How I am trying to care for the Environment (#Write31Days)

I originally called this post “How Christians Can Care For The Environment.” Grand but misleading, it makes me sound like an expert when what I really am is someone who has taken some teensy baby steps, and is looking for encouragement and incentive to do more to take care of the earth.

I can’t remember exactly when I started to care about the environment (possibly the season when I became less dogmatic about the end times.) I probably started with recycling, which I still do faithfully even though lots of stuff put in recycling ends up in landfills. Recycling gets more attention and focus, but I’m learning that reducing and reusing are where the real earth care lives.

I began seriously considering the amount of waste our family produces about 5 years ago when I participated in a group centered around 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, a life-changing book describing Jen Hatmaker’s experience doing month-long fasts in 7 different areas of excess.  I highly recommend not just reading it: Gather a group and do it together.

In the Spring of 2014 my friends and I dragged our families through 2 weeks of REDUCING, cutting down our waste and contribution to landfills.  I learned a lot from friends in the group who are much more environmentally conscious than me. One friend was even willing to try out “family cloth“. (She was the pretty hard core and even she didn’t last with this. I was unwilling to even try, and Matt still teases me about family cloth any time I mention environmentalism or waste reduction.)

What I was willing to try & have mostly stuck with:

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Christians should care more about…The Environment (#Write31Days)

I became a Christian in a wonderful Texas church with a firm stance on the end times: Jesus is going to rapture His church, beginning 7 years of tribulation during which the earth will be purged of evil, and after which He’ll establish the Millennial Kingdom bringing in a new heaven and a new earth.

I stopped fighting about end times theology a long time ago, but I feel pretty strongly about one of the results of this widespread belief among God’s people: Since it’s “all going to burn”, we don’t have any responsibility to care for the earth.

I’m embarrassed to think about how eye-rolly I used to be about people who cared about the environment, thinking only hippies cared about recycling, reducing, and reusing. Continue reading