“Christian spirituality proposes a growth marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy
with little. It is a return to that simplicity which allows us to stop and appreciate the small
The Adoption of Sustainable Lifestyles, one of the seven Laudato Si’ Goals, is grounded in the idea of sufficiency and promoting sobriety, or moderation, in the use of resources and energy.
Actions toward the adoption of a sustainable lifestyle could include:
- Reducing waste and increasing recycling
- Adopting sustainable dietary habits, such as opting for a more plant-based diet and reducing meat consumption
- A greater use of public transport
- Choosing active mobility like walking and cycling
- Avoiding single use items, especially plastic
Extreme Consumerism and the Climate
We are living in an era of extreme consumerism, in which the accumulation of goods is encouraged and applauded by popular media. In the U.S. alone, digital marketing experts estimate that the average American is exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day.
However, the methods to produce these goods contribute to dangerous emissions of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gasses.
In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis stresses “the need for changes of lifestyle” to resist the extreme consumerism that is contributing to the suffering of all forms of life on earth.
Sustainable Lifestyle Actions
The home is one of the first and best places we can adopt a simple and virtuous lifestyle:
- Discuss together what lifestyle changes you as a family can make to avoid getting caught up in “a whirlwind of needless buying and spending.” (LS, 203)
- Explore with one another the ways in which you can live in a good relationship with the nature right outside your door
- Spend time together as a family in parks, forests, by the seaside, or just observing wildlife.
- Repair broken toys and sports equipment instead of throwing them away and buying new ones.
These are just a few of the ways you can “aspire to a life of dignity and sobriety, without luxury and waste, so that everyone in our world can enjoy a dignified existence.” (Message of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Participants in the EU Youth Conference)