Faith and Science: Creation
In our current worship series, Faith and Science, we have noted how many Christians treat the Bible as though it were a science textbook. This erroneous approach leads people to ask the Bible how creation came to be, instead of listening to what the Bible is trying to say: namely, who created the universe, what is our relationship to the creator, and how our creator calls us to live.
So one of the important things that the second creation narrative (Genesis 2:4b-17) teaches us is that our place in God’s creation is that of caretaker, or gardeners in the midst of Eden (Gen. 2:15). The earth is the Lord’s (Psalm 24:1), not ours to exploit. So how do we care for God’s creation? Here are 25 things you can do. With a mindfulness that we are caring for something that is not ours, and that others will be coming after us, you will come up with more ideas on your own.
Plant Things. Have a garden. Plant a tree. Plants are the “lungs” of the earth. They take carbon out of the atmosphere.
Use heaters and fans. In winter, use a space heater to warm a room while keeping other areas in the house cooler. In summer, use fans to cut air conditioning use.
Cook it small. Use a small oven, microwave or the stovetop when preparing a small meal.
Fill up dishwasher. Run the dishwasher only when full, but don’t overload. Use the “Rinse and Hold” if an option.
Lower hot water. Insulate your water heater. Turn it down to 121° F.
Shower quickly. Take a quick shower instead of a bath to save water.
Cold water! Use cold water whenever possible. Use cold water to wash clothes. Use a rain barrel on your downspout for watering your lawn or garden.
Switch suds. Use chlorine-free detergents. Outdated chlorine plants produce mercury that contaminates fish.
Lights out! Turn off all lights, appliances, and electrical items that don’t need to be on.
Lighten up! Swap a regular light bulb for an Energy Star-rated compact fluorescent bulb. You will spare the earth about 500 pounds of greenhouse gasses over the life of the bulb and save about $30 in energy costs.
Eat healthy! Read labels. Eat organic or less-processed foods.
Buy locally. Buy locally produced foods and products, when possible.
Bag it. Bring your own canvas bags to the grocery store.
Bypass plastic. In 2011, Americans threw 21 billion plastic water bottles into landfills, according to the Container Recycling Institute in Washington, DC. Instead, fill a stainless steel thermos, or other container, with water from the sink.
Recycle it! Learn how to recycle household goods—clothing, motor oil, appliances, furniture, books, toys, etc. ………. And, of course, bottles, cans and paper.
Buy recycled. Use recycled products, especially paper.
Compost! Compost kitchen and garden waste, or give it to a friend who can.
On consignment. Shop at consignment stores, and sell your old items at consignment stores.
Cut down on disposables. Limit or eliminate your use of “disposable” items.
Tune up! Maintain and tune up your vehicle regularly for maximum gas mileage.
Slow down! Avoid speeding; accelerate and slow down gradually.
Leave the car. Walk or use a bicycle when possible.
Paint it healthy. When painting a room, use low VOC paint to decrease off gases that contribute to respiratory problems.
Buying “things”. Buy products that will last; rent or borrow items you don’t use often; maintain and repair the items you own.