Simple Advent, Abundant Life: do our part and be the tree

(Brenna Davis)

(Brenna Davis)

by Brenna Davis

View Author Profile

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts to Letters to the Editor. Learn more

(Brenna Davis)

(Brenna Davis)

Third week of Advent—Consumption

Day 20: Friday, Dec. 18



As part of Simple Advent, Abundant Life, we invited young people to share how they strive to live simply on the earth as a sign of hope that restoration is possible. Today's reflection comes from Denise Rodriguez, a senior at Cristo Rey St. Martin in Waukegan, Illinois.

My name is Denise Rodriguez, I am a senior at Cristo Rey St. Martin in Waukegan, Illinois. I’m really passionate about keeping our world clean, meaning keeping my environment safe. Throughout my high school years, I've engaged more with ways to keep our environment clean.

The first club I joined was our eco-club. Believe me, we're a small group — but we have made changes. Our biggest accomplishment is having a composting bin. We started our composting bin last year, and it was pretty great. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we don't have a lot of students attending school. 

I'm also part of a conservation organization where we talk about ways of helping our planet, as well as learning about our surroundings, such as animals and plants. I'm currently working on creating a children's book about recycling because not everyone knows the proper way to recycle. Recycling is very important to my family. I took the lead on starting to properly recycle.  In my household, we recycle and avoid using plastic bottles, plates and anything that can hurt our environment. 

My family also takes a day off where we all go volunteer at our local pantries, help plant trees or remove plants, and even clean up parks or our downtown beach. I really care about recycling because all the trash creates bad smells in our environment, animals get injured and it contributes to climate change. 

Not everyone acknowledges climate change, but a while back we had a lot of wildfires and that was because of climate change. Now if you don't recognize that climate change is happening, I'm sure you believe in shelter and animals. Well, shelters were damaged and animals were suffering from the loss of resources such as food, shelter and their climate.

If you pick up at least 3-5 pieces of items on the floor and properly recycle each day, you're making a difference. Remember, new branches grow from the same tree. You be the tree.



Consider submitting a Small Earth Story. In 150 words or less, share a specific way that you're responding to climate change in your day-to-day life. Perhaps consider submitting a story about how you're attempting to live simply this Advent. 

View the Advent Simplicity Calendar for more Advent simplicity inspiration. 

Simple Advent, Abundant Life

reflect | act

Sign up to receive daily emails for this Advent reflection series.

This story appears in the Simple Advent Abundant Life feature series. View the full series.

In This Series


1x per dayDaily Newsletters
1x per weekWeekly Newsletters
1x per quarterQuarterly Newsletters