Tag Archives: environment

Kristin Herdy’s Quest for the Holy Landfill

I’m an auntie! More on that later. On the way to and from the hospital to see my nephew, I drive along a country highway, dotted with several large estates and ranches.

What you notice as you pass are the iron gates, large houses, softly rolling green hills, cattle, pristine estate grounds and long drives, and the signs. Those houses all have signs up right now. STOP THE LANDFILL, they say. The signs are large, professional, and look costly.

I can’t help but think about the “sides” of this landfill issue. I wouldn’t want a landfill in my backyard, either. I wouldn’t want my groundwater potentially compromised by rainwater runoff over mounds of trash. I wouldn’t want the stench. On the other hand, landfills have to go somewhere, right?

Who should bear the brunt of the landfill?

Those who produce the most waste?

Those who can’t afford to stop the initiative?

Who deserves to live in a landfill-free environment?

Those who pay the most for their houses?

Those who bear the lion’s share of property taxes?

Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.”

Reading those signs, I couldn’t help but feel that, as human beings, we know our waste, our excess, our sin, will come back to haunt us, but like the Pharisees, we also believe we can keep the facade looking clean and pristine and avoid the consequences.

We might try to hide it away in someone else’s area. We might try to slap a new coat of paint on it. We could rebrand and repackage it. We could recycle it or shoot it into space. We can’t seem to eliminate it, though, not through all our efforts.

No one wants a landfill in their backyard. No one wants to live in their own waste. No one wants the consequences of their sin to pile up and over their fences and spill into their flower beds.

If your sin were represented by a mound of trash… what is the capital of Assyria? how much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood? what is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow? look! a baby!!!!

In other words, what absurd things do we do to avoid the punishment of our sin, instead of asking forgiveness and accepting the consequences?

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Babysteps to green

I warned you in my one-word post that I’m going to have a hard time with the environmental part of my green focus. It’s going to take a lot to turn this slovenly carbon yeti into a somewhat better consumer of stuff. I think it’s important, first of all, to say WHY I want to minimize my impact.

Some of you have already stopped reading. I can sense it. The reason is, being careful about the environment is linked to an Agenda for you. You think it’s about saving trees over people – as if it’s a zero sum game.

You read Genesis 1:28,

And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.

 

 and take hold of those words subdue and dominion, but don’t read on to

Leviticus 18:28

And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.

 

I see the Earth as a gift. God gave it to humankind with the caveat that we are to subdue (bring it under our direction) and have dominion over it (be the leader). He did not give us the right to use it up like a tissue and throw it away. If we’re good to the land, the land will be good to us, and if we abuse the land, we will suffer the consequences, because we have not accepted the responsibility that comes with dominion.

I’m terrible about this. I don’t usually give much thought to what I’m throwing away, buying, consuming and wasting. It is my goal, though, to give it a good shot this year, and form healthy habits that, let’s face it, won’t save the world, but will attempt to do my part to take care of that gift.

So far, here’s what I’ve done – they are babysteps. I’m trying.

1) I’ve replaced as many lights as I can afford right now with the energy efficient, environmentally friendly ones. And, because they get much brighter than the old incandescents, I now have only one light bulb in my bedroom, and two in the living room, and I can still read. Also – am saving money. check.

2) Recycling electronics – Target and others stores have recycling bins for used electronics, cell phones, printer cartridges, etc. If you’d rather give them to a good cause, plenty of churches sell their electronic recycling to earn extra cash for their soup kitchens or youth events.

3) I’ve turned down the heat. We are using more clothes and throws during the day and I have an electric blanket that I turn on right before I get in bed. This saves on gas, which also saves on money. double-check.

I’m working on a few more things, but doing it all at once is time and money-consuming. So, I am asking for your help – what is your best, easiest or most energy-efficient advice for going green?