"The heavens are Your's, and Your's also the earth; You
founded the world and all that is in it" Psalm 89:11 NIV.
Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved playing outside.
Give me some trees, some plants, some animals, anything living,
and I'm in heaven. There is something so peaceful about iced tea
on your porch on a summer evening and the stunning wonder of
spring. Even the starkness of winter can be beautiful. We, here
in Missouri, experienced some nasty ice storms last winter that
put thousands out of power, but people still commented on the
beauty of the sun sparkling in all those ice-encased trees.
Still, it's taken some years and some growing up for me to
realize the importance of the environment.
I wholeheartedly believe that the beauty of the earth is
important. Creation was made to inspire and comfort us. But if we
enjoy it, if we find peace in it, then we better take care of it.
Think about it. One of Adam and Eve's most important jobs were
taking care of the garden (Genesis 2:15). And what an awesome
job! I would love to be a gardener full time. There's just
something inspiring about putting a seed in the ground, nurturing
it and enjoying the fruit of your labor.
In fact, we'd probably be less prone to depression as a
society if more of us were able to be gardeners. The Vitamin D
from the sun, the endorphins from the exercise, the golden tans.
I think I'd be pretty content!
You can bet a big yard is on the top of my list when we go
house hunting. I have a notion I'm not the only one that feels
that I way either. Does anyone really hate the way a sunset or
full moon looks? Don't they inspire and lift our spirits when
we're down? I know they do amazing things for my mental health.
Yet, we have hurt the earth and the heavens probably more
than we know. Just thinking about the damages and losses the
earth has sustained can be depressing. You might think, "There's
nothing we can do, It's too late." But there is still a lot we
can do to preserve it. We can still be better stewards and
caretakers of God's gorgeous planet. If you're like me and aren't
use to being "earth friendly," try starting out with little steps
and begin to turn them into habits. After all, even the smallest
contributions make a difference, especially when more and more
people are making them. Eventually, they collectively turn into
something huge. So don't be shy. Make being "green" important in
your life and don't be afraid to show it.
You may be asking, "What can I do right now to help?" Well,
some of the things I suggest, and there are many more ideas
available online and in books, include the following:
Watch how much water you use. Don't run the water while you
brush your teeth. Take quick showers. Don't water your lawn! If
God wants you to have a nice plush green yard He will send rain.
Turn lights off when you aren't using them. Turn the
television off unless you're watching it. Turn the air
conditioning down while you're away.
Consider alternative and renewable energy sources. Solar
energy is one of the most efficiently harvested and affordable
renewable energy sources available right now. Many state
governments offer financial support for those wishing to switch
to renewable energy. Two good websites to get you started are:
www.ases.org AND www.homepower.com
Recycle plastics, paper, glass and anything else your town
recycles. Return soda cans. Not only is this helpful but you can
earn a little bit of your money back as well.
Reuse plastic grocery bags for small trash can liners. This
keeps your trash cans clean as well as making them easy to empty.
Recycle your tires. They do amazing things with tires these
days including playground mulch.
Consider buying a hybrid car or, if you can't afford a
hybrid, consider a car that gets better mileage. Also consider
biking or walking when you can.
Organize groups or join groups that are picking up trash in
your area. Or just pick up trash by yourself! However, the first
tends to be more fun.
Don't litter! There is absolutely no reason to throw your
trash on the ground.
Be careful what soaps, oils, and chemicals you use and where
you dispose of them. When at all possible, use organics or earth-
These are just a handful of ideas and suggestions, and most
of them help you, too. Conserving energy, water and recycling
will reduce your bills. Being outside helps you soak up those
Vitamin D rays from the sun and if you're doing something that
requires motion, you're producing more endorphins, not to mention
the good feeling you'll get from doing something positive to take
care of the world God entrusted to you.
Erin Moore writes from Missouri.
ACTS magazine, June 2007, a publication of the Churches of God,
7th Day, Meridian, ID, USA.