A Worthwhile Cause?

Not every cause promises to change one’s life.  If I jump on board with this one, mine would surely be very different. I read this morning, on a General Board of Church and Society note, about Killer Coke.

I’ve blogged about my love of Diet Coke before.  In fact, I found a post about the stuff from August 2005 – was I really blogging back then?  Giving up Diet Coke in supprot of this cause would be a drastic change for me.

dietcokeI am going to read more about the protest, and I’ll let you know.

Addicted Land?

As I’ve probably shared here already, Rachel and I gave up meat for Lent this year.  It was a very interested time for us; Rachel has barely gone back to eating meat, and I am eating far less than I used to.

I posted a facebook status Tuesday afternoon that I hadn’t “eaten meat since Sunday noon.”  This status received many comments, including an article link from Audie Alcorn.  “The Mad Cowboy” is Harold Lyman’s story, the excerpt is his telling of his infatuation, relationship, and break-up with Agri-business.

While the whole piece is worth a read, this part particularly struck me:

Even though I had increased crop yields dramatically, even though I could now grow a heifer to 1,100 pounds in just 15 months instead of the 30 months it used to take, even though I had bought leased many of my neighbors farms and increased my acreage fortyfold, it was getting harder and harder to make ends meet. The chemicals themselves were expensive, and every year I had to use more chemical fertilizer and more antibiotics to get the same result as the year before.

Does the last sentence here remind you of something?  Chemical fertilizers and the antibiotics (which Lyman explains all cattle need because of the unnatural living conditions) develop a dependency on the part of the land and the cattle. It takes more each year to get the same result.

Is there land rehab, or cattle rehab where detoxification might start?

I I weren’t already concerned about Agri-Business and their love of synthetic chemicals in replacing the natural ability of creation to nourish plant growth, I am now!  If I hadn’t already determined to eat only beef that is grass-fed rather than grain-fed, I am now!

I suppose it makes sense in some ironic way that we are, apparently, doing the same thing to the land and to livestock that we are doing to ourselves. On the other hand, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be building up tolerance for unnatural chemicals; neither do I think the land and livestock should be.

Get Wormy

100_0022I’ve been wanting to share this with you for some time now.  A year and a half ago Rachel and I became farmers. Worm Farmers.  You can see our vermicomposter, or worm farm, in the picture to the left.

We tried starting a compost pile in our back yard, but there are too many critters aruond, and we didn’t want to splurge for cost of a full-fledged outdoor composter as they run pretty expensive.

We we got worms instead.  We feed our worms food scraps (anything except meat products) and shredded newspaper, and even dryer lint.

Our worms have been happily eating almost half their weight each day for quite some time now.  Avery month or two we pull out the bottom layer and turn it into soil and start a new top layer.

The worms seem content.  We are happy because we don’t have to throw away or waste our food scraps.

Earth Day 2009

I usually realize it is earth day sometime after 6 p.m.  This year, I am ahead of schedule!

As I walked to and from the administration building here on campus (our campus is 130 acres),  I considered, in honor of Earth Day, to pick up every piece of litter I saw along the way.  I didn’t pick up all of the litter I saw, but I did pick up some.

I almost always walk when I am staying on campus.  I usually need the exercise, and it isn’t worth firing up the car to drive for a two minutes to get where I could walk.

As I’m walking and thinking about picking up trash rather than picking up trash, I think about the number of people who drive instead of walking around campus, and wonder if they ever consider stopping along the way to pick up trash.  I don’t think I would.

A lot of Christians today are going to blog about Creation Care or Earth Day.  A lot of other Christians are going to blog today about how it doesn’t matter what we do to the earth because either we can’t make a difference anyway, or God would just as soon wipe it and us all out anyway.

I don’t think I am doing either.  I don’t care to what degree we as affecting climate change.  I am “green” because I believe it is the responsible way to live since God has given us all responsibility for the planet.

Historically Christians have called this stewardship.

So, if you celebrate or observe Earth Day, enjoy.  If you protest against the celebration or observance of Earth Day, can we all at least agree to take responsibility for the way we treat the planet and each other.

Maybe just for a day?

It’s a Beautiful Day for Public Transportation!

2007header_r1_c1This morning I am finally venturing into the world of Waco public transportation. Rachel and I share a car, as I’ve mentioned here before.

Today I am going to a meeting in Fort Worth, but Rachel isn’t.  Instead of renting a car, I have picked up a ride with another pastor who was going anyway – now two are riding for the gas of one.  When my friend and I were deciding where we would meet, I thought that it would be a great opportunity for me to take a city bus to the interstate, and just meet him there.

I have been wanting to try the Waco Transit System for quite a while, but, honestly, it isn’t nearly as convenient as hopping in my own car.  Today, I’ll walk a quarter to half mile, but that’s 15-20 minutes of walking for the joy of not having to move my car at all.

I grew up with the understanding that private car ownership was, well, just to be assumed. Now, between pollution and financial issues, I am ready to begin to unlearn my transportation independence.

We don’t need all the personal vehicles sitting in our driveways.  We can learn to share – I am trying today.  I’ll let you know how this goes.

Kick the (water) Bottle

100_0043 In 2006, Americans wasted 1.5 million barrels of oil – and that was just to make the plastic to hold the bottled water we drank.

That is enough oil for 100,000 for the year.  Kick the plastic water bottle. Don’t kick it to the curb, though; pick it up and recycle it!

We currently only recycle between 10 and 20% of the 11 million water bottles we use.

Surely we can do better.

About a year ago, Rachel and I got our Klean Canteen stainless steel water bottles. We carry them almost everywhere.  Most fast-food places and convenience stores will even let you use your own bottle or cup to fill with the soft drink of your choice.

Kick the bottle.

Did you know that the FDA’s standards for tap water are higher than the FDA’s standards for bottled water? If you’re thinking the bottle water tastes better; come on, you PAID for it, you WANT it to taste better!

Kick the bottle!

Drive Less without having to stay @ Home

zimrideRachel and I are on the go a lot.  This morning I am in Dallas, having dropped Rachel at DFW for a flight to Atlanta.  I am early for a three day meeting in Dallas that begins at noon.

A year and a half ago we downsized to one car. The previous year we had each put at least 30,000 miles on our cars separately. In the past year, we have driven a combined total of under 30K.  So we have cut our gas, insurance, and car payments (as of last month, the car we share is paid off), and we have seriously reduced the miles we drive, and thus our emissions.

I’m still looking for ways to improve this.  When we have needed another ride, one of us has rented a car – this has proven far cheaper for us than owning two.

Now I’m happy to share these other transportation options with you: Zimride and Carticipate. Both have Facebook and iphone apps. These are services designed to connect people who are going to same place, and thus reduce the number of vehicles making these trips.  I registered an upcoming trip with zimride this morning.

Until we can change the culture in the United States toward more and more effective public transportation. These and other such programs are a good start.