I envision a future where my children’s children speak the word “recycle” more often than the word “trash”. That world will be a cleaner, healthier place than ours because of all our hard work conserving resources, protecting the environment and reducing our waste.
“Going green” has become a rather trendy thing to do, and everyone from workplaces to universities, young families to senior citizens seem to be getting on board. I admit I tend to rebel against the pop culture as a general rule, but this is one issue on which I don’t mind conforming.
My Green Story
I’ve bled green since even before I knew what recycling was. You see, I’m a born conservationist.
I feel it’s important not to waste, almost as an instinct. I’ve always had an appreciation for nature and the feeling that I’m called to care for it, almost maternally.
Before you get thinking I’m going New Age on you, hold the phone. My motivation for my eco-consciousness is that God created this Earth and gave it to us. It is a gift, and one that He does not ask, but commands us to care for. We are all, by nature of our humanity, called to stewardship of the earth and all it has to share with us.
Here is my philosophy on why we’re Called to be Good Stewards of the Earth in a bit more depth. “We must leave this world as good as (or better than) it was bequeathed to us, depositing only our dust as we depart for Heaven, God willing.”
How to Practically Go Green
If you’ve followed Kitchen Stewardship for long, you already know what I have to say here. If you’re new to KS (and lots of you are in the past few weeks, hooray and welcome!), or if you’re visiting from Organizing Your Way, here are my top tips for being more gentle on the earth:
- 3 Easy Natural Cleaners that do almost everything
- How to Clean the Oven/Stovetop the Natural Way
- Where do hand sanitizers fall in?
- Get rid of your antibacterial soap. Please. I beg you.
- Cut down on paper towel waste
- This week’s mission: choose a cleaner to “green up” – see my full list of green cleaning alternatives, many of them less expensive than their toxic counterparts.
- Try it for free! Check out this week’s review and giveaway of Charlie’s Soap Landry Powder and All-Purpose Cleaner.
- Throw Away Less Food – practical tips and even recipes to cook what you buy and use up what you cook.
- Do you know what grocery stores do when you return food items?
- Know how to store produce and other perishables so you don’t throw away slimy greens or eat less-than-healthy grains.
- Shop the Reduced Produce section – practical tips to make sure you get good stuff and don’t pay too much.
- What do you throw away that you might not have to? We covered reusing kitchen containers as free storage containers, cloth napkins and other disposables, holiday waste and more during Decreasing Disposables in December. (Browse the whole series at that link.)
- Pack a Reduced Waste Lunch: lots of tips for throwing less away when you eat away from home.
- Plastic Bags: 11 ways to reuse them plus tips for avoiding them in the first place.
- Use Your Dishwasher Wisely: 6 ways to conserve energy and use more earth-friendly dishwasher products.
- Conserve Oven Energy: If you cook a lot, these simple tips will help you cut down on wasted gas/electricity.
- Know how much it costs to run kitchen appliances: where will you save the most by being eco-conscious?
What’s More Important than Going Green?
As we tremble in horror at the images and stories coming to us out of Haiti this past week, we are reminded just how frightfully short temporal life can be. I haven’t really written on Haiti as of yet, mostly because I barely know what’s happening there. I don’t watch the news. I gather from my online readings the absolute devastation there, and I know what to do: pray and give. I can do both without knowing the details, for my God knows exactly who needs my prayers and fasting.
I encourage you to fast from something this week, be it sweets, eating between meals, meat…and offer it up as a gift to God for graces in Haiti. And give of your abundance, for we all have more than those struck by the earthquake: I chose Catholic Relief Services, because I know they are already stationed in Haiti (their building is still standing) and always do good work. Donate to CRS’s Haiti Relief Effort here. (Read about their commitment to Haiti.)
Photo Source: CRS Voices
May we always remember that the state of our souls and our relationship with God are more important than than the health of our bodies and that of our world. Pray, fast, give. Prepare for Heaven…but take care of the earth while you’re here.