It all started with a bottle of vinegar, as I mentioned in Why I Became a Minimalist. That one bottle of vinegar opened my eyes both to how harmful chemicals are and to the concept of non-chemical solutions. And then, because Earth Care was already on my mind, I started seeing it in the Bible too.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it, Genesis 2:15.
I felt God was saying, “I left Earth in the hands of humanity, that they would care for my beautiful gift. And that has not changed. Because if my people don’t do it, who will? What are YOU doing to about it?” And all I could do was hem, haw, and stutter.
Yes, just what was I doing to care for the earth?
Not much, and I realized that needed to change. First, because I want to live in a clean and decent world. Secondly, I want to leave a better world for future generations. For my grandchildren and their children. But mostly, because I started seeing that this beautiful earth is a gift from God. A gift to treasure, appreciate, and care for.
I soon learned, as well, that earth care is essentially an ethical issue.
Practiced with care and thought, it is intrinsically intertwined with combating environmental destruction, wastefulness, hoarding, and exploitation. To work well earth care, simple living, and minimalism need each other.
That summer, with zealous enthusiasm, I attempted to participate in Plastic Free July. The first two weeks of which went well. Then I was called to the USA to help out because my mom was critically ill in the hospital. Realizing that I had no business trying to tell my parents (or anyone else) how to live their lives or run their homes, I had to drop out. But I still learned a lot. Particularly that living plastic-free is difficult, especially here in Italy.
Sadly though, that caused a slump and my progress slacked off. But I still believe Earth Care is important, and have decided to work harder at it.
Hubby and I have been on a simple living journey most of our married life.
A road that has its ups and downs, and we sometimes lose the path. But the one thing we’ve learned is that anything worthwhile takes work, real work. Simple living has become trendy. And because it’s the thing to do, it seems fun and easy. But it’s not. It takes self-denial, which does not come easily to us. We like thinking that we can (and should) have it all.
But my problem with ‘having it all’ meant that something or someone, somewhere, would suffer.
Having it all meant…
- Excess pollution and waste caused by manufacturing needless, unnecessary stuff, just because I was not content with having enough.
- The exploitation of workers, grossly underpaid and working in poor conditions, just so I could pay ridiculously low prices.
- Unnecessary consumption of earth’s resources, possibly leaving shortages for future generations.
- That I focused too much on my wants. Sometimes to the point of even ignoring real needs in the world and in people around me.
So I’m trying to focus more on what the Bible says about it. As a Christian, I try to follow in Christ’s footsteps. But you know, an honest look at my life revealed that I sometimes do that only when it’s convenient for me.
I’m working at…
- Storing my treasures in heaven, and not in things that rust, rot, or get stolen.
- Living consciously aware of what I set my heart on.
- Wasting less, like the Lord did in gathering up the leftovers after feeding the crowd, John 6:12.
- Practicing good stewardship by shopping less and making things last longer.
- Finding contentment in HAVING ENOUGH.
- And using my resources to meet my family’s needs and help others.
And how about you? What do you to care for the earth? Or like me, is it something you never really thought about? I hope you’ll join my green journey. I’ve got a lot to learn, and I’d love to learn along with you!
I know my efforts will not save the earth. I know that I cannot do everything. But I CAN do something. So I will do what I can, even if it’s little.