by Sister Roberta Kerins

A big, bad wolf comes and says, “Little pig, little pig, let me come in.” But the little pig says, “Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin! I will not let you in!” So the wolf says, “Then I will huff and I will puff and I will blow your house down!” So the wolf huffs and he puffs and he blows the house down.

As children we heard this tale of The Three Little Pigs. We knew the moral, the third pig’s planning and hard work paid off. As adults we would do well to revisit this story. Our global community resembles the first two pigs – quick and easy, more for myself.  Like these two pigs our global house is falling down: the huffing and puffing of unseasonable temperatures, flooding, fires, droughts all threaten our fragile home.

When looked at from a global perspective, remedies seem daunting. Yet, when focused on individual choices, small things do make a difference.  Sustainability calls each of us to think globally but act very locally. According to the UN, sustainability consists of fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations, while ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being. A sustainable society must be socially responsible, focusing on environmental protection and dynamic equilibrium in human and natural systems.

So, with all that said, where do we as individuals, step into the sustainability mix? We can think grandly or reflect (again) on ways we make “sustainability” a value in our own lives.  Some tried and true choices:

Re-using or repurposing:  Aren’t we all looking to declutter?  Do I really need this new…?  Many of us know well the “new to you” stores.   Vincent de Paul Society and Salvation Army are very efficient redistributors.

Opting for Natural Products: White vinegar and baking soda are still great cleaning agents as are some new organic cleaners

Detergent sheets: (like Earth Breeze or Ecos) have favorable reviews for keeping one’s clothes clean. This kind of product eliminates the large plastic detergent container while accomplishing the same task.

Wool Balls: Speaking of laundry, using wool balls in the dryer cuts down on drying time, eliminates the drying sheets, while keeping the clothes soft and static free.

Reduce Water Consumption: Did you know the average shower uses about 8 quarts per minute. Reducing shower time by even 2 minutes can make a difference. Think Bermuda, harvesting rainwater and ever so carefully drawing from the supply.

The bottom line is, do we want to be with the two little pigs as winds and rains destroy their house or do we join with the third little pig whose planning and choices made her home safe and secure for herself and her future family.

More Charity Alive – March 2023

Women Working Together

As you read the articles in this month’s Charity Alive we hope that these will just be the beginning  of sharing your own experiences of this gift of love revealed in community.


When looked at from a global perspective, remedies seem daunting. Yet, when focused on individual choices, small things do make a difference.  Sustainability calls each of us to think globally but act very locally.

From the Archives — Sisters helping Sisters

In sharing the history of the congregation, the ministries in education, orphanages, and social services are often highlighted. In this article, I wanted to share ministries within the congregation – Sisters helping Sisters.  

More Charity Alive – December 2022

Bringing light into darkness

The soft darkness of winter night helps us to recall our communal gatherings, our contemplative prayer, our care for each other.

Renewal of Vows and Commitment

On December 7, 2022, the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception we joined together (via zoom) as members and associates in a prayer service to renew our vows and  commitment.

Christmas Cards

As the Christmas season approaches, we are filled with gratitude for the many benefactors who have joined us in giving Joyful Witness through gifts in 2022.

Charity Alive – November 2022

Ebony Etchings

I invite each of you to join me in my exploration of my home space, my heart space, my God space where I live my truth as an African Nova Scotian woman and a member of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul, Halifax.

Associate Retreat May 2022

A sense of peace and serenity welcomed fellow Long Island/Queens Associates Betty Erdos, Helen Ogden, Mickey Madden, Ann Masters and me when we arrived at the tranquil and cozy house on the eastern bay for the weekend of May 20–22, 2022.

Issues of Charity Alive

2023-03-06T14:19:03+00:00By |Comments Off on Sustainability
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