Friar Don Miller. OFM
I am a Franciscan priest. I spent my early years of ministry in New Mexico working among the Pueblo Native Americans and the Hispanics. In 1978 I began my years in academics working as a chaplain, faculty member, and administrator at various universities in the southwest and the midwest. I taught various course in theology, especially in my area of specialty which is moral theology. I have been the Vocation Director for the Province of Saint John the Baptist since 2003.
 
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Brother Richard Goodin, O.F.M. on a Carbon Footprint

A few months ago I set out to calculate the Bl. Giles Friary "Carbon Footprint". The process was rather  painless. It was also surprisingly quick. And to my delight the results were rather favorable.Carbonfootprint

 

I did a quick Google search for "carbon footprint calculator". Finding several options I browsed through a couple and selected the EPA's website [http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/ind-calculator.html]. The form was colorful and very streamlined. After 10 minutes of inputting some basic data I had a figure to work with.  The calculator had given me a number: 40,449  lbs/year of CO2 Emissions.

 

As we all know, numbers only mean something when you know how to use them! Our number (our Carbon Footprint) was 40,449. The average per household for the USA is 83,000. Thus Bl. Giles friary (where I live with three other friars in Chicago, Ill.) has a carbon footprint of less than half the average household of our size in the USA.  

 

This is due to many concrete choices we have made as a friary. One significant factor is that we have chosen to have only one car for our friary of four friars. Therefore we often employ the "Cardinal Bergoglio transportation method," aka the bus. But that is just one contributing factor among many. Check out what the Carbon Footprint is and you'll find out that you and your household can become more "green" and environmentally friendly by following a few easy suggestions.  

 

Go ahead, give it a try. Calculate your carbon footprint. It is easy! It is also a great way to encourage a wholistic first step on the path of conversion towards living a more simple and ecologically responsible life.  

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