Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day

Earth Day, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Well, yesterday was Earth Day, and I took a short afternoon trip with my old friend Matt Thorn and his friend Tuyen. This lioness was posing so perfectly I had to take a picture.

So since it was earth day yesterday, I thought I would share a few practical ways you can practice better stewardship.

1) Practice Sabbath. It's good for your soul, and it's good for the earth to take one day each week and chill out. There will always be more work to do, so take a break one day each week and live simply.

2) Walk, ride a bus, or a bike. Of course this is sort of a no brainer, but it needs to be mentioned. If you live in town, even a small town like Morgantown, there's bound to be a bus route nearby. BIking and walking are great exercise too, and they sure beat sitting in traffic for a long time on warm spring afternoons.

3) Carpool. Here's a nifty idea. Next time you are going to a big event with other people you know, and you can't really walk or ride your bike, go together. Are you really that busy that you can't just enjoy the company of others, and let go of the independence that driving your own car offers you? Here's some great places to carpool--church, The Pittsburgh Zoo ;), sporting events, concerts, lectures, dinner, coffeeshops, and parties at friends houses. to name a few. Save $ and save on your footprint by carpooling.

4) Give the electric a rest.. Turn off lights when you aren't in a room. Set your entertainment center up so that it is on a power strip that is turned off when you aren't going to use it. (DId you know that stereos, TVs, etc. are using power all of the time so your remote will work when you point it at em--eliminate that waste of power from the "phantom charge.") You can also save a lot simply by switching to Compact Fluorescent bulbs. (Look at that One Billion Bulbs savings link down the sidebar). Switch out your bulbs, and join our group!!!

5) Give the heating and cooling a rest. Our ancestors didn't have a constant indoor temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Drop it to 65 or lower in the winter, and raise it to 71 or higher in the summer. You will reap dividends in savings, and you will help reduce energy waste. I'd even recommend getting a programmable thermostat. Then you can save even more because you can program it to shut off when your home is empty.

6) Get a reusable bottle. There's a lot of debates out there about Nalgenes vs. glass or metal bottles. Here's the deal. Regardless of what you use, if you aren't buying previously bottled water, you are reducing the amount of plastic that needs produced (most of which ends up end landfills!). So start using a reusable bottle, and make sure you keep it clean!

7) Recycle!!! It's not that difficult, and most towns are starting municipal pick-up. You will be amazed at how little waste you produce when you start recycling. It's kind of fun to take stuff to the recycling center too and see how much waste is being prevented.

That should do for now. I might write some more at a later time--we can all use frequent reminders, right? The most important thing to remember with all of these steps and more is that we do these things as an act of worship. We practice stewardship remembering that this whole world belongs to God, and when I take steps to care for it, I show my appreciation for the Maker of all things.

Happy belated Earth Day!

And also, if you have some practical tips you would like to share, leave em as a comment on here. If you start one of these practices, like joining my CFL group, let me know!

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