by Tom Pappas

EarthDay1Be it known that I love this planet. I love the excellent good life God breathed into being. That said, I want to reflect on three experiences that when fit together to make me slightly uncomfortable on the week before Earth Day. 

A week ago my church hosted a regional conference for over 100 people. Laurel and I have been instrumental in establishing a practice of not using disposables for coffee hour and meals at our church and we once estimated several miles of foam cups (we always line them up end to end) that did not grace our landfill since the practice was started. Five meals and three snacks were served at this recent event our Green Team was invited to wash the dishes. I spent 11 hours over the two days (along with others) and we felt the use of actual cups, glasses, plates and silverware was appreciated. We did it happily imagining how the dumpsters would not be loaded with billowing black bags.

Last week we also had a primary election for city council where seven candidates are vying for three at large seats. The primary would eliminate the lowest vote getter. A letter to the editor in our paper commented on some of the different candidates and issues. It closed with the hope that the candidates he favored would get rid of our city’s “preposterous green agenda”.

We went to a program today at the state capitol which concluded across the street in the State Bar Association building with a lovely luncheon served on foam plates with plastic utensils and bottled water on the table. (We brought our empty bottles home for recycling.)

We do what we can; some times it doesn’t seem like much. I am nevertheless convinced that I am called by God to be a responsible steward. I wish my fellow citizen didn’t think what I value was preposterous. I wish those with means to host a luncheon believed it was worth time and effort (and probably additional money) to not use disposables.

We will be doing Earth Day activities because on the mundane level it is our best place to live and we don’t actually have another option if we ruin this one.

We will be doing Earth Day activities because this planet is God’s remarkable gift to us and being proper stewards is a noble call that feels right in spite of inconvenience and occasional discomfort.