God’s Green Earth

Welcome to the St. Therese Parish “Caring For God’s Green Earth” page.

Photos from Earth Day 2018

Photos from Earth Day - April 2018

We hope this page helps everyone become more aware of the blessings God’s earth provides for us, and we hope you will check it often to find out ways we can continue to live a sustainable and responsible life.

St. Francis of Assisi Pledge

Here’s a link to join the National Catholic Community members who have taken the St. Francis of Assisi Pledge: http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/the-st-francis-pledge/.

In the Words of Pope Francis:

Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Tragically, in every period of history there are ‘Herodswho plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.

Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, “protectors” of Gods plan inscribed in nature, “protectors” of one another and of the environment ....

But to be “protectorswe also have to keep watch over ourselves! … Being “protectors,”then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!

Pope Francis is becoming a leader in the conversation about human contributions to climate change.  Click here for a report on the closing of the recent meeting in Rome: https://ecowatch.com/2015/05/06/pope-francis-moral-dimensions-climate-change/

Click here for the direct link to Laudato Si:


The School Sisters of Notre Dame are answering the call to care for creation with a Calendar of Reflections formulated by their Central Pacific Province Care for Creation Core Committee for the Month of September through October 4th (The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi). If you would like to join them in prayer and action, click on this link: http://files.constantcontact.com/15b9e7ac001/a6084d46-827c-4fe0-9182-12f970b8ee24.pdf

Be a Green Neighbor

Learn how to be a Green Neighbor at this link! http://greenneighbor.org/main/ St. Therese members have been invited to join this network of environmentally aware neighbors. Check out their website and help our neighborhoods go green!

Other Opportunities to be an Environmental Steward

1.  League of Women Voters:  Will host “Housing in Milwaukee” forum October 4th at 6pm at UWM student Union Rm 191.  Event is co-sponsored by UWM Black Culture Ctr. and Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council.  It is part of he “200 Nights of Freedom” marches celebration.

2.  Milwaukee Water Commons:  “Confluence” community gathering/party on Milwaukee water initiatives Thursday, October 12th, from 5:30-8:30pm, at Anodyne Coffee, 224 W. Bruce St.  Complimentary food.

3.  Interfaith Earth Network & UEC-Riverside:  co-hosting Greater Milwaukee On the Table with speaker Frank Martinelli on October 17th starting with a potluck at 5:30pm.  Will be part of IEN’s Faith and Ecology series.

4.  Milwaukee Water Commons:  Drinking Water Initiative Team will be having a public Think Tank session on November 2nd at 4pm at Friends (Quaker) Meeting House, 3224 N. Gordon Pl, on Anita Koenen Land Preserve in Riverwest neighborhood.


Looking Ahead, Become Involved

Join our Green Team which meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm, from September through May, excluding November and December. Contact Dusty at jankowea@att.net or at 414-228-8833 for more information.
Check out this faith based organization for more Earth Stewardship inspiration: http://www.interfaithconference.org/cms-view-page.php?page=earth-network

Be a Butterfly Hero!

Parishioners are invited to help the Monarch Butterflies that migrate to our area, just north of our parish property. How?

  • Check out the Friends of the Monarch Trail website: http://themonarchtrail.org
  • Plant milkweed seeds or plants in your yards and gardens.
  • Participate in events that the Friends of the Monarch Trail are hosting:

Join the Green Team in helping the Monarchs migrate and thrive.

A Tip For Gardeners

You don’t have to have separate gardens for ornamentals and vegetables!  “Foodscaping”—incorporating edible plants into the ornamental landscape—is a clever way to change your garden plan.

Why foodscape?

  • Edibles that are harvested early in the season are great space fillers while the perennials are still waking up.
  • Edibles are also beautiful! Peppers, kale, Swiss chard, and artichokes are so colorful, with interesting shapes and texture that make a great enhancement to the flowerbed.
  • By spreading vegetable plants throughout the garden, pests may have a harder time finding them, and may give up in your yard to find an easier plot!
  • Flowers in your garden are already attracting pollinators, which means better pollination for your vegetables!

Think outside the garden box and let the beauty of your garden wander!


Winter Storm Tips:

Because salt can cause harmful run off into rivers and streams, which negatively affects fish and other wildlife, here are a few eco-friendly alternative strategies to deal with ice on your sidewalks.  Shovel often, removing snow before it gets compacted. Use sand or plain kitty litter to provide traction, but sweep it up afterward. Avoid magnesium chloride — a derivative of cyanide— and glycol— which is basically antifreeze and can poison pets and wildlife. Apply deicers before the storm hits, such as this “Do-It-Yourself Deicer.” Mix two parts rubbing alcohol with one part water and spray it on sidewalks before the storm.  Stay warm!

Recycling Tips

Domestic Metals and Plastics accepts plastic toys of all types for recycling. Learn more at Dmpgreen.com

Best Buy accepts all kinds of home electronic devices and accessories, including old CD’s, DVD’s and Blue Ray Discs. Learn more at BestBuy.com

The Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity will accept old electronics such as computers, monitors, laptops, televisions, free standing televisions, radios, CD players, DVD players, phones, printers, fax machines, copiers, fee standing copiers, microwaves and servers for recycling. Call (414)257-9078 for more information.

Goodwill also accepts old electronics for recycling such as computers, monitors, laptops, televisions, CD players, DVD players, phones, fax machines, copiers, and microwaves. Just tell them that you wish to recycle your items. Click here for a location nearest you. http://www.goodwill.org/

Eyeglasses: Your local Lions Club collects eyeglasses for people in need. LionsClubs.org>Donate Eyeglasses

Athletic Shoes: Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful (KGMB), 1313 West Mount Vernon Avenue will accept old athletics shoes. First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, St. Catherine’s and St. Sebastian’s are collecting athletic shoes. See http://www.kgmb.org/for other items you can collect for recycling.

Plastic Bags: Many grocery stores now accept used plastic bags and film for recycling. Ask your favorite store where their collection bin is and put your used plastic bags and film to good re-use.

Check Out Our Trees

Eight new trees were planted on the west side of our church on November 10, 2010.  In a few years, they will provide much needed shade for the church during the summer time. For now, they are a memorial to the loved ones of the parishioners who donated funding for them. Take five minutes to view the video of this exciting event!  Click here to see the action:


For more on planting tree memorials check out this link:


Go to this link to see how much the trees on your property benefit you!

Green Tip of the Month

Freeze cooking water from vegetables, potatoes or meat, and use it as a flavorful broth the next time you make soup!   EnAct: Steps to Greener Living. www.enactwi.org

Did you know?

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have reached 391 parts per million, the highest level in 800,000 years. Sierra Club Magazine, July/August 2012 p.24

Birds are singing more loudly now than they did 30 years ago in order to be heard above the urban noise levels. Sierra Club Magazine, July/August 2012 p.24

Living Green Saves $ Green:  Many stores offer discounts for bringing your own bags or cups.  For example:

Pick N Save, Sendik’s, and Target offer 3-5 cents per bag you bring in to use.  If you use 3 bags per week, you will save up to $6.50 per year!

14 plastic bags contain enough petroleum to drive a car one mile, and 380 BILLION bags or plastic wraps are thrown away in America each year. http://www.onebagatatime.com/planet/environmental-impact/petroleum/

To  learn more about what others are doing with plastic bags, click here http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Recycling/bags.html

Save money and the environment while you clean!  Some suggestions:

GLASS CLEANER: Pour 1 tablespoon white vinegar, a few drops of vegetable oil based dishwashing liquid and 2/3 cup water into a refillable spray bottle and shake.  Wipe dry with a cotton cloth (old dishtowels work well).

SCRUBBING CLEANSER: Add drops of Dr. Bronner’s Castile Liquid Soap to ½ cup baking soda until it’s the consistency of frosting.  Scrub on area that needs cleansing with a sponge.  HINT:  Using scented soap, such as peppermint, leaves a pleasant odor!

A drop or two of your favorite Essential Oil can be used to shine countertops or faucets, as well as add natural fragrance to your home.

Make your own solutions using these principles, found in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on March 4:

  • Baking soda is a good scrubber and also fights odors
  • Vinegar is a natural cleaner and disinfectant
  • Castile soap is a foaming cleanser
  • Olive oil can be used to help pick up dust

Lemon juice cuts through grease, disinfects, and smells great!