I was chatting with my dad the other day about a sermon at his church on faith and care of creation. I think by now we’ve all heard something about aligning our proper worship with proper care of what God has created. This includes the planet we’ve been placed on to tend and keep, a planet that houses the activity of the kingdom of God taking place in the church. But what if you’re already recycling, using cloth grocery bags, and have switched your light bulbs? Let’s say that composting your own manure is taking it a bit too far but you want to go to the next level. Here are some ideas:
1) Stop buying plastic bags and tupperware. And start washing and reusing those you already have. It’s very simple and saves a ton of plastic. Lehman’s, one of our favorite stores, has a great device to help you dry out those bags. Hold on to all your yogurt containers and use those for restoring food.
2) Buy local in summer, coastal in winter. If you don’t have time to can for the whole winter, a second-best practice is to commit to buying local produce in the summer and produce available on your coast in the winter. That means eliminating food that comes from China and Chile. In the summer farmer’s markets and even the grocery store make eating within 100 miles of your home very easy. In the winter (except in Oregon and California, maybe Florida), this can get dicey. But eating from those more plentiful winter States will help to lower your carbon footprint a bit. Simply in Season can get you started thinking about recipes for each time of year.
3) Weigh your trash. This can be a huge wake up call on how much your family puts in the landfill. It can also be a great game to play, seeing how much you can get your numbers down over time through better recycling, composting, and reuse.
4) Commit to line drying once a week or once a month. It may be daunting to think about dragging your laundry outside every time you do the wash, but even once a month or once a week is a great help to reducing carbon emissions.
5) Visit a local farm and/or garden. A lot more kids than you could ever imagine think eggs are made in the back of a grocery store. Taking a trip to a farm or garden reminds kids of where food comes from and all the effort and reward that comes from growing things from and on the land.