What do Christians need to address creation justice?
Support your local farmers. When you buy homegrown, you not only get fresh food, you also minimize carbon emissions in the transport. The #1 source of carbon emissions, fossil-fueled transportation, “drives the climate crazy.”
To God’s prophet Jeremiah, it seemed nobody was listening as he warned of impending doom from the Babylonians. In the face of climate change, we too may feel ineffective as we speak out for justice. Jeremiah continued: He was faithful to his call from God to speak up, and he bought land as a sign of hope, trusting God that the people would return (Jeremiah 32). Stay faithful to your call.
COVID has exposed a climate justice connection. People with compromised lungs are more susceptible to the virus and more likely to die. Air pollution from manufacturing and power plants damages both the planet and the health of people, especially people of color and people in poverty, who often are relegated to living near the sources of pollution. Time to speak up for those whose cries are not being heard!
Drilling for gas and oil on previously protected lands is disrupting the habitats and reproductive patterns of the native species. So, in addition to spending valuable resources to provide deadly greenhouse emissions, the policy is also killing wildlife. Speak up for funding wind and solar as alternative energy sources and for protecting creation.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded. Records date back to 1880. Climate change, brought on especially by fossil fuel emissions, deforestation, and other human activities, will change life as we know it. Time for action is now and every day.
When you are shopping, look at more than just the product. Evaluate the packaging. Go for minimal or recyclable materials. Avoid plastic wrappings that will have to be trashed and stashed in a landfill.
With COVID concerns, some groceries are not allowing the use of customers’ reusable bags but using plastic bags as “safer.” Instead of accepting the practice, ask the clerk to simply put the scanned items back into the grocery cart. Then you can place them in your own carriers you brought for taking them home. Kindly let the clerk know that avoiding single-use plastic is important to you.
Deforestation is in the top five factors contributing to global warming. Several reputable organizations are working to reforest areas around the world. Consider donating trees in honor of someone you love as a birthday gift, for example. Look at Trees for the Future (trees.org) for possibilities.
Don’t trash that partially used paper. Don’t even recycle it, yet. First, Reuse it. Keep a shallow box lid and a pair of scissors near your desk. When the main purpose of the paper is finished, salvage the empty portion for reusable scrap paper. Stack the pieces in the box lid to keep them neat and nearby for easy use. You’ve saved a tree!
Less meat in our diets is proving to be healthier for the planet and for people. Especially given COVID restrictions and news about conditions for workers in meat processing facilities, now is the time to make more of your meals meatless. Recipes are readily available. Try them for the sake of the planet, your health, and justice.
Posted with permission by Special Family Edition, which gives ideas for ways toconnect children to nature.Sharing your love of God's creation with a new generation is one way to ensure that they will also become passionate about caring for God's earth and God's people. More of these images and tips are available on umcreationjustice.org/tips/.