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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why Being Green is a Christian Value and What I Intend to Do About It

Pre-warning: I am on my soapbox today and will be expressing my personal religious views. You are welcome to comment and agree or disagree. But if you are going to get offended, you may want to skip this one. Just a warning, I know everyone may/may not agree with me, and I know my connections in my head can make my thoughts rather off-the-beaten path.

I completely, wholeheartedly consider myself a Christian. I believe in God, I believe Jesus Christ is the son of God who died on the Cross for our sins, I believe in the Holy Spirit.

I believe in the basic (and the not-so basic) teachings of the Bible. Am I perfect? NO. Noone is. But I try. Do I believe 100% of the Bible is applicable to today? Yes. But does the Bible address everything we encounter today? That's a definite maybe.

During the time God's word was written, there were no ziploc baggies. No cars, paper towels, juice boxes, designer jeans, and no water bottles. Period. Now God may have thought of those things, but they didn't exist in the day-to-day of human experience.

Are you with me so far?
"In the Beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1
"Then God said, 'Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." Genesis 1:26

So God created the Earth, and put us in charge of it? Wow. That's a pretty heavy responsibility. I mean, if God puts you in charge of something, shouldn't you take it more seriously than anything else? If you are a parent and God has gifted you with children, you take that responsibility seriously... (well some of us do, but that's a topic for another day.) So it stands to reason that we should take care of the earth.

Wow. Pardon my language, but we have totally failed on that one. It was a little easier to do when there were 10,000 or so humans in the world. But with a current estimated population of 6, 706, 993, 152, things are a little more complicated. Our impact on the planet is obviously on a much larger scale.

Hence the reason when I was a rebellious teenager, I would scream, "Litterers, litterers, SINNERS, SINNERS" out the window when I saw someone littering out of their car. Now that I'm all grown up, I realize that screaming at people doesn't really help, and you obviously can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. And I also realize that I should start with myself and my family, as Jesus said, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:7
I am certainly not without sin, let alone environmental sins.

So I am doing my best to "green up" my act and that of my family. I thought I was pretty green until I really looked at it. Jeez. Just cleaning out my car on any given day could give you a peek inside our world-- I have two kids. They love disposable things!

So here are some things we have started:

  1. No paper napkins. We use cloth. Always.
  2. Converting to cloth diapers. (We make these out of old clothes, thus recycling them!)
  3. Turning off lights when we leave the room. (Very difficult for some of us for no apparent reason.)
  4. Reducing use of ziplocs.Bought a reusable sandwich container to pack sandwiches for my husbands' lunch
  5. Buying rice in bulk. It is cheaper, offers less packaging, comes in a cloth bag, is organic. Less has to be packaged and less trips shipped to us is great.
  6. Growing our own vegetables. They don't have to be shipped, packaged, waxed, sorted, none of it. We just walk out and pick.
  7. Composting. We are throwing out at least 1/3 less since we started composting. And it's rather easy!
  8. Repurposing (upcycling) things. T-shirts into diapers, pants legs into little girl purses, baby food jars into containers, etc.
  9. Recycling. It's so easy. I mean, really. Where I live our trash service picks it up, but if yours does not, just throw it in the back of your car and drop it off when you see a spot. (Or email me to help you find one.)
  10. Take cloth bags to the store instead of getting disposable. Agh! This is hard for me because generally getting two kids safely in the store is a trial, and remembering my list and coupons is hard enough. And when I do take them, I always feel like people in the store are going to think I'm trying to steal something. But I am really working on it. The reader that gives me the best idea how to remember will get a special green gift from me.
  11. Carrying reusable water bottles. I love them, they're stylish. I just have to remember to clean them properly. Tip: if you have the aluminum kind, a little baking soda and vinegar can totally help with cleaning of all germs and smells. Just rinse well unless you want to be drinking vinegar water.
These are all in progress, but we will be starting more that I may blog about from time to time. I figure if I make an example to my kids, it will help them. And maybe friends will see how easy it is, it may help them, and like a little seed, it will spread on the wind...

1 comment:

  1. When you empty the bags when you get home from the store, immediately put them in the diaper bag. You take that with you all the time, right? I store mine in the truck, so no matter where I go, I always have them with me.