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Letter: Pope’s message can influence us to do better in small ways

Pope’s message can influence us to do better in small ways

Pope Francis states in his encyclical that “Our goal is … to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it.”

I am a Zen Buddhist, not a Catholic, but I want to thank Pope Francis for his role in trying to unite people to face the crises at hand.

I am looking to become more involved with this issue. The overwhelming question is where can I start? I do not even know what impact I actually have.

I looked at carbon footprint websites to start understanding where I can take personal responsibility for my effects on the environment. The amount I drive and the estimated gas mileage I have ends up giving off more carbon dioxide than the average American.

I just bought an after-market miles-per-gallon gauge for my car. I have not received it yet as I purchased it online, but once I figure out the actual efficiency of my car, I can then look toward ways of increasing the efficiency of not only my vehicle but also my driving methods. Hypermiling is one way that I’ve heard of which can reduce my carbon dioxide impact and help me care for what supports me, namely Earth.

In beginning to take responsibility for this home of ours, I’m finding that there are plenty of ways to be of benefit. For me, it starts with how I drive.

Daniel Cimino