I’m often surprised at the number of Christians I encounter who don’t recycle. This probably seems like a weird way to start a blog post – but it’s just something that’s been on my mind.
My first memories of being worried about the environment are from around 2009. Mitchel Musso was all over Disney Channel singing about “The Three ‘R’s” – a cover of the Schoolhouse Rock song. Nickelodeon was also running a “Go Green” campaign, and I’m pretty sure I begged my parents to start recycling. They were amazing and agreed to it.
We would load up the minivan with newspapers, plastic bottles, glass jars, cardboard boxes, and other materials to drive to the recycling center and sort them into bins. It was so fun!! Fast forward to now – I will literally take home empty diet coke bottles and cans from friends’ houses who don’t recycle because I can’t bear to see them thrown in the trash. Yes, I use a metal straw, and I need to brag on my sister, who politely tells waiters, “oh, we don’t need straws,” whenever we go out to eat. I get weird looks and sarcastic comments about “saving Tennessee sea turtles,” but there’s more behind these actions.
“Climate Change” and “Environmental Protection” are buzzwords in the media – stirred up again in recent years by young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Yes, I am concerned about climate change and protecting our environment, but my passion and concern runs deeper.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15 NIV
God calls us to care for His creation. Environmental Protection seeks to repair and reverse the damage done in the environment and protect it from future damage. Creation Care is about loving God and loving His creation by caring for it. If there were no environmental problems, we would still be expected to tend to His creation with compassion and gentleness.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
Creation care is also loving the next generation of God’s children. God’s command to love one another is not limited to those alive now – it covers all His children and our children! The next generation will be significantly impacted by our decisions today.
I’m not asking you to cut off your electricity, shop organic, walk everywhere, and go vegan. (Although if you do go vegetarian, I have some great recipes to share with you!!) I’m just asking you to think more about how your actions and lifestyle affect the Lord’s creation. When you start to throw something away – do a double check to see if it can be recycled. Start composting your raw fruits and vegetables. Opt for reusable over disposable. Donate items in good condition to ministries like KARM rather than throwing them away.
Thank you for the beauty of your creation. I am sorry we, as your children, have not given it the care it deserves. Please open my eyes to ways I can care for it and love you by loving your creation well. Thank you for loving me so well.
- 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Plastic & Recycling [National Geographic]
Did you know not all plastic is recyclable? Or that dirty plastic can’t be recycled? Learn more about this and 5 other facts about plastic that may not have been on your radar.
Our very own BLOOM Center partners with restaurants in the community to compost for their soil. Reach out and learn more about composting and how you can help.
- Greening Your Church [Kitchen Stewardship Blog]
While this post uses examples for churches, almost all these strategies can be applied to us as individuals and households!
- Good Seed Sunday [Canada A Rocha Environmental Stewardship]
Participate in “Good Seed Sunday” – held on the Sunday following Earth Day – with at least one of these 10 ways to live lighter.
- Creation Care [Evangelical Environmental Network]
Follow the Evangelical Creation Care movement through the EEN.
- The 5 R’s [Road Runner WM]
That’s right – there’s FIVE “R’s” now! Read all about them in this short post by RoadRunner Recycling