When I first started out on this journey, my major motivation was that I wanted to serve God, and I knew that I wanted to serve God in a way that served his creation. He had given us the gift of Laudato Si, and I kept coming back to this idea of an 'ecological ministry' that would allow me to do this. Ecological ministry doesn't exist in the Catholic world. We have Eucharistic ministers who administer the Eucharist at mass. We have ministers of the word who read at mass, we have ministries to help the homeless and marginalised, we have music ministry that I have been a part of for a long time. There is no ministry that allows Catholics to care for creation.
When God told me give up my bin for Lent and I went zero-waste, I discovered that caring for creation can be an expression of faith. One that I was searching for and one that has brought me closer to God that any other ministry has.
Our youth at the moment struggle with faith at the moment for many reasons. We see them leave the Church in their teens if they can't find meaning. And many leave because of the criminal actions that the Church has done in the past. They can't understand why God would let people suffer.
I believe that ecological ministry is a way that young people can connect with faith in a new way. Take the example of plogging. Plogging is a glorified emu parade. If we start with a prayer, and we show the students how to walk slowly within nature to look at every living thing, and to see whether there is any rubbish within the environment, and then to remove that, it can cleanse their souls, they can see God's creation, and it becomes a new way for them to connect with God. Suddenly, an emu parade becomes an act of service.
There are many other ways in which ecological ministry could be lived by young people if we are creative enough to develop these experiences.