Simple Stewardship is the journal of a middle-aged, Caucasian, Christian, woman who has taken her first faltering steps toward I like to call “the green side.” How does a conservative Christian living in the Bible Belt combine what many mainstream Christians term as “new age” environmental concerns with Christian values? Good question.
It’s hard to pinpoint any one event or experience that has brought me here. I’ve been involved with a local food co-op for several years as a producer of natural dog treats and have been slowly absorbing, I guess, their devotion to local farms, organic foods, buying local, etc. Then one day I ran across an episode of Living with Ed and got a hoot out of it, and again, absorbed some truth. Then April hit full tilt with all the Earth Day media. I started doing some reading and research and now I’m hooked. I have a long way to go and a lot to learn.
I want to know more about living more simply in a busy, stressful, over-consuming culture. I also want to do my part in lightening my family’s footprint ecologically, but I want to do it in accordance with my conservative Christian views. For those of you who didn’t click away when you saw the word “Christian,” I’ll continue. I believe God gave man stewardship over the earth and we’ve been treating it badly for a long time. We’ve lost sight of the fact that nature literally sustains humanity – food, sunlight, etc. How good are we at repaying the favor? Not very.
I’ve never been what you would call an “over-consumer,” probably for financial reasons more than anything else, but our daily habits of energy and water use have been wasteful and negligent. I want to change that. I have retrieved the recycle bin from the garage and am slowly training my husband and son to recycle. I find myself consciously turning off TVs and lights behind us and unplugging appliances. I’ve stopped leaving our computer on 24-7 and am washing more laundry in cold water. I’ve already seen some results. Our natural gas bill was down $3.00 last month after only a partial month of cold-water washing. I’m hoping to see more of a decrease for May. We are switching to CFL bulbs as old ones blow. I’ve begun taking my cloth bags with me to Wal-Mart and the cashier’s are very good about it. I come home with only a few plastic bags which I use for cleaning up after our dog. I know, I know, they then go in the trash, i.e., landfill, but its a step in the right direction. Perhaps I should start flushing the waste instead and recycling the bags….good idea.
I’m also involved in my local farmers’ market. I bake and sell all natural pet treats (www.naturalbarker.com) I also work a full time job (more about that some other time) so the dog treat thing is a lot of work. I really hit a wall with it last summer and swore I would never do it again, but after the much needed winter break, I decided to keep going with it – my fifth season – and am really enjoying it this year. I now see it as being part of the whole local foods movement. I am providing a locally made, healthy product for pets and feel good about it. I’ve also noticed this year that about 80% of the people that come through the market bring reusable bags. Woohoo! People are catching on. Its kinda fun.
I’m doing a LOT of reading. I’m especially getting a lot out of David Wann’s Simple Prosperity, Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle. I’ll be throwing quotes at you as I find things that really ring true for me.
I guess this enough for a first post. So until next time..
Keep it simple