Creation Care and Justice Tips for April, 2023
posted on April 01
Easter, Spring, and Earth Day mesh in April this year. Think about the lovely overlap: God resurrected Jesus from the dead and brought about new life through the church; God created the season that faithfully resurrects the cycle of life year after year; and God works with faithful people through Earth Day to resurrect and renew care for Creation. God’s desire for life over death is clear. Let us work with joy for resurrection! The opportunities are all around us!
Plant a patch or a whole garden full of food for pollinators. Essential to the growth of food for humans (both body and soul), butterflies, bees, and birds teeter toward extinction due to human-caused destruction of habitat and use of pesticides. Plant for creation.
Avoid food waste, which in landfills becomes methane and exacerbates the climate crisis. Consume less in the first place. Across the globe, near and far, too many people are hungry. Consuming too much and wasting what is left over aren’t healthy for people or planet. Justice means assuring enough for all.
Remember the clear air during the COVID shut down? Also clear was the evidence that gasoline vehicles are a major culprit driving the emissions that pollute our air and lungs. Choose to reduce the emissions you create—travel less, combine trips, carpool, use public transportation, walk, bike, invest in an electric or hybrid vehicle, advocate to electrify school buses and company fleets.
April showers in cities often create runoff. With so much pavement the water picks up contaminants and races untreated to the nearest storm drains, negatively affecting water quality and harming wildlife and forestry. Lessen runoff damage: avoid lawn chemicals, recycle motor oil, wash a car on grass or at a facility that filters wastewater, remove debris from sidewalks and driveways.
Compost—don’t trash—the results of your spring yard clean up. Leaves and clippings trashed and dumped into a landfill become a global problem. When cleaned up and composted, leaves and clippings become nutrients and a solution.
Debris in waterways and plastic in oceans harm marine life—and ultimately all life. Pull together family, friends, or church members to cleanup a beach or stream nearby. If possible, weigh the collection and report it widely. Otherwise, raise funds and make an Earth Day donation to the Ocean Blue Project, and they’ll do the work for you.
Never doubt that a few people can make a huge difference. From two people with a concern came the first Earth Day in 1970, which was in the U.S. In 2023 over a billion people in 193 countries have caught the vision. What you do matters!
“Invest in Our Planet” is the theme for 2023’s Earth Day. Invest your time, efforts, and resources in renewal of the earth. Change habits that harm; support the work of organizations and companies that are caring for creation and justice; speak truth to those in power; invite family, friends, and colleagues to invest in our planet, too.
Divest for the sake of our planet. Scrutinize where your financial resources are at work. Are they supporting fossil fuels? Are your go-to suppliers of goods and services doing harm through your purchases? Buy local to cut down emissions; look for Certified B Corp companies that give back to helping the planet. It’s your money—use it for good!
Stop the soot! For many people the air is visibly polluted—and harming their health. United Women in Faith are speaking out for earth and justice. Sign their petition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen the work to clear the air. Your voice counts for justice.
*The UM Creation Justice Movement (umcreationjustice.org) provides these tips as a tool to equip church members, individuals, and families to respond to God’s call to care for creation and do justice with our neighbors.
Convener, 2020-2024 for the
WNCC Creation Care Ministry