Last week, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. This week, we get to celebrate the earth, as Earth Day is upon us, tomorrow, April 22. Being a good steward of the earth is a spiritual practice. This is evident in scripture. Genesis 2:15 tells us God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden so he would work it and take care of it. This charge for Adam is really a charge for us all and is never revoked. Unfortunately, our government, run by “Christians,” is not following this scripture. Our leaders believe it is OK to destroy the earth, denying climate change and our part in it, for financial gain.
No matter your race, religion or economic class, we all need a clean environment to live productive lives. That being said, no particular race, religion or economic class should bear the burden of an unclean environment. Where we live plays a huge role in the environmental benefits and risks we are forced to deal with. Impoverished areas have few benefits, such as green spaces, but carry an unequal burden of toxic waste. Unfortunately, people of color make up two-thirds of communities located near hazardous waste facilities.
This is why Earth Day is important; it brings subjects like environmental justice to light. Earth Day builds community activism and reconnects us to the awareness of how we treat the earth. The earth’s climate is changing. Overall, temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting and more extreme climate events like hurricanes, record-high temperatures and record amounts of snowfall are already happening. These events are having a direct effect on not only our health, but also our money. There are more heat-related deaths in the summer, and it seems the ragweed pollen season is longer and more severe. When we are sick, we cannot work, and we pay more for health care.
What can we do to get environmental justice? I have been stressing the importance of letting your voice be heard by voting. Next we must keep those elected officials accountable for environmental stewardship. We must also keep voting with another powerful tool — our dollar. Buy local and support companies that support us. Finally, let’s bring environmental stewardship home and make sure we do what we can to protect the earth. Become more mindful of what you do with your waste; practice recycling and proper waste disposal. I also suggest you bring the subject up to your church pastor. Ask them to do right by the planet and lead the church toward a mission that includes environmental stewardship. Let’s make Earth Day 2017 a pivotal time for our community to bring glory to God by doing what He commanded.
If these things inspire you and you need help to learn how to do more, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.