The Post About Jesus and Me Going Green

Recycle Bins
Last week, I noticed these in the church hosting our work conference.

I was all high fives and chest bumps.

I may or may not be over the moon about taking care of the planet. It all started on a trip to San Francisco in 2009 when I fell for all things hilly and redwoody. Plus, there were recycling bins everywhere. And no plastic bags. Not a one. I was fascinated.

Green is the New Black
When I returned home, I started to make small changes that didn't get all up in my face, but seem to be making a difference.
  1. Reusable bags for shopping. Cashiers are getting less angsty about this and mine are a sassy fashion statement.
  2. Thermostat on 77 in the summer. It's 198% humidity in Alabama, but I survive. Although I might survive sans pants.
  3. Reusable aluminum water bottles. Not really a money savings because I tend to leave them on top of my car and then speed off.
  4. Reusing bath towels. I'm generally clean by the time I get to the dry off part anyway.
  5. 5-Minute showers. I'm a shaving, conditioning ninja.
  6. No pre-washing dishes before the dishwasher. I own the Kenmore, it does not own me.
  7. As bulbs died, I switched to compact fluorescent bulbs. My Dad has only had to drive 40 minutes round-trip with his shiny ladder once in 3 years to change my flood lights.
  8. Cold water for all clothes-washing. I'm not a Chilean miner, so we're not talking major stain removal.
  9. Stopped all paper bill statements. I also went check free by paying all debtors online and no longer attending Mary Kay parties.
  10. Rechargeable batteries. My camera flash and 30-second FWD button for the DVR get quite a workout.
My next goals:
  • Old school matches instead of those snazzy reach-into-the-candle-jar-lighters-that-never-leave-the-landfill.
  • Homemade household cleaners despite my long-term love affair with Lysol wipes.
  • Buy a dainty Schwinn Cruiser to ride to church which is less than 1/2 mile away. However, I may need to continue to pray about that.
As a Christian, I've always thought taking care of the earth is a no-brainer. However, it's never been a movement my church or those like it have side hugged into common practice.

Why is that?

Is it Al Gore? Did he invent the Internet and then ruin the concept of stewardship?

I believe any stuff I have is actually on loan from God so I need to value it like I value Him. That definitely includes the plot of the planet I occupy.

So how do you try and "love on" the planet? Or am I in left field about all this green business?

{images: Jamie}


  1. If you're out in left field, I'm out there with you! We did break down a few weeks ago and bought a window AC unit for our bedroom so we can keep the rest of the house at 77-78 (and I'm in SC so I totally get the humidity) but still be able to sleep. I'm anxious to see our first power bill post-install.

    You're right on the bags, too. Love mine. At first, clerks really didn't know what to do with them (some still don't), but I don't feel like a weirdo anymore for bringing my own bags.

    It is a shame that more churches aren't at the forefront of the environmental movement. We are stewards of the planet, not masters. And right now we're not being very good caretakers. I think it's up to us as individuals to start at home and then try to affect change on a larger scale. Posts like this are a great step towards that larger change!

  2. I hope your bill is but pennies! I'm now known by my bags at smaller stores - I'm hoping it's a positive recollection :-) Amen to the church leading the charge!

  3. I celebrate the earth and "green movement" by a celebratory dance I do every week around a burning pile of old tires and plastics, which then doubles as a BBQ for roasted bald eagle (which tastes nothing like chicken)....or maybe that's a complete lie and I recycle religiously....

  4. I would think roasted bald eagle would taste like turkey.

  5. "I believe any stuff I have is actually
    on loan from God so I need to value it like I value Him. That
    definitely includes the plot of the planet I occupy."I wish more people thought that way. I'm not as green as I could be but I am better than I used to be. Jars are reused instead of tossed in the trash, clothes are line dried, we use the CFL bulbs and my favorite cleaner is vinegar and water. The cleaner is mostly because I have little helpers and I'm not comfortable using the stronger chemicals with them.Whenever I write another Saturday Linkage post I am sharing this because it is just that awesome.

  6. I think every step we can take (even the smallest ones like mine) make a
    difference! Of course, I also think that about exercising for 5 minutes
    a day.

    Definitely going to go for the vinegar and water cleaner! Thank you!

  7. This is a great post, Jamie.  Let's see.  I probably don't do as much as I should, but there are a few things.  

    I have a Nalgene walter bottle, which will still be in one piece when I leave it on top of my car and run over it.  

    If I do buy plastic water bottles, I wash and reuse for as long as I can.

    Wash everything on cold.  

    I really like Mrs. Meyers cleaners, and from what I understand, they're supposed to be more environmentally friendly.  Plus that basil scent is awesome.  

    Living out in the country I burn a lot of trash, so not really sure if that's better for the planet or not, but it sure beats sitting in a landfill in my book.  

    I keep my AC at 80 during the day and until I go to bed.  I'm very cold natured, but I can't sleep if I don't have a blanket on, so it needs to be cooler at night.  

    I pack my lunch most days instead of buying lunch in a paper bag or containers that don't recycle.  Plus, this saves a ton of money!

    So not a ton of stuff that I do, but like you said, I think every little bit helps!

  8. I need to look in Mrs. Meyers. Plus, I could then pretend she's my housekeeper. I also hadn't thought about getting Chick-Fil-A to put my lunch NOT in a bag and I could just shove it in my purse. Or mouth.

    Great ideas!

  9. I've tried to pretend she's my housekeeper, but she's lazier than I am when it comes to cleaning.  Chick-Fil-A is a favorite of mine, as well.  It helps that the closest one is over 50 miles away or otherwise I would be in big trouble...

  10. Random Thoughts:

    I hate Mary Kay parties. I actually hate all of those parties. So much pressure to buy something and even if they say there's no pressure, I still feel bad. Young House Love has a great collection of homemade cleaner recipes. Although I can't give up my Clorox Bleach Wipes. But I only use those for toilets and places raw meat has been. And when I'm feeling the extra extra lazies.
    Matches scare me. I think by the time I was old enough to play with them we got the snazzy reach-into-the-candle-jar-lighters and now if I even attempt to light a match I chicken out that I'm going to burn myself. 
    I gave up on rechargeable batteries awhile ago because they go out so quickly, but I might look into those again. Have they improved in the last five years?

  11. I also always feel bad finding the cheapest thing in the catalog to purchase. I sorta reside in extra extra lazytown so the homemade cleaner biz will require sacrifice. Love YHL so I'm headed that way. If I could refill the reach-into-the-candle-jar-lighter, I'd do it. The rechargeables are mucho better. My external flash doesn't need a recharge any more often than disposable. I think.


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