Going Green: It’s a God Thing

By Rachel AB Garlinghouse

apple earthI always thought “going green” was for tree-hugging hippie types or for liberal democrats.     The only service I did for my environment was writing a research paper on recycling for a general education course my freshman year of college.   The paper was without passion.

Until I became a mother, going green was not a concern of mine.     However, when I started researching the dangers of BPA in bottles and pacifiers, the potential side effects of vaccines, and the chemicals used to coat children’s pajamas, I started thinking big—like Mother Earth big.

One night I was at a bookstore with my husband and daughter when I saw a newly released title that caught my eye:   Tracey Bianchi’s Green Mama:  The Guilt-Free Guide to Helping You and Your Kids Save the Planet.      I ordered a copy from my local library as soon as I got home.  The rest is history, as the saying goes.

Bianchi, a Christian, argues that the Bible begins with the story of God creating the Earth.  Essentially, it’s a love story of sorts.   And if God starts the Bible with the creation story, why is it that so many Christians neglect being good stewards of the Earth?

I believe our current culture is so fast paced, demanding, and thoughtless, that we treat everything as expendable—be it people and our relationships with them (and God), our jobs, and sadly, our Earth.

Going green isn’t a hippie thing, or a liberal thing—it should be a PEOPLE thing—and above all, a God-thing in a Christian’s life.    To have respect for the Earth reflecting our respect for God and for ourselves and other human beings, especially our future generations including our own kiddos.

When I started going green (define it how you will, but I say it’s constantly making lasting changes to make my home, my community, and my Earth a healthier and safer place to live), it wasn’t monumental by any means.    But the point is to do something.

To get started, check out these fabulous going-green resources:

Gorgeously Green, Do It Gorgeously, and The Gorgeously Green Diet (Sophie Uliano)

Sara Snow’s Fresh Living (Sarah Snow)

Green Guide Families (Catherine Zandonella)

Eco-Friendly House Cleaning (Anne Kocsis)

Organic Housekeeping (Ellen Sandbeck)

Clean House, Clean Planet (Karen Logan)

And don’t forget to get the kids involved:

Sesame Street:  Love the Earth! (DVD)

The Earth Book (Todd Parr)

Tess’s Tree (Jess M Brallier)

Curious George Goes Green (DVD)

Gabby and Grandma Go Green (Monica Wellington)

Simple Steps You Can Take to Start Going Green:

1:   Purchase and use cloth bags for shopping instead of using the store’s plastic bags.   Keep a stash of cloth bags in each of your cars so they are always available.    Wash them often.

2:  Stop buying bottled water.  Instead, find BPA-free, reuseable water bottles for your family.   This will save you money and help the planet!

3:  As you run out of traditional cleaning products, stop buying more and start using inexpensive, non-toxic options such as vinegar and baking soda.

4:  Bundle errands to save on gas money and reduce emissions released into the air.

5:  Go flexitarian.   Flexitarians are those who are part-time vegetarians.  Not only do vegetarian meals often save you money, but meat production is one of the biggest water-wasters in the United States.  Help your wallet AND the planet?  Yes, please!

6:  Swap kids’ clothes with friends or buy second-hand.   Producing jeans (and other types of clothing) is another one of the top water-wasters in the United States.    Use hand-me-up clothing as much as possible to save money and the environment.

7:   Shut off lights and electronics when not in use.   Train your children to do the same.  You’ll see your electric bill go down.

8:  Reconsider what you used to toss.    For example, we now use both sides of paper (be it sticky notes or lists or even old receipts) for new lists or for our kids’ art projects.    Cardboard boxes make excellent canvases for kids’ art as well.

The fantastic part of going-green is that you not only honor God and His gift of creation, but you also save money and contribute to keeping the Earth beautiful for future generations!

 

Rachel AB Garlinghouse

Rachel AB Garlinghouse

Rachel resides in the St. Louis area with her husband and two daughters.     She’s a Christian, college writing teacher, freelance writer, and a health nut.   You can read more about her family at www.whitesugarbrownsugar.com

 

 

 

 

 

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