Weekly Insights (7) – Environmental activism isn’t just for lent it’s for life

Every year people search for lent resources which will help connect them with God in a deeper way. We may be a few days into lent but if you have not found a resource can I suggest you look at the Diocese of Chester’s resources around environmental action. For forty days members from across the diocese will write about how they have been impacted by the environmental challenges we face and offer reflections on how we could change and care for creation.

The environment is not just for lent, it’s for life. Psalm 104 is a beautiful depiction of God’s care for creation. It speaks of the ways God has created everything from tiniest creeping thing to the mighty Leviathan. God’s hands are all over creation and the world demonstrates that glory. When we see a beautiful sunset or stand atop a mountain range we cannot be express praise to God. But, those moments should also challenge us to care more.

Last week I attended an event run in collaboration with Christian Aid. The event launched a report which shows how out of touch the church seems to be on environmental issues. It suggested that if there was not radical change then we would loose many young people because of the apathy and lack of care the church has shown about environmental issues.

In the face of that apathy I challenge you to become more educated. To read, listen and learn about our environment and discover ways you can care more for our creation. I have listed several resources at the end of this blog post which you could use but they are only a starting block. There are so many resources out there that you could become lost in information, overloaded by facts and figures. So, in an attempt to keep this weeks reflections grounded I offer seven suggestions for ways you could change your life that would impact the world around you.

What follows are seven simple ways you could make a difference in your life that will help our planet and align your life with God’s call to care for creation.

  1. Meat Free day’s – Around 14.5 percent of all human emissions comes from animal agriculture and just under half of that is through the production of beef. One way then that you could reduce your carbon footprint would be to have meat free days. Even by stopping eating meat one day a week will make a huge impact not just on our carbon but also on our world.
  2. Reduce single use plastics – This is a much harder challenge. If you go to most supermarkets you will find the shelves littered with single use plastic but this is another serious problem for our world. Why not try and buy vegetables that are not covered in plastic. Or if you live in or around Manchester why not try one of our eco shops in Bramhall or New Mills. These shops allow you to take your own packaging and let you choose how much of any product you want. Similarly they stock things like shampoo and hand soap which can help the reduction of single use plastics as well!
  3. See what your Carbon Footprint is. There are many websites that can help you calculate your carbon footprint and this is a great way to help reduce carbon. If you know how much carbon you use each week then you can slowly reduce it in those areas of your life that it impacts the most!
  4. Drive Less, Walk More. Why not stop using the car as much and make use of that bike you bought five years ago or simply walk to the places you need to go.
  5. Replace the lights in your home. LED lights use 85 % less energy and can last 25 % longer than incandescent lighting.
  6. Recycle More – why not do some research and see if there are things which can be recycled which you used to throw away.
  7. Talk to people – why not talk to more people about the environment. Encourage others too recycle and change their habits. That way your small changes are not just impacting you but impacting others as well!

In Genesis 1 God encouraged us to be stewards of creation. We were not called to dominate or abuse the world but to care for it. Why not use lent to pray and learn more about ways we could care more for creation.

Resources

AROCHA – this website has some great ways that the church can promote care for creation.

Christian Aid – another good website to learn more about the impacts we are having on the climate.

Chester Diocese – This lent they both have a lent resource to use and a recent podcast from the environment forum talking about ways we can respond to climate injustice.

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