Grow: Going Green for God
Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ Genesis 1:26
God put us in charge. Plain and simple.
And that is why Christians should be “green”. Not because it’s hip. Not because of some political agenda. But because God commanded us to take care of His creation, and honestly the best way to do that is by doing the “green” things.
Being green does have it’s perks. Not only is it good for the environment, but it exposes us to things that we wouldn’t necessarily do. Like gardening or crafting. And it usually saves money. And while these are great things, we have to be so committed to taking care of what God gave us that even if it didn’t save us money or be fun to do that we would do it anyway. Thankfully, God doesn’t make us have to do that. He’s good like that. 🙂
And so I’m going to make it easy for you. I’ve compiled a list of easy ways you can go green for Earth Day or for any day. Don’t think you have to do all of them. But be willing to try at least one. And don’t think you have to do it all the time. Even doing it most of the time or even part of the time is being a better steward. So start today! If you need more ideas, I’ve also got a Pinterest board you can check out for other ideas that I haven’t posted in this list.
1. Grow something.
Plant a garden. Grow herbs on your windowsill. Start a lemon tree. Grow something you can eat so that you are not only reminded of God’s creation but also so that you can physically partake in God’s command.
2. Go electronic.
Sign up for e-bills and cut back on unnecessary paper (and save a stamp, too!). And while you’re on the computer,why not opt out of credit card offers and other useless mailings?
3. Cloth diaper your kids.
18 billion + disposable diapers are thrown out each year and then just sit in landfills for decades (or more…no one really knows how long they take to decompose). Cloth diapers not only reduce this waste, they are cute and comfortable and really not that scary. If you already have to change a poopy diaper, why not help the planet, too!
4. Buy local.
Not only is it fresher (if it’s food), but buying locally means you cut back on both yours and the merchandiser’s transportation (thus cutting back on costs and energy consumption).
5. Ditch the dryer.
You might feel like your are back in the olden days, and some things might get a little crunchy, but your clothes will smell great and you’ll save so much on your energy bill. Plus, if you do number 3 and cloth diaper, the sun helps get stains.
It’s not the fastest way to get around, but by doing so, you are cutting back on pollution, saving a few bucks, and burning some calories. Do it as often as you can.
7. Bring your own bags.
This one is a simple one, but even though it is, how often do I go to the store and forget to bring my bags? Keep some in the car or stroller, so you are always ready when you need them. Not only will you avoid having millions of bags with no place to store them, but you will can advantage of the stores that will give you money back if you bring your bags (Target, Whole Foods, Superfresh, to name a few).
8. Reduce paper product use.
Switch to cloth napkins. Wipe your counters with a rag or sponge. Don’t go crazy and think you don’t get to use toilet paper again, but seriously think about what paper products you can do without or with less of.
9. Switch it off.
Turn off the light when you leave a room. Use natural light for as long as possible so you don’t have to turn on the light. Turn off the air conditioner and open a window. Turn off your computer when you are done for the night (not only does this save energy, but you’ll be less likely to check Facebook first thing in the morning if your computer is off ).
10. Make it yourself.
Make bread. Make tortillas. Make granola. Make laundry detergent. Make cleaners. If you can make it yourself, you are likely to do it for less money and you’ll cut back on packaging. Plus, you can make it exactly the way you like it, minus all of the other stuff like preservatives and unnecessary chemicals (both of which aren’t exactly great for the environment anyway).
11. Repurpose something.
You’d be amazed what you can make out of old stuff. Art out of toilet paper tubes. Dish cloths out of t-shirts. Rocket packs out of plastic bottles. The possibilities are endless. So before you throw it away, let your imagination run wild.
If you give someone something you don’t need, you’re saving yourself from throwing it away (or letting it go to waste) and you’re helping someone else out. I’d say that’s taking care of the world the way God intended.