RESOLVE TO BE GREEN IN 2020
As you clean up after Christmas, are you feeling overburdened by all the plastic, paper, and “stuff” associated with celebrating Christmas? Now is a great time to begin thinking about simplifying your life, and treading more lightly on our God-given home, by making some Green New Year’s Resolutions. Here are ten suggestions to get you started (pay special attention to #1 – doing that will help you engage with further lifestyle changes!).
- Commit to attending the Lewinsville Adult Education Module in March (4 Sundays) on the topic of Christian Simplicity. Watch for details in the coming weeks.
- Drink from a reusable bottle. Much of the plastic we use ends up in the ocean, ultimately killing marine animals. Whenever possible, eliminate single use plastic water bottles (and other single use plastics!) from your life.
- Say no to plastic straws at restaurants unless you really need them. Ask businesses to offer them only upon request. Carry your own reusable cloth napkins and reusable flatware, and say no to paper napkins and plastic flatware, too!
- Use re-usable shopping bags. Most of us have one or more, but often we forget to take them into the store. Keep them in your car so they are always handy. If you forget to take them into the store, go back to get them – you won’t forget again!
- Recycle following the rules set by your trash service – but also reuse whenever possible and most importantly, reduce the amount you buy. Ask yourself “do I really need that” before making a purchase.
- Teach kids about earth care. Teach your children and grandchildren and all the children around you about why we it is important that we take care of God’s earth. Lead by example and involve them in your actions. Listen to their ideas – they may teach us new things about the environment, too.
- Vary your diet – explore plant-based options. Perhaps start by taking part in Meatless Mondays. Move towards making choices that influence the food industry to invest in options that don’t pollute and planet and/or contribute to climate change.
- Use the cold water setting when washing clothes. Clothes made of synthetic materials (e.g., polyester, nylon, and spandex) release microfibers in the washing machine, that are released into our waterways with toxic effects on animals that consume them. Washing in cold water reduces the shedding, with the added benefit of conserving energy.
- Shop for products with less packaging. Choose products that come in bulk, or opt for products with eco-friendly packaging (biodegradable – preferably compostable, recyclable, reusable, non-toxic, made from recycled products, based in biomass or natural products or manufactured through low-impact means).
- Reduce energy consumption. Opt for LED lights, and turn off electronic devices instead of leaving them on stand-by.
Look for our new recycle bins throughout the church.
They are labeled with what can go in these containers.
Please do your part to be earth friendly!
Earth Care Pledge (part of the Earth Care Congregations program)
The Social Justice and Peacemaking Unit of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), in consultation with congregations and presbyteries across the denomination, developed a five-part resolution as a model for mobilizing congregations to respond to the General Assembly’s “CALL TO RESTORE THE CREATION.” The resolution was simplified to a four-part pledge in 2010. Churches applying to be an Earth Care Congregation must have the Earth Care Pledge affirmed by their session and signed by the clerk.
Earth Care Pledge
Peace and justice is God’s plan for all creation. The earth and all creation are God’s. God calls us to be careful, humble stewards of this earth, and to protect and restore it for its own sake, and for the future use and enjoyment of the human family. As God offers all people the special gift of peace through Jesus Christ, and through Christ reconciles all to God, we are called to deal justly with one another and the earth.
- Our worship and discipleship will celebrate God’s grace and glory in creation and declare that God calls us to cherish, protect and restore this earth.
- In education, we will seek learning and teaching opportunities to know and understand the threats to God’s creation and the damage already inflicted. We will encourage and support each other in finding ways of keeping and healing the creation in response to God’s call to earth-keeping, justice and community.
- Our facilities will be managed, maintained and upgraded in a manner that respects and cherishes all creation, human and non-human, while meeting equitably the needs of all people. In our buildings and on our grounds we will use energy efficiently, conserve resources, and share what we have in abundance so that God’s holy creation will be sustainable for all life and future generations.
- Our outreach will encourage public policy and community involvement that protects and restores the vulnerable and degraded earth as well as oppressed and neglected people. We will be mindful that our personal and collective actions can positively or negatively affect our neighborhood, region, nation and world. We will seek to achieve environmental justice through coalitions and ecumenical partnerships.
Here are some earth-care related actions we have already taken, or do on an ongoing basis:
- Conducted an energy assessment of our facility and implemented many of the resulting recommendations regarding more efficient windows, lighting, heating/cooling;
- Use Eco-Palms for Palm Sunday;
- Regularly do communion by intinction;
- Offer an earth care-focused devotional discipline for Lent;
- Serve Fair Trade coffee at our gatherings;
- Offer electronic distribution of our Newsletter;
- Recycle and reuse materials;
- Donate used material for reuse in social justice projects;
- Service projects related to earth care (Good Samaritan Day grounds efforts at Westgate Elementary and the Lewinsville Retirement Residence); and
- Limit use of bottled water, instead providing water in pitchers for large gatherings.