Good stewards – Recycling for sustainability (Week 1)

June 28, 2018

The Counseling Corner

By Rev. Judith T. Lester, B.Min. M.Th

“God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature. So, they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, And, yes, Earth itself…” – Gen. 1:26 (MSG)

God is the owner of all things, God does not need a co-owner. We are called to be managers/stewards of what God has entrusted to us. One of the ways we can be better stewards of God’s creation is by recycling for sustainability.

According to an article authored by the UAF Office of Sustainability, recycling is an important part of a sustainable lifestyle and in preserving the resources used by society. Unfortunately, the vital role of sustainability and recycling today is often misunderstood. Merriam- Webster defines recycling as “to reuse or make (a substance) available for reuse for biological activities through natural processes of biochemical degradation or modification.” Although people are familiar with the items that should be recycled and the reason why, understanding sustainability and recycling and the impacts of living consciously are necessary for the process of leading more meaningful and responsible lives as stewards of God’s resources.

Sustainability, according to the U.S. Dept. of Environmental Protection Agency, is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.

Breaking down recycled materials has a big impact on saving energy and preserving our planet. The UAF Office of Sustainability article goes on to say aluminum cans save energy when they are recycled. Plastic, paper, steel, electronics, food and clothing can also be recycled. Paper, plastic and steel, just like aluminum, can save energy and water and prevents pollutants and water contaminants.

Electronics are recyclable as electronics are broken down to make new electronics. Recycling old electronics means helping prevent contamination from lead, cadmium and other toxic materials and reusing gold, cooper, plastic and metals that would otherwise go wasted. Clothing is recycled when it is donated to organizations for the purpose of giving to others to reuse.

Food can be composted and turned into energy (e.g. reusing cooking oil as fuel for kilns and vehicles as bio-fuel). Protein scraps can be donated to dog mushers to feed their dogs.

You are invited to join us this entire month as we focus on being good stewards of God’s creation by recycling for sustainability. For the next two weeks, this column will focus on composting.

The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in this article, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.