispell, MT, to get involved in collecting plastic items. They put containers for single-use plastic around the school. They were so excited about this effort that they have continued it.

KC Young, OP, invited neighbors on her block to participate in plastic collection. They, too, have continued in this practice.

We are collaborating with a Vietnamese organization called TonToTon in a plastic offset project. This group is based in Vietnam and Cambodia. We wish to compensate for the tons of plastic we use and throw away by sending a compensatory monetary sum to TonToTon to further their work. With our money, they hire individuals to clean their beaches of our plastic refuse and repurpose plastic for needed projects like building homes (visit for more info).

Already, we are aware of the ongoing ripple effect through participation in this project. Participants commented, “I had no idea how much plastic I use.” “I didn’t know that our throw away plastic ends up on beaches of Southeast Asia.” “I want to find alternatives to my over-dependence on plastic.” “I want to learn more about what I can do.” “Reducing our plastic waste is something we can do together.” May our modest rippling efforts become waves toward educating and reducing this addiction to plastic as we stand in solidarity with others around Earth.

Click for Spectrum November 2022 Index

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