by Katherine Garner
Today, human behaviour is destroying the fabric of God’s creation at an unprecedented rate. According to the Living Planet Report 2018, there has been a 60% decline in global wildlife populations between 1970 and 2014. There are 10 multiple causes, from deforestation, habitat destruction, climate change, and pollution of soil, water and air, including the tide of plastic pollution filling the oceans.
But what can we do about it?
Here’s a list of small changes that we could each make to start making a difference…
- Get informed! Take an interest in news items about the environment; read articles and reports about the destruction of our planet; resolve to make a change
- Pray! As Christians our primary response should be to pray about everything and anything. Prayer works. Prayer shows our commitment to God. Prayer is powerful. God is powerful. He created the universe. God is powerful, omnipotent, precise and good.
- On plastics:
- Use a reusable coffee cup or water bottle (don’t use single use plastics)
- Buy fruit and veg loose – you’re going to wash them or peel them anyway, so don’t fill your shopping bag and your fridge with single use plastic bags
- Don’t use plastic straws and refuse them in bars and restaurants
- Try using soap and shampoo bars instead of liquids in plastic bottles
- Consider buying only natural fabrics for clothes – synthetic fabrics contain plastics and washing them puts tiny microfibres into the seas
- Bring back the milkman – get your milk delivered in reusable glass bottles
- Avoid wet wipes which contain plastic fibres, and should not be flushed
4. On over consumption:
- Think like our parent and grandparents – make do and mend. Do we really need so many clothes or pairs of shoes?
- Natural fabrics need more mending – see frugality as a virtue not a bind.
- Ironically buying in bulk minimises and /or eliminates packaging.
- Buy second hand – clothes, furniture. Think vintage not used.
- Try using a meal planner to help avoid wasting food
- Use a smaller plate – plate sizes are much bigger now than they were 30 years ago.
- Support your local foodbank and homeless charities with excess.
5. On diet:
- Waste less food – the amount of global food waste produced each year is more than enough to feed the nearly 1 billion hungry people in the world. Whats more food waste ends up in landfill which produces methane gas…
- Freeze or preserve excess – over ripe bananas can be frozen to make banana cake at a later date.
- Eat less meat – try a meat free Monday. Sadly meat and dairy farming contribute to global warming by increasing greenhouse gas emissions and so adopting a plant based diet or at the east eating less meat can reduce our individual carbon footprint
- Love your leftovers
- Buy local and seasonal – reduces transport miles and supports the local economy
- Grow your own – from courgettes (which are very easy to grow!) or simply herbs on the kitchen windowsill
- Switch from tea bags to loose tea – tea bags contain plastic
- Avoid products containing palm oil – burning of forests to make way for palm oil plantations pollutes the environment. Deforestation is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and species extinction. Familiar products containing palm oil? Wall’s soft scoop ice cream; Cadbury’s Dairy Milk; Flora Buttery spread; Twiglets; Ritz crackers and many more. Check the labels.
6. On paper:
- Use less paper and use recycled paper – this includes toilet paper
- Print less – think before you print!
- Read church news sheet online or by email – during September we plan to reduce the number of printed sheets to a small handful for folk who do not have computer access. We can mail it weekly or you can access it on the website. We’ll review October!
- Recycle the paper you do use or receive – Recycling paper helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees and more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.
- Make your own compost or use council compost bins
- Use energy saving light bulbs
- Turn off lights when not in use
- Turn off computers, TVs and other electrical goods at night instead of leaving them on standby
- Walk more, use public transport, cycle, but leave your car at home
- Cut up plastic rings from packs of beer, coke
- Turn off water when brushing teeth
- Save water by showering not bathing
- Use a water saving device in the toilet cistern
There are loads more resources online but hopefully amongst the things suggested there’s at least one thing that each of us could do.