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Jamie Lath's picture

Don't Throw That Away: Earth Conscious Christian

Jen Hatmaker, you have messed me up. 

I spend my days like I'm the recycling police now. I note when something could have been reduced. I kick myself when I come out of store with bags because I forgot to bring in some cloth ones. I've even carried groceries out in my arms with no bag at all just to avoid plastic. I look like a freak. Suddenly, my blasé fair attitude towards the earth has turned into a budding obsession with treating with care. I blame you and your book 7 (more info on book).

Take for example, my recent trip to Chick-fil-A. Now, I have no problem going to Chick-fil-A. It may be fast food, but we all understand the occasional need for the chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and a lemonade, am I right?  

The problem came at the end of the visit as I came up to the trash can with my offerings. My brain jumped into overdrive. Some of this could be recycled! I wondered if I should stuff it into my purse. Take it home and recycle it there. Ah, but we weren't going home. Would it be too weird to take recyclables over to someone else's house? In a moment of confusion, I did the "normal" thing and dumped them in. My bag isn't big enough for it all anyway, I reasoned.  

It left me with the burning question as to why our restaurants don't recycle. Less than a year ago, my family was living in Taiwan. When you got up to throw your trash away there, you were faced with multiple trash receptacles. Some for recyclables and others for trash. McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, they all had these receptacles. Can you imagine how much trash we could recycle in our fast food joints by doing this? Can you imagine the precedent this would set for recycling?  

Some of you reading this may be wondering why I'm hitting up recycling on this Bible blog. Well, simply put I'm starting to understand that God made the earth and everything in it, and I should put a little more thought into my actions to help sustain it. Look at Psalm 24.

(Others of you may be like, "What's the big deal? Recycling is so barely the beginning. She's so behind!" For those of you who are on the cutting edge, what do you do about your fast food trash? And, if you tell me you solved it by not eating fast food, not even Chick-fil-A, then I'll pray for you.) 

I've tried to think about why I haven't thought about this too much before. I recycle at home. Not with any ferociousness, but I throw the recyclables in the right spots. I've even started focusing on reducing my usage of stuff like plastic baggies and all those thousand of other "disposable" items that make our lives supposedly easier.  

So, why is it that it's just been a background issue? Shouldn’t we Christians be in the foreground of taking care of what God's given us? Why don't I care more? 

Honestly, most of the time, I'm just too into my own life and my own stuff. I don't put much thought into the long term effects of me. (Funny, I'm self-centered but not on a long-term basis.) Plus, the earth seems a little bit forever. It's hard to imagine I'm putting a dent in it.  

And, of course, I don’t want to turn into one of those crazies who is ringing the doomsday gong every other second because of all this. 

Then again, I'm now the crazy who has an empty waffle fry container stuffed into her bag. Perhaps I'm too late? 

 

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