A month into 2018 and whatever other resolutions you may have made, I wonder how many of us have resolved to use less plastic or even try to live a plastic free life? The Blue Planet programme shocked us all with its images of the plastic filled oceans and the heart rending sight of an albatross mother feeding her young with nutritionless plastic. It shames us all to think that we human beings are responsible for this environmental catastrophe. The amount of plastic packaging used in the retail industry has crept up and up over the years, almost unnoticed by most of us, and we all find plastic bags so convenient for all sorts of uses that you wonder what we did without them! Even now I can remember cling film being first advertised and thinking what a marvellous product! I use it all the time to wrap up half an onion or pepper or to cover a dish in the microwave.
Now, like many others, I feel that we must try to cut down our use of plastic and also deal with the plastic waste now ruining the ecosystem. So we’re using jars for storage instead of clingfilm, plates to cover dishes in the microwave and I’m making an effort to use cloth bags instead of plastic carriers. I already used reusable water bottles, although that’s because I’m too mean to buy bottled water rather than any environmental concern, but now I have an added incentive! Some people have resolved to live plastic free, taking their own containers to the shops and refusing to buy plastic wrapped food etc. But how do you manage for things like toothpaste, washing up liquid, shampoo and other items that only seem to come in plastic bottles? However, we can still buy soap, so I have decided to go back to soap instead of shower gel or liquid soap. We have been getting through a lot of liquid soap in the vicarage!
It is of course our Christian duty to look after the environment. We are here as stewards and God is depending on us to look after this wonderful and still beautiful planet. The Anglican Church recognises “Five Marks of Mission” and the fifth one is “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the earth.”
The Manchester diocese has made a pledge to become an Eco-diocese so now would be a good time as we form our Mission Action Plan to consider what we could do as a church to encourage each other and the community to be more eco-friendly, and also how the church itself could model good practice. We are already a Fairtrade church supporting and using fairly traded tea and coffee, so in a similar way we could be an Eco-friendly church. What would that look like? I’d love to know your thoughts on this.
In the story of Creation in Genesis humankind is the crowning glory of God’s great act of creation. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1. 26.
‘Made in the image’ reflects the privilege and responsibility given to us and all humanity of overseeing God’s creation and ultimately in bringing forth God’s kingdom.
So let’s not leave this problem for someone else to sort out. That’s why our oceans are in this mess! We can all do something to help sustain the environment, and by our actions show that we care.
God Bless, Angela.