In this third post on stewardship, I want to talk about our responsibilities to the earth. Remember the definition of stewardship? The conducting, managing or caring of something, especially the careful management of something entrusted into one’s care. The earth is ours. It belongs to all people and has been given to us for the use of its resources, taking pleasure in its beauty, and our home for the time that we are here. The Bible says in Genesis 1:28-29:
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and every living creature that moves on the ground.“ Then God said, “ I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the sky and every creature that moves along the ground – everything with breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
God gave man a special job to care for our environment. Now, I am not a liberal or necessarily a “green” person, but I do try to be responsible with the resources I am given and the earth is probably one of the biggest resources we have been given. If we treat our resources with neglect and disregard, we reap the consequences of those actions. But, if we treat the earth with careful management and responsible actions, we can truly enjoy the benefits and pass on these benefits to our future generations.
I am not going to get into a discussion of what we are doing wrong with the earth and how we are treating it poorly. Others do a good job of that! I want to discuss some things that we can easily do to make sure we are taking care of the earth.
- Pick up trash! Where ever you are you can take 30 seconds to pick up trash you see (even trash that is not yours!) If you belong to a group (church, scouts, even a group of friends): look into adopting a highway, park or trail system that allows you to volunteer picking up trash once a month (or more often : )).
- Recycle: If recycling programs are available in your city (whether they pick up or you have to drive it somewhere), take the time to recycle! Buy recycled products too!
- Reuse: Use reusable grocery bags, storage containers, water bottles, lunch bags, etc.: shop at thrift stores; buy used cars; use milk cartons, paper towel tubes, etc. for kids’ craft projects!
- Use public transportation or walk/ ride your bike. Many of us live in areas of the country that require us driving from one part of town to another. If you do live where they have a good metro station or you live close enough to walk to work, school or errand running, then you can not only save money on gasoline, but also reduce the use of a non-renewable resource.
- Buy responsibly raised meats. Not only are you buying better quality meats without added hormones of antibiotics, but you are buying meat that has been treated fairly. And even though these animals provide food for us, they are still living, breathing God-created animals that deserve fair treatment.
- Buy local products when possible. If you are buying local food, it is fresher! Anything you buy local not only helps out your local economy, but also cuts down on the pollution produced in packaging and shipping products across the country.
This list is definitely not exhaustive. You may think of many other things we can be doing to be good stewards of the earth. God has given us many blessings and we need to do our best to be responsible and thankful for what He has given us.