by Lisa DeRosa,
Today is the day! Earth Day is upon us. How has your preparation been? If you read my last post, Time to Love and “Restore Our Earth”, you may have spent some time thinking about what you love most about Earth, how you want to contribute to Earth Care for Earth Day. Maybe you read it and life happened, so it went in one ear and out the other. That is okay! Today is a new day, we can begin again by the grace of God.
As I am writing this and thinking about what I want to do, I feel overwhelmed by the options. And yet, limited in some ways, because Earth Day falls on a Thursday this year… I know that I will be working on my laptop for most of the day, but the weather seems like it will be pleasant enough to sit outside, at least. Of course, my evening will be free. This is where my black and white thinking comes in to create self-inflicted limitations where I think, “I can only celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd. Any other day will not work or matter if it’s not done on Thursday”. If anyone reading this also struggles with this type of thinking, you are not alone! I am working to throw out this thought and allow myself to celebrate with my housemates for our monthly garden day on April 24th, two days later. We will add mulch to the garden, weed areas that need to be weeded, and stop for a coffee break to enjoy each other’s company while we rest.
Earth Day is an opportunity to pause from the busyness of life and think about, appreciate, and act in response to the beautiful creation that God has gifted to us. Why should we care about the earth? So many reasons! Including that it is Biblical! The Bible shares with us the story of how God created man in his image and where man would live. In Genesis 2, humanity receives its first home in the garden:
8 The Eternal God planted a garden in the east in Eden—a place of utter delight—and placed the man whom He had sculpted there.
9 In this garden, He made the ground pregnant with life—bursting forth with nourishing food and luxuriant beauty. (TPT)
I love the Passion Translation’s version of these few verses because of the poetic language it uses to describe the scene for us. A little later in the chapter, humans receive a call from God while in the garden:
15 The Eternal God placed the newly made man in the garden of Eden in order to work the ground and care for it. (TPT)
Caring for creation is not just something that was the role of Adam and Eve back in the original garden; it continues to be our role as humans created by a loving Eternal God. We are called to “work the ground and care for it”.
I know that this verse can be used in destructive ways, too. We pervert this call into a sense of power over the earth where we can justify exploiting animals, plants, fungi, and even other humans into molding what we want out of creation rather than what was God’s original plan. We can distort the call to “work the ground” into manipulating, disturbing, destroying, deforesting, planting non-native species, or even invasive plants because of our selfish desires.
But on Earth Day, we can take time to reclaim that call, to “Restore Our Earth” as is the theme for Earth Day this year. Earth Day is an opportunity to love and care for the earth, to set new goals, to research new ideas for how to move toward sustainable living, to appreciate creation, and improve our relationship to it.
If you are feeling unprepared for today, still wanting to celebrate but feeling like it’s too late, here are some amazing options in and of themselves or for last-minute celebration ideas:
- Read this new resource by Circlewood that launched today called The Ecological Disciple! Circlewood also has an amazing podcast called Earthkeepers which offers about 30 episodes ranging in topics from an interview with Christine Sine about Gardens, Community, and God-Presence to In Kinship with Creation: Lenore Three Stars on Indigenous Worldviews and many more!
- Try one of Andy’s ideas for Earth Day in the Neighborhood to reach out to others in your neighborhood.
- Take a walk in your neighborhood and intentionally take notice of a plant, bird, or other animals, and thank God for providing the creation that surrounds you. Take a photo or two to reflect on later in the day.
- Watch one of the featured videos during the EarthxFilm Festival.
- Think about one way that you can start to live more sustainably. Consider swapping out single-use plastic items that you use every day for sustainable and reusable options. Hilary Horn shared a very informative post with 6 ways to start living sustainably on a tight budget. Some possible ideas include:
- Plastic water bottles for a stainless steel bottle: I love Klean Kanteen brand and have had the same water bottle for 10 years now.
- Reusable K-Cups instead of the plastic ones: My in-laws use these and love the distinction for decaf or regular coffee grounds. Saves a ton of money, too!
- BPA-free reusable sandwich bags or beeswax wraps: One of my Earth Day projects is making beeswax wraps myself, but these are a great organic cotton option if you would rather buy them.
- Mesh produce bags can really help eliminate the plastic produce bags from the supermarket that you take home. My husband and I have used these bags for just over a year and are huge fans. They do not add much extra weight but are really durable.
- Write a poem, prayer, or short story about your favorite place or quality about creation and share it with your friends and family or on social media.
- If you enjoy and appreciate art, check out the collections offered on the National Museum of Natural History website. Marvel at the diversity of species, minerals, and fossils on display!
- Purchase seeds or a plant and learn how to take care of it. Start small and realistic for your schedule/lifestyle. Thank God for the experience of “working the ground and caring for it”.
- Follow influencers that promote gardening or sustainable living such as 10 Black Gardeners You Should be Following on Instagram or Tree Huggers: Gardening Communities You Should Join.
- Read a book about sustainability, gardening, or creation care. Christine has a list of her favorite books ofr Earth Day and a Sustainability Reading List to help in your search.
Whether you are prepared for Earth Day today or it snuck up on you, I pray that you would find a meaningful way to celebrate and appreciate God’s incredible creation today (and/or whenever you can!).
Need more resources? Our Earth Day resources from the Creation Spirituality page are listed below:
- Getting Ready for Earth Day
- Getting Ready for Earth Day – Resources for Kids
- Earth Day in the Neighborhood – Top 10 Ideas
- Time to Love and “Restore Our Earth” by Lisa DeRosa
- Celebrating Earth Day 50! by Tom Sine
- Native American Prayers for Earth Day
- Celebrate with All Creation
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Another perfect way to celebrate Earth Day is by signing up for the Spirituality of Gardening Online Course during our sale! Purchase 180 Days of access for this course for only $29.99 through April 25th!