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Sunday, March 28, 2010

My first green steps ...

Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Matthew 22:37-39

One night in February, I began my journey to take better care of God’s creation and to love my neighbor further than ever before. God called me to a life of being green. a practice that is associated more with the New Age movement, but since my heart and spirit has been called to a environmental stewardship I have to wonder why more Christians don’t feel called to live green. But once God calls upon you it is amazing how clear it all becomes; that doesn’t mean it is easy. Think about it this way, lets say you are house sitting a friend’s home, would you start trashing their home making it not only an unsanitary, unhealthy environment not only for you, but for your friend, their family and their pets? Why do we do that to God’s world and family? If we don’t want to think in that big of a picture, why do we choose to do that to our own family? Through prayer I felt God wants me to share my passion with others through ministry, so here I am blogging this path God has led me on. Maybe you can try some of the steps with me, if you do please share your experiences. *joy*

Aside from living green, caring for God’s creation demands the action of loving your neighbor. Any action we take in being more green has an amazing ripple effect because the damage we are doing to God’s creation through our actions can also be mended through even the simplest of changes. Those changes, in turn, are enhancing the health and well being of our neighbors, all of God’s children in present and future. For example, if 7% of American grocery shoppers switched from plastic bags to an eco friendly grocery bag for a year, we would avoid utilizing the following resources:

• 11 barrels of oil
• 800 million pounds of plastic bag removed from production

Several surprising statistics regarding plastic bags:

* According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year.

* Americans alone discarded more than 3.3 million tons of low- and high-density polyethylene bags, sacks, and wraps in 2000 (EPA).

* The U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually.
* Four out of every five bags handed out at grocery stores in the USA are plastic.

This is one change I made right from the beginning and a very easy one. I will admit I had my collection of those 99 cent bags from the store, they seemed convenient, won’t rip, carry more in one, but I think like many people do, I would buy them and forget to ever take them back with me to the store *laughs*. So I now store some in my car and I plan ahead on shopping trips so I will have them available when I need them. If a circumstance comes up that I don’t have one, I request those wonderful paper bags (luckily our local grocery has the one with the handles) and I make sure I save them for reuse which I will share in a later entry. There was one time I stopped at Kohl’s for a few things and was left holding no bag and that huge plastic Kohl’s bag was staring me in the face, so with quick thinking and common sense I refused the bag and decided I could handle carrying my items. *laughs* Unfortunately, I was only thinking in terms of grocery shopping, but that circumstance woke me up to other shopping excursions that I needed to better plan for. Obviously, there is lists of simple changes we can all make to show our Lord that we are caring for His world and loving his children.

Questions for you: What has your experience been with eco friendly shopping bags? Is this a change you could easily make? If not, what do you see as your road blocks?

Thank you for your interest in my path. God bless … :)

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