SYM Seoul South Korea, 14 November 2022 -- Pope Francis' call for ecological conversion has inspired millions around the world, mostly the younger generations of Catholics and people from all walks of life. South Korea is no exception. This article published in the November 2022 issue of the 'Salesian Bulletin Korea' (살레시오 가족지, no. 177) as an echo of a world stage presentation during the SIGNIS World Congress (Seoul, August 15-20, 2022) by Ms. Agnes Choi, SYM member in one of the groups in Seoul. We report an abrigded version:
"Movement of Young Adults for the Common Home-Earth fosters a humanity's harmonious life"
You may ask: Is it possible to have an environmental movement in our daily life? How can we transform the 'environmental movement' into a daily life 'trend' in life? Can we use digital tools to establish some environment al 'trends'?
I am involved in the environmental movement of 'Beluca Friends' that is a member of a large Catholic Lay Movement 'FEHW' (Friends of Earth, Heaven and Water). The best thing about our group is that I'm able to find out the most fitting 'action' that widens our vision and activity. During our weekly 'environment-related action' there are limits to individual creativity. But in this movement we find a large variety of concrete proposals to live and put into practice. Here are some actions we practice as 'FEHW':
- Since July 3 (World Day without plastic) we spend at least one day without plastic bags.
- In the nearby public park we volunteer as 'park carers'
- Visiting the local agricultural market to help our farmers
- We try to eliminate from food with high water footprint from our menu
- On Earth Day (April) we try to adopt one 'pet tree'
- Participating in a 'good energy' campaign with energy saving habits.
- Choose one meal in the 'vegan' eatery or cafe
- If all of these suggestions are difficult, we can at least 'eat everything' without leaving food waste.
When you start this environmental movement you discover a large variety of possible actions. If you start to care about plants or trees, you can volunteer in the public park as a 'tree carer'. If you don't like some activity, you can choose another one that is in keeping with your character or hobby. An App, 'Project 100', was developed in our 'Beluka friend' group. It helps you over the space of a 100 days to set up a 'personal target' in your environmental activity.
Nowadays 'plogging' is emerging among the young people involved in the environmental movements. You can wear sports gear for 'jogging' and at the same time dedicate your pleasant running time to collecting rubbish around the river park, making your time more meaningful. This connection between 'beauty' + 'meaning' = 'raising your self-esteem', fits the mindset or model of the future generation, creating a new culture. We are aware that the 'traditional forms' of environmental activities are necessary, however some may not feel comfortable with these. Hence 'plogging'.
Young people of our time are not giving up. Tey would like to choose a meaningful contribution for our common home - Earth. Through this effort new trend - new culture can come about. 'Friends of Beluka' like the following quote from Pope Francis 'Laudato Si' (n. 84): 'The history of our friendship with God is always linked to particular places which take on an intensely personal meaning; we all remember places, and revisiting those memories does us much good. Anyone who has grown up in the hills or used to sit by the spring to drink, or played outdoors in the neighbourhood square; going back to these places is a chance to recover something of their true selves."
- Related news article: AustraLasia 5557 (I) Walking for Earth - known as Plogging (KOR 2021)
- Website of FEHW - Friends of Earth - Heaven - Water
- The full article in Korean language available online