Wednesday, July 14, 2010

30-Day Trek: Noticing our Impact

“We cannot see the cost of our consumer items by looking out our front window. We must learn to see with new eyes if we are to notice our impact.”

Noticing our impact on the earth is sometimes tough. We are wired to be consumers in our culture. Some people avoid this topic because they don’t want to be seen as “tree huggers” or geo-political. We feel compelled to think about ways to conserve our resources and preserve the earth because it’s a Biblical mandate. In 1 Chronicles 29:11, it says, “Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, Oh Lord, and this is your kingdom….” In other words, we don’t own anything. We have to be good stewards of our resources on earth because God loaned these things to us. When someone loans something, don’t you want to be even more careful with it or show greater responsibility?

We are inspired by our friends Jeremy and Marcy Pusey, who made a goal this year not to buy anything new beyond their food and toiletries. Marcy started a blog and a Facebook group called “Living Hebrews 13:5,” where people in our community of friends can give away items they don’t use, sell items and request items. It’s a great way to “recycle” and feel the joy of helping others. Marcy shops at thrift stores for her kids clothes and finds great deals on Craigslist or Freecycle.

Another friend started a group called “Fresno Garden Sharing” with the idea that people can post online when they have an excess of something in their gardens they would like to trade or give away. Why waste when you could pass it on to someone in need?

I like to read Tracey Bianchi’s blog for ideas of how to share these values with my kids. She wrote a book called, “Green Mama,” and regularly blogs about practical ideas to work on as a family.

We feel like we are only at the start of this journey of “noticing our impact.” We brainstormed a few practical things we want to do more:
-Refill water bottles.
-Avoid excessive use of paper towels and napkins.
-Shop less at the Dollar store and think more creatively about items with a longer life.
-Use less water in our home.
-Share appliances and tools with friends and neighbors.
-Have more potlucks and look for ways to share meals.

What effect does your lifestyle have on the earth?

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