The Southern Cross The Southern Cross

Read the latest edition. Latest edition

Inspiring others to shop for our planet


Energised by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, Ann Henry is now inspiring fellow Catholics to do their bit to preserve our “wonderful planet” by adopting simple shopping actions next time they are in the supermarket. 

Comments Print article

As part of this month’s Season of Creation (September 1 to October 4), Ann’s ‘Shopping for the Planet’ resource is being made available to parishioners throughout the Archdiocese.

The dedicated Catholic environ-mentalist, who together with husband Peter and son Luke is committed to regenerative farming practices on their property near Tailem Bend, said many would be surprised at how easy it was to change your shopping habits and make a big difference.

“People who have seen the resource have told me it has given them some ideas and positive behaviours,” she said.

“Others were surprised that such simple actions could have quite a significant impact, especially if a larger part of the community make some of these changes.

“There was also astonishment that the changes were relatively easy to make and some probably felt a little ashamed that they had taken so long to get started on these simple actions.”

According to Ann, one of the easiest changes to make that will make a significant impact is to buy paper products that are from recycled materials.

“Our forests are the lungs of the earth,” she said.

“So, check in the photocopy area of your workplaces and parishes and make sure the paper used is sourced from 100 per cent recycled paper. Avoid plastic in every way possible, because it’s destroying waterways, land and wildlife!”

Other tips include changing the packaging of your items – buy carton milk instead of plastic bottles – purchase biodegradable products such as cling wrap, alfoil, baking paper and bin liners, and why not consider using a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one?

The occupational therapist said she had always been drawn to natural environments and felt a “deep peace” there.

“In my early adult years, I sought opportunities to be with poorer people in their communities.  Again, there was a deep peace there,” Ann reflected.

“After returning from time working in developing countries to our western culture I noticed a great divide between us and the many poorer people, including those caring for the natural environments entrusted to them.

“I came to see that countless products presented to us for our use and consumption had an impact on beautiful ancient forests, waterways, seas, wildlife and the people who care for them.

“While disappointed that I couldn’t be with and locally support poorer people anymore, I realised that I could have a small impact by choosing carefully when shopping – such as, by buying ‘Fair Trade’ products which ensures that the people who grow these products are paid and treated fairly.

“I discovered that others who had also read Laudato Si’ were wondering what actions they could take to help to preserve our wonderful planet earth. So, I sat down and listed the approaches I use when shopping with the hope that it might inspire others.”

Ann said people of faith could make a difference and needed to take action.

“If you are given a precious gift by one who loves you, you will care for that and treasure it. If it is losing its original beauty you will try to restore it in every way you can,” she said.

“We have such a gift from a loving Creator. Surely we must try to restore it and its people as part of our response in gratitude.”

Shopping for the Planet can be downloaded at


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More Local stories

Loading next article