Ecology—-Preserving God’s Earth

12 03 2008

I first became aware of the issues of ecology when I was a freshman in college. It was a hot topic. Conversation in the hallways and in the library almost always turned to the topic of ecology. Thirty eight years have passed since those days. However, the seeds of those conversations have always stayed with me.

As a young mother, I didn’t have the money to buy fancy groceries. Thus, ecology was involuntarily a part of my life. I used to look at folks with their grocery carts filled to the fullest capacity. All kinds of convenience foods packaged in fancy boxes. Glass jars full of fruit, spaghetti sauce, apple sauce etc. Moreover, I couldn’t afford to buy disposable diapers and I often envied the mothers who had their carts full of the big packages of disposable diapers. In those days, I never directly thought of ecology. I thought only of what I wish I could afford.

As our income increased– I found that I became one of the people with a full grocery cart-often with convenience foods. When my children were in high school, we started ordering pizza quite often. The delivery person would give us our pizza which was in large cardboard containers. I just threw them out. I always did have a tinge of guilt. The only thing I didn’t throw out as our prosperity grew were aluminum cans. That was where I took baby steps with ecology. With four teenagers, I never felt I was prosperous enough to throw away the money that I could get from them. Jim placed a large container at his plant for people to throw their aluminum cans in. When it was filled he took it to our recycling plant and got some good money. Often, we ordered more pizza with that money. Thus, more cardboard boxes went to the landfill.

Since I’ve become an Orthodox Christian, I have grown in my sensitivity to preserving the earth. We truly believe that God has all people to watch over and preserve the earth’s natural resources. Our family has taken steps to more green living as our awareness grows. Last spring, I made the choice to clean mostly with vinegar and baking soda. I have a spray bottle that I fill with 3/4 full of vinegar and the rest of the bottle is filled with Blue Dawn Dish soap. This makes an excellent all purpose cleaner. Then I use an old dish detergent bottle and fill it with half vinegar, half water and just a few drops of the Blue Dawn . This is what I use for light cleaning. I clean my plastic table covering with this solution. I do keep a can of Comet cleanser to use if anyone has had a stomach virus or flu. That is the only time I use a disinfectant.

I don’t buy many convenience foods. However, it is amazing how much cardboard, plastic, and glass one can accumulate just by minimal shopping. We do eat a great deal of cereal and occasionally I like to buy canned fruit in a jar. I thought I was doing well with my ecology efforts but when Vera moved home-she chided me for throwing my cereal boxes away. So now I smash all of my boxes and place them in a bigger box. I have a box or a bag for all of my plastics, and a box for my glass jarsand aluminum products. Every two weeks they are taken to a recycling center. It is at times an inconvenience but I think of the bigger issue involved-saving the earth. My son , Ben, gets all of my plastic peanut butter jars. He uses them to put all of this little things like nails and screws. He just can’t get enough of those plastic jars.

We also try to limit the use of paper products. For about a year-I used only cloth napkins. However, now I use the paper towels that come in the choose a size rolls. I try not to over use paper towels. However, with my grandsons visiting quite a bit-paper towels are just handier. We rarely use paper plates. I run my dishwasher every two days. I’m conservative with washing clothes. There are many clothing items that can be aired out and worn a second time.

I’m not an expert in ecology. I have much to learn. However, I still hear the whispers in my ear of those conversations that I had with other students many years ago. What about you? What do you do to save God’s earth?

May God bless each of you!

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10 responses

13 03 2008
shadowlands1501

Nicole3
I was just thinking that I needed to make my own cleaning products…Everything is going up in price and those products that are “friendly” are double the price, so I was trying to remember what my mom used to clean with and, of course, I couldn’t. Then I read your blog and there it is…I agree, we must appreciate the wonderful gift that God gave us. It is mind boggling to think that a few degrees either way from the sun and life here on Earth would not be possible…(the drought last year was bad enough)…I too have reverted back to my Mother Earth days…I wish now that I kept those few issues of the magazine that I bought….I am sure there is more online than I could ever imagine…
Thanks for sharing your orthodoxy…I find it wonderfully reassuring and facinating…(I read the achieve posts)…

13 03 2008
spillay

Hi Nicole3. Great tips!!!

Spillay xx
http://spillay.wordpress.com

14 03 2008
nichole3

Shadowlands,
I knew that you would agree with taking steps to take care of the earth. That Blue Dawn recipe is terrific. It makes all the newer bathtubs and sinks shine. I have a recipe for making homemade laundry detergent that I will have to look up. I made it quite a bit for about 4 months then got a little lazy. I will look it up and email it to you. Thanks for reading my archives on my journey to the Orthodox faith. You can listen to my priest on http://www.ancientfaith.com—just look under the podcasts for Fr. John Oliver’s program. I think you might enjoy listening to his programs. They are short–no longer than 10 or 15 minutes. He has quite a list of programs in the podcast archives. Thanks again.

Your friend,
Nichole

14 03 2008
nichole3

Dear Spillay,
It is great to hear from you. I’m glad you enjoyed the tips.

14 03 2008
David Web

Nichole:

The vinegar really is an excellent natural cleaner and actually does have some disinfectant power of it’s own. I also take apple cider vinegar in pill form twice a day for internal cleaning as well, and am completing two weeks of detox foot pads with bamboo vinegar, which absorb all kinds of metals and other posons one accumulates over 50+ years in this not so sterile world which we trudge through.

Yes, we definitely have a huge responsibilty as Christians to conserve and recycle when we can. We’re still guilty of tossing newspapers at home, but some go in the recycle bin at work, and I often save plastic containers like peanut butter in 4-5lb range. Those, along with one gallon sherbet/ice cream plastic containers are great for freezing soups and stews I cook up in 2-3 gallon batches in my large steel kettle.

I rarely eat fast food, another vehicle of container waste, with those ridiculous huge cups , and all the wrappings. However, the main reason I avoid that type of food is because I have learned in my lay readings over the years, just how inadequate a fuel source it is for true nutritional value, and how laden with dangerous fats from cheap oils like soybean, and vegetable, they truly are.

I do however ride the bus to work most every day instead of driving, but may continue to ride the motorcycle once or twice a week in nicer weather, if I don’t sell it soon. It does get 53-55 miles a gallon in city traffic, is fun to ride, and with a backpack, is great for light errands as well.

Perhaps with the very real winter in the Northern Hemisphe this year, both east and west, we are being granted a slow down of the greenhouse impact we are having from burning off fossil fuels with no abandon.

Little Brother

15 03 2008
nichole3

Dear David,
What wonderful ideas you have for saving the earth. I remember all of the soups you made at our home in the l980’s. They were wonderful. Yes, those plastic ice cream buckets are good for that. I have never heard of taking apple cider vinegar in pill form. All of your efforts are wonderful. Thank you for sharing them.

love,
Sis

19 03 2008
Roads

I’m with you all the way, Nichole.

Some would say that we as individuals can do so little. But if we all do something, then that will make a difference.

More and more I see government decisions on green issues being made in response to individual initiatives. It’s so important that we keep on trying.

19 03 2008
nichole3

Yes, Roads–it is absolutely so important to keep doing any and everything that we can do to protect this earth. Every individual has a small part–as you said. Thanks for your imput.

4 04 2008
Kelly

I can so relate to the changeover to green living, and the call on our lives to be good stewards of what God has given us! The earth is the Lords’ and the fullness thereof..
Therefore, we have a responsibility to not be wasteful. I can so relate to the paper towel issue-we do buy them occasionally, but mostly we use rags. I used cloth napkins for awhile, but as you know, with 4 children it can be a bit much on the upkeep. But we rarely use paper plates,
and always re-use our plastic utensils if we have a party-over and over again!
Blessings to you in your journey, especially throughout the rest of Great Lent!
Kelly

5 04 2008
nichole3

Dear Kelly,
You are making a tremendous effort to save the earth. I appreciate that. I cringe when I think of all the years that I was wasteful. I keep trying to recycle everything that I possibly can. Those little plastic forks, spoons etc get used over at our home, too. I’m not 100 percent green in my living but I’m working toward that as a goal. You mentioned Great Lent. Are you Orthodox? I’m so thankful for your comment.

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