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Happy St. Patrick's Day! In thinking about going green, I'm wondering if there are any principles to keep in mind and any ways to go green cheaply?
An Irish Wish
You've come to the right place! The Bible is the original source for understanding the world we live in and how God wants us to treat the planet and its resources.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," notes Genesis 1:1. With that in mind, here are some principles to keep in mind for going green with God's perspective:
The earth belongs to God the Creator, not man. "The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it," Psalm 24:1.
God commands us to take care of the earth, not abuse it. Genesis 2:15, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."
God intended people to be in charge of the earth and use its resources for the good of man, not just to the benefit of the environment and animals. Genesis 1:26-28, "Then God said, 'Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.' So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'"
God gave us the privilege to be stewards, or managers, of the earth, responsible to Him for how we manage His resources. Here are simple things you and I can easily do to go green, take care of the world we live in, and all the while worship the Lord, not the earth He created.
Stopping junk mail. An average of 69 lbs. of junk mail come to many homes. Go online, make some calls, and save some trees!
Sipping from a cup. Plastic water bottles are everywhere these days. In fact, nearly 30 billion plastic bottles of water are sold each year. You can save money AND reduce landfill waste by using a refillable bottle or an old-fashioned cup!
Starting a compost pile. You can cut down on physical trash and yard clippings by using natural trash as fodder for making compost to enhance your garden AND you'll save money on fertilizer!
Cut your consumption of:
Energy at home. It's not just your mom who wants you to turn off lights when you leave a room. If you use a programmable thermostat, you can easily cut back on heating and cooling costs while you're sleeping or away from home.
Fuel on the go. So it's a 70s thing (that some of us remember) but check into ridesharing and public transportation. Consider that "every person who shares a ride to work rather than driving alone in a personal vehicle saves the environment from about a third of a ton of carbon dioxide every month or nearly 4 tons of carbon dioxide every year." AND you'll save money on commuting costs.
Water everywhere. Of the 100+ ways to save water, consider some basic ones, like shortening your shower time, checking your faucets, pipes, and toilets for leaks, turning off the water while you're brushing your teeth, and insulating your water pipes (you'll get your hot water faster and waste less).
Taking care of the environment and saving money tend to go hand-in-hand. Consuming less and stewarding more is good for the earth and our budgets. Try having a no-spend weekend with your family or friends and see how much money you save while being good to the earth!
For some, talk of going green may feel like political correctness, but it doesn't need to.
It's up to all of us to take care of the world God allows us to use and enjoy. St. Patrick not only brought the gospel to Ireland, he was also famous for using the three-leaf clover to teach people about the nature of God and the trinity. The earth is God's beauty and creativity on display — it acts as an evangelist of sorts as it proclaims the reality of our awesome Creator, so let's take good care of it!
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