Earth Day: Salesians Advocate for “sustainable alternatives”, Jesuits Invite Reflection on “our interconnectedness”

Credit: Don Bosco Tech Africa (DBTA)

On the occasional of Earth Day 2024 marked on Monday, April 22, Don Bosco Tech Africa (DBTA) is advocating for initiatives that would contribute to a “cleaner, healthier world”, while the Zambia-based Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) is inviting reflections on “our interconnectedness”.

Launched in 2014 to empower the Don Bosco Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centres in Sub-Saharan Africa to enable them deliver demand driven and quality training to marginalized youths, DBTA coordinates some 113 Don Bosco TVET Centres in 34 countries.

In a statement titled “Earth Day 2024: Planet vs. Plastics” , the theme of this year’s Earth Day, DBTA officials calls for collaborative approaches to environmental conservation and sustainability.

“On this Earth Day, let us all commit to making a positive change. By reducing, reusing, recycling, refusing single-use plastics, and embracing sustainable alternatives as we protect and conserve our earth for future generations,” they say. 

DBTA officials call for collaboration, saying, “Together, we have the power to make a difference and create a cleaner, healthier world. Join the movement to reduce single-use plastics and be a part of the solution to preserve our environment.”


Reflecting on the theme of this year's celebration, officials of the Salesian continental entity say, “Plastic items, such as plastic bags, straws, and bottles, contribute significantly to pollution and harm ecosystems due to their non-biodegradable and persistent nature to the environment having a profound impact on biodiversity (both marine and terrestrial), and the environment at large.”

“Marine life is particularly vulnerable to plastic pollution which undergoes photodegradation to become microplastics, with many animals mistaking plastic for food and suffering grave consequences,” DBTA officials say in their message for Earth Day 2024, the annual event celebrated since 22 April 1970.

To address the challenge of plastic pollution, they say, “individuals can make a difference by reducing their consumption of single-use plastics and opting for recycling, and or reusable alternatives.”

The use of alternatives, DBTA officials explain, “can be achieved by choosing reusable options like cloth bags, metal and wooden straws, and refillable water bottles. Individuals can also stop the use and irresponsible disposal of plastics into the environment.”

On their part, officials of the Lusaka-based entity of the Society of Jesus (SJ), JCTR, say, “On this Earth Day, let us reflect on our interconnectedness with our planet and all its inhabitants.”

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In a Facebook post, they add, “As custodians of God's creation, we are called to uphold the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, which emphasize the dignity of every human person and the care for our common home.”

Officials of the Jesuit Institute that is engaged in research, advocacy, education, and consultancy on social issues call on us to embrace “a lifestyle of simplicity, stewardship, and solidarity with all living beings.”

“As we celebrate Earth Day, may we renew our commitment to safeguarding the beauty and diversity of our world,” they say, and continue, “Together, we can make a difference.”

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