Creation Care Tips
posted on February 01
“The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it,/the world, and those who live in it” (Psalm 24:1). The familiar first line is incomplete without the second, less well-known declaration, which calls us to love not just God’s earth but also everyone in the world. Work for justice, especially for those who suffer because of climate change.
- Identify in your home or workplace ways you have made thoughtful changes in the past year because of your love for creation. Are you printing less or on two sides? Have you cut down on food waste or started composting? Make a list or tally mark of your actions and celebrate. Then talk about the exercise with someone. Find out what they are doing. Encourage each other.
- The new congressional year has started. Write a letter or email to your representative and senators. Talk about your desire for action that addresses your concern for creation justice. Indicate you are both a constituent and a person of faith. Policy makers pay more attention to letters from individuals, and they need a broader religious perspective than they often expect.
- Soil isn’t just dirt. It’s a habitat for millions of microbes that are essential for growing nutritious food for all. Discontinue the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides on your lawn and land. Love your microbes and you love everyone who eats food.
- Avoid food waste by storing it properly. Especially when stored in plastic, fruit may ripen more quickly than you can use it. Vegetables are sensitive to the ripening gases, so a basic rule is to separate fruit and vegetables. Some produce does best on the counter; others, in a cool, dry place; and some are better in the fridge. Find out what does best where.
- Change some bathroom habits. Use a safety or electric razor rather than a disposable one. Use shampoo and conditioner bars instead of those in plastic. Switch to a bamboo toothbrush and bamboo or recycled toilet tissue and save trees. Cut down plastic use (and save dollars) by cutting open the tube so you get easy access to all the toothpaste.
- Love someone else’s clothes. Shop thrift stores to not only save money, but also to extend the life of serviceable clothing. Secondhand stores often support worthy causes, as well. When what you wear is no longer a candidate for another round of wearing, recycle the textiles through ReTold. They commit to multiple ways of keeping fabric out of landfills.
- Go from rags to riches—ditch paper towels and switch to reusable, washable cloth rags or napkins. Decreasing demand means decreasing deforestation. Reusing cloth for napkins and clean-up saves money, as well as trees. At a meal or other food-inclusive event at church, provide compostable napkins, plates, and cups—and a compost service (either from members or a commercial provider). Announce their use as a way to show love to the earth. Also, offer information about the sources of the materials and service so people can follow the church’s example.
These tips were created and provided by the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement 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. For more information about the UMCJ Movement, visit umcreationjustice.org.
Convener, 2020-2024 for the
WNCC Creation Care Ministry