One of the topics that we dealt with during our recent study was all about waste and the environment. To be completely honest with you this topic wasn’t really a part of my life. I really didn’t think about the amount of trash we generated as a family. Several years ago we began taking part in our garbage company’s recycling program. We dutifully put out our recycle bin every Wednesday. We had a bin for papers that we took to the school’s recycling dumpster. So we were doing our part….right?
I grew up with the mindset that radical environmentalists were all left-wing liberal, tree-huggers with their priorities in the wrong place. I mean, don’t go around littering, but just don’t go off the deep end. The Bible is full of verses about God’s creation detailing its complexity along with the Lord’s commands to care for it. If we believe that the earth and everything in it is God’s creation then when did it become OK to abuse it?
The week that we studied and discussed these topics really made me think about how I had been neglecting God’s wonderful creation. I began to go beyond just tossing my trash in a recycle bin and think about how to reduce the amount of trash we were creating. One of our biggest transgressions was the amount of ziploc bags we would go through in a week. Between the two kids’ lunches I would use 6-7 bags each day. I bought a few inexpensive divided containers and began using them. I did away with the juice boxes and drink pouches and instead sent juice in reusable containers.
We’re continuing to make improvements on how we use our resources. Electricity and water are conserved. Thermostats are turned down. Maybe a compost bin will be in our future.
Again, as with so many other areas of change, it’s easy to think, “What difference will my small changes make?” Maybe a little; maybe not much. But that doesn’t alleviate me from the responsibility of doing my best to care for God’s earth. As I recently read, sometimes you need to do something just because it’s the right thing to do.