I know I’m one post away from annoying you all into never coming back again, but this is the last one for today…probably.
Today is Earth Day, and I would be remiss if I concluded today’s posting marathon without giving this rarely-celebrated holiday a little love. Though I am far from a Green Queen, I am moving steadily in that direction. Not just in a hug-a-tree-whilst-recycling way, but in a know-what-I-do-and-why way. I want to be a conscious consumer. I would like to know who made my jeans and if he or she is being treated fairly. I would like to know where the plastic bag I put my sandwich in is going to end up when I throw it “away.” I would like to know what is really going on inside of my milk/hamburger/chocolate chip cookie.
It makes me nervous to think that if I really knew the answers to those questions, I would do things a lot differently. But that makes me want to learn the answers even more.
Just because mostly everyone buys jeans at the mall and throws away water bottles and eats a package of Starburst doesn’t always mean it’s the best way to live. The “everybody else is doing it!” excuse didn’t work when I was 14 but for some reason ten years later I’m still trying to play by that rule. That also makes me nervous.
So here’s the deal: I think I’m going to start finding out the answers. (By the by…this is completely spur of the moment; I didn’t start writing this post planning to champion an expose.) I’ll be sure to fill you in on what I find out, so be on the lookout for a new section soon!
For the time being, here is what I originally wanted to post:
Check out Body & Soul’s website for ten ways to make Earth Day mean something, and Relevant’s for reasons Christians should care about Earth Day. I loved one part of the Relevant article too much not to share it with you though, so here it is:
“Environmentalist” is still a dirty word among some Christians. Like “Trekkie,” the word may be used in private, but you don’t want it on a personalized license plate. For some, the label is synonymous with secularism, Gaia worship, New Ageism and politically liberal special interest groups. Although some Christ-followers find it increasingly difficult to ignore the environmental impact of their lifestyles and are beginning to feel a holy stirring as they wake up to crazy weather patterns, smoggy skylines and disappearing forests, others are uncomfortable with “environmentalists” and even less comfortable with their “agenda.”
The problem is that Christians can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines. Millions die annually from preventable, water-related diseases. Most are children. Extinction rates continue to exceed natural rates by more than 100 times. Our energy consumption funds mountaintop removal coal mining while our oil addiction fouls the air and laces the pockets of oppressive dictatorships.
Being “green” isn’t necessarily about converting to reusable shopping bags and a hybrid car, or even about only eating local and organically grown food – although all of those efforts certainly help. For me, being green means wanting to know at the end of every day that what I did – used, purchased, consumed – didn’t hurt anyone. Environmentalism is such a hot-button issue, but being a conscious consumer shouldn’t be controversial at all. It’s just being a good steward and a good neighbor, and I hope that’s a cause everyone can jump on board with.