Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thoughts about Earth Day

"The Earth is the Lords, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it." Psalm 24:1

With Earth day this week there has been lots of stuff in the Newspapers, radio and where ever you go about the importance of recycling and caring for our earth. So that subject has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I really like the idea of being careful with this earth for several reasons:

  1. God made it for us to use but it belongs to Him (Psalm 24:1) I try to be careful with anything that I use that belongs to somebody else (actually I try to be careful with my belongings as well) and how much more I should be careful with what is God's.

  2. I want the environment that I and my family live in to be one that promotes good health.

  3. I have a strong aversion to wastefulness which ties in very well to being environmentally friendly.

However at the same time I have seen many people go to what I consider a too far extreme. Sometimes it seems that they are worshipping what God has created rather than God. (Just like it says in Romans 1:25) Also there are some that seem to want to place animals and sometimes even plants on the same level as humans which I believe is contrary to what is taught in this scripture: "And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so." Gen. 1:28-30 We also see in Gen. 9:3 that God gave us animals for food as well.

As far as politics go, I am for small government so I don't prefer that lots of laws are made but I myself want to live in a way that is caring for God's earth to the best of my ability and I want to encourage those I am around to do that as well. I thought I would share a few of the things that I do to be careful with our environment and I would love it if you would also share what you do with me. One thing I have noticed is that many people have different ways that they are careful of the environment around them. Some are very dedicated recyclers, others never use any chemical for cleaning or other household stuff, others buy cars that get very high MPG or they might ride their bike or walk most of the time. I think an area that we have to be careful in is that we don't look down on somebody else because they are not doing the same things we are doing, instead I think we should look to see what we can learn from them and hopefully all of us can learn from each other. Also we all have to make our own choices for what works for our family. Some things are more time consuming and you simply might not have that time to spend right now. Anyway with all that said here is some of the things I do or am dreaming of doing:

Concerning Energy:

  • We have replaced most of our regular light bulbs with florescent ones. My goal is to get the rest of them replaced as the old ones burn out.

  • I hang some laundry out on the clothes line. My goal is to really up the percentage of times I do that this year, also to hang up clothes inside some in the winter instead of using the dryer.

  • I try to keep our freezer pretty full which helps with energy efficiency.

  • When I am thawing some food I try to think ahead and have it thaw in the fridge which helps cool the fridge more and also rather than using the microwave which requires even more energy.

  • I have a baking day so that I can bake a lot in my oven at once rather than turning my oven on various times through out the week to bake just one thing.

  • We also keep our water heater at as low as is safe temperature wise which saves on electricity.

  • One of my goals and something I am trying to work on is to turn of lights more often so that I am not wasting electricity that way. I love light so this has been a hard one for me but with us having longer days now and big windows I am coming to realize that I don't really need the lights on all of the time.

Concerning Food:

  • I grow a garden without any chemicals each year. We get a lot of food from that, I am hoping to up my yield each year. We also have planted apples tree, blueberries and strawberries which we hope to get food from before long.

  • I make the majority of our food from scratch which makes less trash (from packages) and also I am able to use more wholesome and earth friendly ingredients.

  • I buy local hormone free milk from a bulk tank so again there is less trash.

  • A goal I have for this summer is to try for a month of so to eat a local food diet consisting of food from our garden, buying from the farmer's market and finding local, hormone free meat. We already eat some hormone free meat but I am hoping to get it figured out so that I can buy all hormone free (and hopefully local) meat.

Concerning Reducing Trash:

  • We do a lot of recycling. We take newspapers and other papers and cardboard, bottles, cans and other plastic to the recycling center.

  • We use cloth diapers a lot of the time. (My general way of doing it has been to use cloth at home and disposable when we go some place but sometimes I have gotten lazy and used disposable some at home as well. I am trying to be more strict about that with myself. I am also hoping we will be all done with diapers soon!!)

  • We also use cloth napkins much of the time, rags instead of paper towels, hankies (some of the time we have kind of gotten lazy on that one lately), a diva cup, we rarely use paper or Styrofoam plates, I am working on getting in the cloth bag habit (I have a bunch now and I use them some but I have trouble always remembering to bring them in the store.) and just trying to reuse everything as much as possible and not choosing throw away items. (Another thing on this line that I have thought about but not tried yet is cloth toilet wipes ~ using recycled fabric of course.)

  • I am trying to stop buying much in general which eliminates much of the trash that comes with packaging on new items.

  • I reuse nearly all old clothes to make something new out of them like a rag, a rug, clothes or a quilt.

  • We use scrap paper for most drawing and craft projects.


  • We have been working to plant a lot of flowers and trees. All the plants around us clean up the air as well as attract good bugs and pollinators which helps everything produce better.

  • I try to watch how much driving I do, stay home a lot and combine errands in one trip. Also keeping you car with properly inflated tires and in good running condition helps you gas mileage to be better. I also try not to speed or gun my engine when starting and try to be aware of stop signs coming up so I don't overuse my brakes. All of that helps to reduce gas consumption. One of my goals in this area is to ride more places on bikes.

  • We use natural cleaning solutions for the most part. I will admit I do still use some bleach and I am wondering whether I should try to get out of that habit.

I know there are other things we do as well but this post is getting long and my brain is getting tired. Now I would love to hear what you do or any suggestions that you have!!

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