Christians are often looked down upon by the secular world because of a historically held belief that humans “reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth” (Genesis 1:26). While this is true, both Christians and non-Christians alike have sometimes misconstrued this verse as having a mandate to exploit the earth and its resources as we see fit.
In Leviticus 25:23-24, God clearly states that, “The land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers … you must provide for the redemption of the land.” In this passage the Lord indicates that just like tenants, we ought to treat the earth with respect since it is not ours. Furthermore, Christians should try to maintain and improve upon the land, since God made it and teaches us through it. The Bible says, “But ask the animals, and they will teach you; or birds of the air and they will tell you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you; or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the lord has done this. In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:7-10).
As human beings, we must work to preserve the earth as a means of our survival. But as Christians, we are held to an even higher standard because the earth is God’s creation. Here are a few tips on how to be good stewards of that creation.
Clean out your car
The more weight you have in your car, the more fuel it will use. In fact, one hundred pounds of junk in the trunk will reduce your gas efficiency by two-percent. This may seem like a small difference, but over time it can result in much wasted fuel and money.
Buy from local markets
Did you know that the average meal travels 1,500 miles before it reaches your dinner plate? Instead of promoting the burning of fossil fuels, reduce carbon emissions by buying through local food markets. See localharvest.com to find a fresh, locally-grown produce near you.
Wash your clothes in cold water
Nearly eighty-five percent of the energy used to clean your clothes goes into heating the water. Reduce your energy bill by washing your clothes in cold water.
Borrow from libraries
Instead of purchasing books, save paper (and money) by reading a gently used book instead.
Use reusable bags
A plastic shopping bag takes up to 1,000 years to fully decompose! Make room in the landfills by using reusable shopping bags for your trips to the grocery store.
Stop buying disposable water bottles
Water from disposable water bottles is actually not cleaner than tap water. The FDA has stricter rules for tap water quality than for bottled. The Container Recycling Institute reports that eighty-six percent of plastic water bottles end up as garbage or litter. Even if you do recycle, it is estimated that 1.5 million barrels of oil is used annually is used to quench American’s thirst for bottled water.
Put an end to junk mail
Reduce clutter, protect your privacy, and help the environment by visiting catalogchoice.org to put a stop to your unwanted mail. The best part? The service is free!
To learn even more ways you can care for the planet you’ve been entrusted with, take an ecological footprint quiz at footprintnetwork.org. The site helps you determine in what areas you need to reduce your ecological footprint and gives practical tips on how to make it happen. Become of part of God’s work in the renewal of all things!