"Green" articles pop up everywhere! Some are practical, while others are political.
They cover everything from how to conserve resources to how to be more "earth friendly." The launch of this latest flurry of environmental emphasis in the U.S. press seemed to coincide with the release of a major film documentary proclaiming the theory of global warming.
April 22 was the annual Earth Day celebration in the United States. The holiday was created by 1960s American legislation. On Earth Day an insert in my local newspaper, produced by USA Weekend, outlined a collection of tips to make a home more eco-friendly. Articles suggested ideas for recycling materials, planting organically, saving water and replacing less energy efficient appliances.
Although the packaging is recent, the practical ideas behind conservation are not. In the era of American history known as the Great Depression, a massive stock market slide in the fall of 1929 precipitated nearly a decade of poverty and penny pinching for average citizens. My grandparents lived through this era, and the practicalities they learned as children stayed with them throughout their lives.
They grew a half-acre garden in their backyard to produce the bulk of their vegetable and fruit needs for the year—the epitome of eating locally. Grandma canned and froze her fruit and vegetables, raised chickens and used chicken manure to fertilize the next year's garden.
Grandpa didn't waste anything and would turn off the hose if one of the grandkids decided to play too long in the sprinkler. They built most of their home and outbuildings themselves and reused scraps of metal and wood whenever they served the purpose. My grandparents primarily used renewable resources such as trees, which grow back.
My grandparents were being "green," but they didn't call it that then. They called it "common sense." Living within your means, conserving your resources and taking advantage of nutritious whole foods God created to be eaten from the land was the sensible thing to do. Their generation faced hard times and needed to be self-sufficient.
Common sense and practicality will outlive political movements and trendy packaging of any color, including "green."
God instructed humankind, through Adam and Eve, to tend and keep the earth and to have dominion over all the creation (see Genesis 2:15; 1:28). But there is a definite line between common sense conservation and extreme environmentalism.
Extremism tends to venerate the creation above the Creator. This breaks the first of the Ten Commandments: Have no other gods before the true God (see Exodus 20:3).
Ultimately the creation belongs to God, and He will use it or dispose of it as He wishes. To learn more about that, read "Superdisasters: Growing Weather Danger."
Quite amazingly, in the course of future events the earth itself will be recycled by incineration to make way for a new earth of far greater quality and splendor. Our task now is to tend and keep the earth and care for others in anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ and the ultimate renewal of the planet. VT