Monday, October 15, 2007

blog action - environment

Today is Blog Action Day for the environment. The idea is to get bloggers all blogging about a single topic (this year the environment) to help raise awareness and funds for that issue.

I still find it baffling that this issue is something that people don't take seriously enough to make changes for. So I encourage you to think seriously about the environment... after all it's where we live.

I don't want this to be another law, another issue of self righteousness [and it's easy to slide into that]. Environmental issues are complex. There are no quick fixes, no one size fits all answers. It's full of special interest groups with social, political, economic agendas - but we can't ignore it. We fail to be good stewards of God's creation when we mindlessly ignore the environment and just keep going on with our lives.

In some ways, I think we shouldn't even have to be raising awareness of environmental issues. But then I'm reminder that:
  • There are those who think global warming is a hoax;
  • those who think it is their God-given right to use and abuse the environment; and,
  • ordinary people who just don't care enough to make any changes: convenience, low cost, and laziness wins the day.
One of the things that the Emerging Church reminds us of is the values of the Kingdom.... living in the way of Christ, in every aspect of our lives: including how and what and where we eat, shop, and treat the environment.
  • If we care for the poor and the oppressed [which is a biblical mandate] we are not going to buy food from systems that keep them in poverty or that expose them to unhealthy working conditions.
  • If we care for God's creation [which, again, is a biblical mandate] we are not going to buy products from companies that dumps poisons into the environment, or invest our RRSP's with such companies.
  • If we care for our bodies [as temples of the Holy Spirit] we aren't going to fill them with chemicals and high fructose corn syrup.
Living holistically as followers of Christ changes that.

Here are some links:

& here are a dozen simple steps all of us can take:
  1. When brushing your teeth don’t leave the tap running and wasting water
  2. The same with rinsing dishes, only turn it on to rinse.
  3. Turn lights off when you leave a room, even if you are only in for a few minutes.
  4. Feeling a little cool? Put a sweater or sweatshirt / hoodie on.
  5. Fill up your dishwasher/washing machine before using them. They use the same amount of water and energy regardless of how much you put in, so make the most of it!
  6. Speaking of washing machines, wash in cold water, most detergents work just as effectively.
  7. Check for dripping taps... it's amazing how much water leaks over a day or a week.
  8. Recycle. Here in Waterloo you can get an extra bin from the truck. We use two: - 1 for plastic and glass - 1 for metal and paper.
  9. Replace your bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. They may be initially more expensive but they last dramatically longer and use less electricity. If that initial cost is a problem do what we are doing and replace them as the older ones burn out.
  10. Don’t litter. Either find a garbage can or hang on to your garbage to you get home.
  11. Buy energy efficient appliances. Check out the energy ratings when you buy an appliance.
  12. There is hot and then there is boiling. Turn down the water heater a bit. If the water heater is set hot, you end up adding cold water anyways.

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