During Earth week, I talked a lot about the importance of reducing household waste. During the week our household worked hard to reduce waste as well. Of course it is always much easier to say something than to do it, especially to do it consistently.
Over the week we stopped using disposable diapers and wipes, even for outings! We worked on reducing food waste and using reusable bags for purchasing food from the bulk bins (raisins, nuts, lentils, beans). A few people mentioned the challenge of food waste cause by little ones because they leave behind un-salvageable leftovers. We experience that same thing here. I’ve been trying to offer smaller amounts of food and waiting until it is eaten before giving more. This seems to help a little.
It was great to see all those participating in the challenge. These days more people are open to the idea of taking steps to protect and care for the environment. But there are still many others that aren’t open or willing. Surprisingly, some of the biggest contesters I came across were conservative Christians. There is the thought among many conservative Christians that caring for the environment is too liberal and not worth our time or effort. I’ve heard things said like “why worry about saving trees? we should worry about saving babies!“. I’m not saying that trees are more important than humans. I am saying, however, that there should be a natural outflow from the desire to protect and care for human life to protect and care for the environment.
Elizabeth Foss, author of Small Steps for Catholic Moms, recently wrote an article entitled For Catholic, every day is Earth Day. Catholic or non-Catholic, Christian or non-Christian, it’s worth a read. Elizabeth reminds us that we “have a responsibility to think deeply about all of God’s creation, to teach our children to respect and protect it, and to remind our families, by the way we live, that for practicing Catholics, every day is Earth Day.” Amen to that!
“The environment must be seen as God’s gift to all people, and the use we make of it entails a shared responsibility for all humanity, especially the poor and future generations.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI from his massage If You Want To Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation (January 2010).