How to reduce your environmental footprint
When God created the earth it was perfect, and everything in it was perfect. He gave us humans the important task of working it and taking care of it (Genesis 2:15), but sadly we haven’t done such a great job of that. So how can we turn things around?
- We should remember who the world belongs to. Psalm 24:1 says: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” We should treat our surroundings as sacred because they belong to the King of kings.
- We should take individual responsibility. Some people make excuses for their behaviour, believing they are too busy to care for the environment, that it won’t make a difference or that no one else is doing so why should we? But we are only responsible for our own actions, and we have a duty to care for the environment. Besides, once we start doing so, others may follow suit and then the domino effect will begin.
- We should see this job as an honour. Genesis 1:28 says: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” We have authority over all creation, but this shouldn’t make us selfish; rather, we should be delighted that God has entrusted us with this important task.
- We should glorify God as creation does. Psalm 19:1 says: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” God reveals himself through his creation, and we should reveal him through our treatment of the environment. We are to glorify him as the skies and everything beneath them do.
- We should remember that we depend on the earth as it does on us. The more damaged the world is the more humankind is affected. We have all heard about the impact of the dying bee population, and that is only one tiny creature. The degradation of the world leads to the extinction of animals, the depletion of the ozone layer and the destruction of vital rainforests. Temperatures are rising, and if nature is in danger so are we!
So what can we do to preserve our precious environment?
- Reduce waste by buying less and choosing reusable rather than disposable options (for example nappies).
- Buy goods with minimal packaging, opting for bulk items rather than individual portions (for example large yoghurt pots rather than small individual ones).
- Recycle everything you can and repurpose old items that still have plenty of life in them (for example old towels could be used as cleaning cloths and jam jars could be used as storage pots).
- Compost food waste to enrich your soil and cut down on waste.
- Buy second-hand items. If you can get away with buying used goods rather than having everything brand new you will reduce your impact on the environment as well as potentially saving yourself a few quid.
- Choose quality items over cheap and cheerful goods. Modern fashion tends to be designed for short-term use, but the production process is harmful to the environment, as is disposing of cheap items when the latest trend comes along. Buying fewer, higher-quality items will help to cut your carbon footprint and save you from the never-ending shopping trips.
- Opt for local organic produce where possible. Doing so is not only better for our bodies and the environment but also supports farmers who are doing their best to protect the world from artificial pesticides and fertilisers.
- Stop wasting energy. Could you insulate your home, turn off lights or chargers, take shorter showers or turn the heating down and stick a jumper on when temperatures drop?
- Cut back on fuel usage. Driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle, or opting to walk or cycle, can make a significant impact. Try lift-sharing, consolidating trips or taking the bus!