Monday, October 18, 2010

What does it mean to be “green?”

recycle-atlantaI have been thinking on this for a little while.  What exactly does it mean to be green?  I am not an environmentalist, and I never would have described myself as “green.”  But…I do have several “green” habits in my lifestyle.  They are mostly reusable products, but I have found that I really enjoy being “green” in these aspects:

  • The biggest green thing I do is use cloth diapers.  While I started using cloth to save green, it is still a green choice.  I don’t have disposable diapers to throw away, and they are better for my baby.FB-perfectsize-grape120
  • Recycling. This is something we didn’t do before moving to NYC, and we mostly do it here because it’s a law – we have to do it.  And yet, as I gather up my recycling on Sunday nights I can’t help but notice how much stuff I would have been adding to the trash.  If those items can be reused and recycled, then I am glad to help.  But just to be clear – I would probably not be a recycler if I the collection service was not free.
  • Cloth napkins.  My mom used cloth napkins for special occasions when I was growing up.  Once I remember that she made a bunch of homemade napkins and we only used those for a while, but then she gave up.  I bought a stack of cloth napkins at a yard sale, and I got a few more included with placemats.  I have found that I really like using the cloth napkins, and it also saves on the cost of paper napkins.
  • Ziplocs.  I wash and reuse my Ziploc bags…except for the ones that had raw meat in them.
  • Paper towel.  I don’t buy paper towel anymore.  I hated the cost and how fast we used it up.  This used to drive Ben nuts, until I came up with an alternative.  I cut a bunch of t-shirt rags into paper towel-sized portions, and I store them inside the kitchen cupboard.  We use them in place of paper towels.  I wash them with Ben’s work clothes.  If a mess is particularly bad, it doesn’t break my heart to toss them in the trash.
  • Cleaning products.  I use a bucket and rag to mop my floor.  No Swiffer Wet Jet which requires more disposable pads for me!  (But if I ever see a good sale, I might pick one up.  I read a great post on making reusable Swiffer pads from prefold diapers.  I happen to have a lot of those around, and I can make homemade solution to put in the sprayer).  I reuse the hand soap dispensers to make my own foamy soap.
  • Shopping bags.  I save and reuse plastic shopping bags.  I try very hard to remember to take my reusable canvas shopping totes, but I must admit this is one of my biggest downfalls.  I just forget most of the time.
  • Shipping boxes.  When someone send us something, I save and reuse the box rather than tossing it in the trash.  It’s a little thing, but it saves me money and effort when I need to ship!

So there is my list.  I don’t know if that really makes me green.  Most of it is pretty insignificant.  But that’s what we do, and I suppose it helps a little.  While I am not an environmentalist, I do believe that we should be good stewards of what God has given us, including the planet where we live.

3 comments:

  1. Hey Andrea!

    I loved your post on green living. I believe that as children of God we do have a responsibility to be good stewards of the things He has given us. I believe that we should use natural things from God's creation and should do our part to keep waste and pollution to the minimum.

    I love using natural herbs for remedies/healing. So much sickness and disease can be cured with healthy food/herbs/vitamins. In Genesis God said that the herbs of the field were for our food. I don't think He was talking about seasoning! I believe that as wives and mothers it is our responsibility to make wise/healthy choices for our families. What we feed them, the products we put on their bodies, and use in their environment can affect our children for the rest of their lives.

    I have had a long journey to health. All through my teen years I was sick constantly. Everyday I had head aches and my stomach hurt all the time. I had extreme lethargy and exhaustion and by the time I was 19 I had so many health problems that I secretly began to wonder if I was going to die before I reached the age of 30. I felt miserable. My problems kept escalating and finally when I was 20 I decided my life had to change. I faced the fact that if I continued down the road of bad health I was never going to be able to be fully usable in the work of the Lord. How can you adequately serve the Lord when you are so sick that you can hardly get out of bed in the morning? Most of all, I knew I wasn't going to do much to further God's Kingdom if I died from cancer so I quit school, began researching and kept praying that God would continue to guide me. He answered my prayers and showed me a whole new way of living! I found that I had a severe allergy to all preservatives, chemicals, and everything artificial. It was making me seriously ill! I starting eating a completely organic diet and buying my food from local natural farms. I started doing all of my own cooking using only certified organic ingredients and I started taking organic/whole food Nutrilite vitamins produced by a group of small organic family farms. My life changed drastically! I lost 30lbs while eating more food than I ever had and feeling absolutely wonderful. The best thing of all was everyone of my health issues disappeared! It was a miracle! God kept leading me and bringing more amazing people into my life that continued educating me about health and nutrition. It has been incredible to see how God has brought me out of sickness into an amazing life of productivity and service for Him. I now do more than I ever dreamed of doing... I am involved in many ministries with my church, including being the full time pianist and music coordinator.
    God brought an incredible man into my life who has helped me even more on my journey. He is a health fanatic and has planted our whole yard with beautiful organic fruit trees/bushes and vines. He also got a bee hive so we can have our own organic honey in Down Town Greenville!! We have so much fun making our yard/house "green" together. Walter is constantly getting me DVDs and books on health so that we can better help other people serve the Lord to their fullest capacity by having good health. We also have our own full time ministry mentoring unsaved couples with marriage problems that God brings across our path. We help win them to the Lord, disciple them and get them into church where they can grow in the Lord. God has made it possible for me to accomplish His will by showing me an alternative and I am so thankful!

    (continued...)

    ReplyDelete
  2. (continued 2 of 3)I look around and see so many Christians dying of cancer and suffering from horrible diseases. I don't think it is God's will for us to live in sickness. I know that the path of suffering is for some but in the Bible Jesus said He came to bring us life so that we could have it "more abundantly". He spent His time not only teaching/preaching but healing the sick and making people whole. I think the secret lies in that those people had to take a step of faith in their heart. Just like the man brought to Jesus on his bed by four friends. Jesus told him to rise up, take up his bed and walk. He had to want the healing bad enough to take that first step. There are times that God miraculously heals people from their sicknesses but I think that in some cases, people look at God like He is just a genie in a bottle who they can ask to make everything better but they aren't willing to change their lifestyle. (it is the same with some people who want to be saved from hell, but they aren't willing to repent) People are making unhealthy choices, living unhealthy lifestyles, and eating unhealthy garbage and then they expect God to swoop in and heal them when they end up sick as a result of how they have been living. I have found many people who have serious health problems don't really want a ticket to good health if it means they have to change their way of life. They go to the doctor and believe everything he says. They want to take a bunch of pills and pray that God will do a miracle. I am not saying all doctors are bad. They have their place. They are very useful for stitches/broken bones and emergencies, but I believe most are more interested in keeping people sick than in making them well. Honestly, healthy people don't pad a doctor's pockets with money! I think in many cases Christians would be better off going to the Lord in prayer, doing their own research, being willing to change and asking God for healing. I have met many people that did this and were healed of cancers/tumors/and many diseases. Of course, God does have mercy and heals many who go the doctor route, but I still think God gave us a brain and the capacity to learn for a reason.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Our Father lovingly designed our bodies to heal themselves. He gave us all of the herbs and plants in nature to help our bodies in that healing process. He gave us incredible food choices in nature to nourish our bodies, which man has taken and corrupted with hormones, additives, chemicals, genetic engineering and other horrible things. God wants us to make wise decisions and be good stewards of the bodies He has given us. The Bible says our bodies our the temple of the Holy Ghost! We were bought with a price and we are not our own! If we are to glorify God in our bodies it seems to me that we should take really good care of the building he has entrusted to our care. Would we let the church fill with garbage, filth and dirt? No more than we would let sin and evil into the congregation. No Christian would stand by and let that happen to their church! We hold the house of the Lord in reverence, shouldn't we take care of our bodies also? I believe the above verse is not only talking about keeping our bodies free from sin but also keeping them well and fit for the Master's use. The healthier we become, the better equipped we will be to serve our Lord.

    3 John 1:2
    Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and BE IN HEALTH, even as thy soul prospereth.

    Isaiah 58:8
    Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.

    These were just a few things that came to my mind as I was reading your post. I know I hold a pretty crazy and maybe even radical view point, but I believe this is a very important subject in the day that we live and I have tons of Scripture to back up my belief. (I couldn't put everything down because I don't have my Bible with me at the moment) I would love to hear your opinion on the subject of health... I am very open to other view points. :) If you are interested in health/going green some amazing DVDs I highly recommend are
    - Food Inc (how food in America is being produced/raised)
    - The Future of Food (on genetic engineering of our food)
    - Food Matters (let they food be thy medicine)

    ReplyDelete

Please leave your email address if you need a response to your comment, or check back here to see my reply in the comments section.