It's Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly LivingI have another admission for you.  I’m Green.  There I said it. 

I’m Green.  I’m a Christian.  I’m a Republican.  Don’t think those go together?  Why not? 

Sometime near the dawn of the term “Values Voters” when Christians got uber-political and began endorsing candidates based on shared values, environmentalism got pushed to the “other” side…the dreaded “l” word…liberalism. 

Why is it that it seems Democrats own Green issues?  Why don’t Christians?  After all, don’t we believe that God created the earth?  Remember the first verse of the first chapter of the bible? 

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Genesis 1:1

I believe strongly in caring for God’s creation.  I think it started when I became a mother.  I feel I have been hired by God to care for his creation (my daughter, Emily) that he “knitted together in my womb” (Psalm 139).  I also feel like I should take care of God’s creation, the Earth.  I want to keep it beautiful, to protect it, so my grandchildren can appreciate it.  I believe God wanted us to love not just the people on earth, but the earth itself. 

“Then God said, “I’ve given you every sort of seed-bearing plant on Earth and every kind of fruit-bearing tree, given them to you for food. To all animals and all birds, everything that moves and breathes, I give whatever grows out of the ground for food.” And there it was. God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good!” Genesis 1:29-31 (The Message)

Why am I scared to write about this though?  I’m scared that fellow believers like me will laugh at me, judge me, or worse ignore me.  Maybe it’s because I was in full-time ministry for so long and I have felt that any opinion outside of the conservative talking points was heresy.  I’ve never been one to go along with the crowd though, I like to lead the crowd.  So, I’m getting. brave and admitting that I’m Green.  I’m a Tree-Hugger.  I’m an Environmentalist.  And I think God loves that about me.  I think He’s proud of me for loving His creation.   Will you join me? 

5 SIMPLE WAYS YOU CAN “GO GREEN”

Envirosax Delightfully Pretty Reusable Grocery Bags1.  Bring your own REUSABLE bags to the grocery store. 
Did you know that 380 billion plastic bags, sacks, and wraps fill our landfills every year?  And they take up to 1,000 years to decompose.  And when one ton of plastic bags are reused or recycled, the energy equivelant of 11 barrels of oil are saved.  And it’s SO EASY to fix this.  It’s also becoming fashionable.  First step, take all those plastic grocery bags lying around your house and RECYCLE THEM.  You can even take them back to the store and they will do it for you.  Next, purchase some inexpensive canvas reusable bags and keep them in your car.  Bring them with you when you go to the grocery store, department store, shoe store, drug store, wherever.  You DON’T need that plastic bag every time you buy something.  Here’s a great set of reusable bags with a carrying case that I LOVE.  Plus they’re oh so fashionable.    You will love shopping with them.  And while you do, you might get some confused clerks.  I encourage you to EDUCATE them on the benefits and ask the store manage for a discount because you are not using their bags.  Encourage others to do the same! 

2.  Recycle.  Recycle.  Recycle. 
I know you know you should recycle.  It’s so much easier than you think.  Stop the huge pile of trash in front of your house on trash day.  Make it a contest to see how little you can put out on the curb and how much you can recycle.   Your plastic bottles, aluminum cans, newspaper, junk mail, pizza boxes and so much more can all be recycled.  If you don’t know if it’s recyclable just look at the bottom of the packaging.  Most products that are recyclable have that symbol on themI keep a bucket under my sink for any packaging that I know I can recycle.  Instead of putting it in the trash can, I just put it in my bucket.  Then on Monday I sort it all and drop it off myself at a recycling place.  My neighborhood doesn’t have curbside recycling pick-up (although I’m advocating for it.)  But, the school just down the road takes paper, magazines, and cardboard and the school get’s money for it.  Click here to find a recycling center in Houston.  .  

3.  Precycle
This means you should choose products with less packaging/recyclable packaging at the store.  And if you have a favorite product that has packaging that is not recyclable, call the manufacturer and request that they find a better earth-friendly way to package the product. 

4.  Change your lightbulbs to Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
Not only do the use less electricity to produce similar amounts of light (money you save), they also produce less heat (lower cooling bills). This is because only 10 percent of the energy consumed by an incandescent bulb actually produces light. The remaining 90 percent generates heat, that is wasted…or heats up your house in the summer. They cost more than regular light bulbs (~$15), but they last longer than incandescents and use less energy, theoretically paying for themselves in time.

5.  Spread the Word
Tell others about what you’re doing.  Encourage your friends to do the same.  Offer to drop off recycling for your neighbors since you’re already doing it.  Get your office to recycle all that paper. 

Together we can change the world! 

Let’s keep the ideas going.  Please leave your comments below on what you do to take care of God’s creation! 

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