The Columbans in Britain are prompting local Catholic schools (and parishes!) to support Great Big Green Week by hosting an easy to organise, high-impact event where families bring and swap books/clothes/uniform, share Catholic Social Teaching with the wider community, whilst at the same time sending a gentle message to politicians, that action needs to be taken for Our Common Home.

Pope Francis has called us to hear and respond to the cry of the Earth and the cry of poor. During a cost-of-living crisis and when money is tight for many, the Columban initiative, THE GREAT BIG GREEN SWAP, will help families to save money by swapping things they no longer need or want for second-hand things from others. At the same time, we show that another way is possible, challenging the model of endless extracting, creating, consuming and discarding. Humanity is called to recognise the need for changes of lifestyle, production, and consumption.

The event needs to be arranged during the Climate Coalition’s Great Big Green Week which runs from the 8th – 16th June 2024. This year’s theme is: ‘Let’s swap together for good.’  Schools are being encouraged to use the resources designed by the Columbans to organise and host their own events where items can be swapped.

In addition to resources for organising and promoting a swap event, the Columbans have designed ‘The Great Big Letter’, which is a letter that can be sent to MPs or election candidates telling them about these events and why it’s so important to care for creation. Schools are being asked to print multiple copies of The Great Big Letter and to display them at their swap events in order to try to get as many signatures as possible from members of their school communities before sending these to their local MPs.

The Columbans in Britain are members of The Climate Coalition, which is the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action on the climate and nature crises. Their campaign The Great Big Green Week is the UK’s biggest ever celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature.

For details and instructions on how to run the Great Big Green Swap event, plus editable posters for your event, visit the Columbans' website.

Great Big Green Week