Good stewards – Recycling for sustainability (Week 4)

July 19, 2018

The Counseling Corner

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

“Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth….”
Gen. 1:28 (MSG)

Did you know that every day we are leaving our human footprint upon this Earth? This month our focus is recycling for sustainability to encourage readers to embrace their responsibility to be good stewards of God’s resources. According to the World Wildlife Fund (, in a typical day, when we drive to work, do a load of laundry, watch television and turn on the air conditioner, we are making withdrawals from a bank in the form of natural resources withdrawn from the Earth. When all of these withdrawals are added up, scientists are able to calculate the human footprint on the planet.

The withdrawals come in six categories:

Carbon: A measure of carbon emissions, represented by the amount of forest land that would be needed to sequester carbon dioxide emissions, not including the faction that is absorbed by the oceans and leads to acidification.

Cropland: The amount of cropland used to grow plants for food, fiber, animal feed, and commodities, including oil, soy and rubber.

Grazing land: The amount of grazing land used to raise livestock for meat, dairy products, hide and wool.

Fishing grounds: The estimated primary production required to support the fish and seafood caught in freshwater and marine environments.

Built-up land: The amount of land covered by human structures, including transportation, housing, industrial structures and reservoirs created by dams.

The World Wildlife Fund indicates after calculating the planet’s total bio-capacity – the Earth’s capacity to produce natural resources, provide land for humans to build on, and absorb waste such as carbon emissions; when the two numbers are put together the problem is clear. It takes a year and a half to generate the resources that the human population uses in only a year. This clearly is not a sustainable path for our planet’s future.

When we reduce, reuse and recycle:*

1. It keeps waste from piling up in landfills
2. It saves energy
3. It preserves landfills space
4. It prevents global warming
5. It reduces water pollution
6. It’s good for the environment
7. It protects wildlife

Ask yourself what you can do to embrace your caregiving role and protect and preserve God’s gift, the Earth, its resources and all species. Are there any lifestyle changes that you need to make?

*Source: SOCRRA: Community Partners in Recycling & Waste.

Next Week: Conclusion

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.