Earth Partners Working Group

2022 Eco-Challenge

Are you ready to take action for the health of our world? Join us in the 2022 Eco-Challenge!When you’ve completed the challenge, share the badge, and invite your friends to participate!

Current CSJ Sustainability Practices

 Curious about what we do or have done around the CSJ campus and beyond for sustainability? Watch this video for more information. 

St. Kate’s/CSJ Food Access Hub

The St. Kate’s/CSJ Food Access Hub (formerly known as the St. Kate’s/CSJ Food Shelf) is a collaboration between the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) and St. Catherine University to address food insecurity, nutrition, and personal wellness needs within and beyond the St. Kate’s and CSJ communities. The Food Access Hub encompasses the food shelf at 1890 Randolph Ave. and a network of community gardens, and supports several different sustainability initiatives on both campuses.

Laudato Si’

A brief history of our environmental sustainability work and Laudato Si’:

  • Formal commitments to care for the Earth at all our congregational chapters in the past 32 years
  • 1996: Earth Partners Working Group (originally Environmental Working Group) founded in St. Paul Province
  • 2015: Pope Francis issues Laudato Si’
  • 2019: St Paul Province Environmental Sustainability Plan approved
  • 2021: Vatican launches Laudato Si’ Action Platform
  • 2021: Congregational Laudato Si’ Action Plan Committee develops plan for implementation
  • Our commitment to the Laudato Si’ Action Platform is expressed in our Carondelet Laudato Si’ Action Plan
  • We join with the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development and Laudato Si’ movement to implement targets for the seven Laudato Si’ goals through four types of actions:
    • Sustainability: a combination of changing our practices, simplifying our lifestyle, and moving to carbon neutrality
    • Spirituality: recovering a religious vision of God’s creation
    • Advocacy: addressing sustainability at local, state, national and international levels
    • Social action: influencing public and private sector decision makers and swaying public opinion

We commit to SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant/realistic, timebound) targets that will help us measure the impact of our communion with Earth and the dear neighbor for the sustainability of our planet.

Talking About Food and Global Warming

By Jennifer Tacheny, Co-Director of Celeste’s Dream and Karen Olson, CSJ Consociate

The Earth Partners Working Group of the Justice Commission is discussed Paul Hawken’s New York Times Bestseller, Drawdown: The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming.  In this incredible book, Hawken and his team of seventy Drawdown Fellows from twenty-two countries lay out the eighty most impactful actions we can take to reach ‘drawdown,’ the technical term designating the point in time at which greenhouse gasses peak and then will begin to decline.

Surprisingly, actions related to food production, consumption and waste make up four of the top eleven most impactful actions to reverse global warming of the eighty identified in the book. For our part, Earth Partners is learning more about the huge connection between food and global warming.  We are discussing and assessing how changing behavior both individually and collectively around food might be a courageous action to reverse global warming.

By far, the most impactful action regarding food that will impact global warming is reducing our food waste (Ranked number 3 of the 80 possible actions).  Hawken highlights the following data:

  • A third of the food raised or prepared globally does not make it from the farm or factory to the fork and up to 35 percent of food in high-income economies is thrown out by consumers.
  • The food we waste contributes to roughly 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Ranked with countries, production of food is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses globally, just behind the countries of the United States and China.
  • Consider this data about food while knowing that hunger is a chronic condition for nearly 800 million people worldwide.

These statistics and the world’s hungry compel us to consider our own food waste and how we might waste less. What decisions can we make individually and collectively to address reducing our food waste? We encourage you to read Drawdown and join us in reducing food waste to positively impact climate change.

You can also learn what you can do about food waste. Use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Food: Too good to Waste” toolkit to measure how much food is really going to waste in your household and ways to reduce food waste at home and in your community.

Mission and Goals

Earth Partner Mission: To raise awareness of the interconnectedness of all of creation and change behavior, individually and collectively, for the life of the planet.

Goals 2021-2022:

  • Engage in and support the Congregational Laudato Si’ Action Plan, which is part of the Vatican’s larger Laudato Si’ Action Platform. 
  • Collaborate with other groups internally and externally to offer programs, education and advocacy opportunities. 
  • Support CSJ environmental sustainability engagement at St. Kate’s, including the Food Insecurity and Waste Committee, the NIFA collaboration, continued support of the food shelf, and other projects. Much of this work has been initiated and sustained through Celeste’s Dream. 
  • Engage the larger local food justice ecosystem around advocacy, policy, racial justice – for example, the Metro Food Justice Network (MFJN), Women’s Environmental Institute, Dream of Wild Health, and Land Stewardship Project.  

Learn more about our Ecology Reflections and Resources.

For more information contact Marty at