Spiritual Directors International

The Home of Spiritual Companionship

Environmental Stewardship Initiative

Go Blue and Green

The inclusive, global learning community of Spiritual Directors International believes that spiritual direction leads to ways of being and acting in favor of justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.

The coordinating council of SDI commits itself to the following environmental guidelines for all the activities and programs of SDI and to promoting these guidelines among our members.

  1. We will reflect on the implications of a cosmological perspective in spiritual direction and encourage this reflection in Spiritual Directors International programs (e.g., annual educational events, institutes, online learning opportunities) and publications (e.g. website, Presence, Connections, Listen and SDI Imprint Books).
  2. We will include the natural world, both in its beauty and in its diminishment, in our practices of prayer and meditation on a personal level and in Spiritual Directors International meetings and programs.
  3. We will be conscious of the environmental impact of the services and goods which Spiritual Directors International uses and the events which it sponsors.
  4. We will conduct a periodic environmental audit of Spiritual Directors International practices and activities and the impact they have on the environment.

(approved 26 March 2008)

Steps SDI has Taken

  1. SDI values protecting and maintaining the natural resources we receive from Earth. To demonstrate that value, SDI publishes Presence journal and Listen newsletter at a press certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
  1. Protecting Earth’s resources is about more than using fewer resources; it is also about giving back resources to a world that’s given much to each of us. That is why Spiritual Directors International plants trees. Planting trees is an act of gratefulness, generosity, and generating growth for years to come. Donate now to help SDI plant trees.
  1. In November 2009, Spiritual Directors International switched Connections from a printed newsletter to a green, Earth-friendly, online-only publication.

"Thank you for your shift to online mailings. It is good financial and environmental stewardship, not to mention the efficient use of staff time. Now I can read articles I want to review only once and print out those I cherish for future use.” —Margaret

"Thank you for e-form of the newsletter! It is great that it includes links to other resources on the Internet and takes into account concern for the environment!" —Marika

"Thank you for the new format. This will be saved for further reflection on the material presented." —Bernice

"I love the e-version! Thank you." —Jeanine

  1. In 2014, SDI published the last print version of the Seek and Find Guide. Going forward the Seek and Find Guide will be available solely online as a way to reduce SDI’s carbon footprint.

Frequently Asked Questions about Going Green

  1. Why is SDI concerned about water and conservation?

As spiritual companions, we are concerned with peace, justice, and living in right relationship with all creation. Because we are all inter-connected, we hope to be models for good stewardship and aware that each action ripples out into the greater universe.

  1. I’ve heard of going green, what is going blue?

Going blue is recognition that fresh drinking water is a renewable resource that is dwindling. By conserving water, we ensure there is enough fresh water for the present and the future.

  1. What can I do to conserve water while traveling?
  • Use personal, reusable water bottles
  • Let the hotel know it is not necessary to change sheets and towels daily
  • Remember to turn off heat, air conditioning, lights, and televisions when they are not in use
  • Leave behind or donate unused sample shampoos and soaps
  • Share newspapers and magazines instead of throwing them away
  • Reduce water usage while showering, bathing, and brushing teeth
  • Avoid Styrofoam and unrecyclable take-out packaging
  • Access information and handouts online and be selective in printing materials

Eight Good Reasons NOT to Drink Bottled Water

  1. Producing plastic bottles uses energy and emits toxic chemicals.
  2. Transportation to deliver bottled water burns additional fossil fuels and emits carbon dioxide contributing to global warming.
  3. Bottle water costs significantly more than tap water. Ninety percent of the cost of bottled water is the bottle itself.
  4. In most developed countries, tap water is regulated by the government; however, bottled water is not regulated. All International Bottled Water Association regulations are voluntary.
  5. In a recent study, thirty-eight contaminants were found in ten different brands of bottled water.
  6. North Americans use over twenty-eight billion plastic water bottles per year; over eighty percent of bottles end up in landfills.
  7. It takes twenty-four million gallons of oil to create one billion plastic bottles.
  8. Water extraction for bottled water leads to local water shortages affecting nearby consumers and farmers.

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