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Am I an Oxymoron?????
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MontanaMama2009 posted:
(APO my blog)

Am I an Oxymoron??

I love Jesus...and my planet.



"For By Him All things were created: things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible..." -- Colossians 1:16



"In His Hand is the Life of Every Creature and the Breath of All Mankind." -- Job 12:10





I haven't always been "crunchie." In fact, I've been the total opposite. I've been wasteful, I've been a polluter, I've been unkind to this place called "Earth" for many, many years.



I never thought to be any different.



The only people I knew who were "crunchies" wore hemp skirts, wore dreadlocks, didn't shave their armpits, and played the didgeridoo. (you know, one of those 4-foot long wooden pipes that bellow out deep tones and grunts). I wasn't going to eat ants or tofu (synonymous to me a while back, LOL), or shop at those weird-smelling all-natural food stores.



I definitely wasn't going to go THAT extreme in order to be more eco-friendly and help preserve God's gift to us: our planet and its ecosystems.



But then I began to understand how our wastefulness NOW will have an effect on our children and grandchildren....and future generations.

The polluted rivers and lakes...the polluted air...the landfills overflowing with overindulgences...



So slowly, I began to notice how my actions NOW will have long-lasting effects, and I wanted to begin to change that.

I started to do some research, started to learn some of the basic jargon like "eco-friendly" and "carbon footprint."




That morphed into questioning my current living style: "How am I impacting these fragile eco-systems?"



And then began my prayer: "Lord, teach me to take care of not only my husband and my children, but also my environment."

And thus began my journey of "crunchiness."



I'm amazed to find that there aren't a lot of Christian folks practicing eco-friendliness. I don't know if it's because they, too, are worried they'll have to grow dreadlocks and not shave their armpits? I'm not quite sure.



But let me say that I feel great when I recycle, when I teach my children how to take care of our fragile ecosystems, AND when I teach them God's word.



So why do I feel like such an Oxymoron? I don't think there are very many like me out there. In fact, I'm willing to bet $100 that I'm a small percentage of the Christian community who is living eco-friendly...er, at least eco-friendlier.



Because I have a LONG ways to go before I can say that I'm totally living eco-friendly.




But one thing I want to point out: I will not love my eco-friendliness more than I love God. I can't forget to put Him first...and neither should you.





I thank God for leading me on this new journey in my life....and I hope you join me.




Tell me YOUR story...
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sarahann1978 responded:
I totally agree, I am Christian and feel like this World is God's canvas, everything around us is his creation and I wouldn't go and trash a famous piece of art at the Louve, so why would I litter, or apporve of things that are not environmentally responsible. I also am not 100% eco friendly, but I do what I can when I can.

I live in an area that is very Mormon and they seem to have a way different view on the environment than mine. From those that I have talked to anyway, they believe that God gave us the Earth to do with as we please and use it however we like to better our lives. I think this is some of how a lot of the Christians you refered to feel (politically conservative think), that God will give more and more and we don't have to worry about conserving the resources.

It drives me nuts when I see political conservatives say "oh yeah that global warming" during a blizzard. Regardless of whether or not we are effecting the global climate or not, the bottom line is we are allowing way too much pollution into our atmosphere and there are a bunch of other negative effects like increased asthma and cancer from breathing all that nastiness. In the long run does producing cheaper energy cost us more with our health and lives.

Anyway, I try not to discuss my political beliefs, so I will stop now after I say that I am not a political liberal either, I am one of those fence sitting independant centrists.

I think it's great that you are learning more and trying to do better by the environment. I think if everyone took even one step in that direction it would go a long way. I remember in college one of my peers was recycling her pop can and said if you really stop to think about the effect of recycling even one can, to keep it out of the landfill, think about the effects if everyone recycled all cans. I recycle and take about one kitchen bag in per week. That is one whole bag that would have otherwise gone to the landfill. I also compost my kitchen scraps which would probably amound to 1/4 to 1/2 a bag of trash. Every little bit helps!
 
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ad1978 responded:
Re: the small percentage bet....I think you may be right, and one of the reasons is b/c there are a lot of Christian demoninations which believe in unlimited procreation. Having unlimited kids, unfortunately, is not really in synch with being eco-friendly.

I recycle, limit my usage of resources, though I am not as "crunchy" as many of the moms here.

But I do think that by limiting our family to birthing only 1 or 2 kids, my family will be making a very big impact by reducing a lifetime of waste. I'm not saying kids are a waste! They are wonderful. But facts are facts. Each new person on this earth will undeniably create exponential amounts of waste.
 
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chrisandjen0717 replied to ad1978's response:
To quote your post, "Having unlimited kids, unfortunately, is not really in synch with being eco-friendly."

I think I am going to have to disagree with you here. I know we are not going to have a large family (unless our next pregnancy is multiples) but based on my own experiences with those I know with large families it seems the opposite of your theory is true. It would seem logical to me that a family with several children would be much more responsible and thrifty with their resources and live a simpler lifestyle than a family with one or two children and the same resources to use.

I will take one of the families we know who believe in the "Quiver-full" principles of the Bible and have 6 children: All 6 are/were homeschooled (some have graduated) thus reducing pollution from transportation to school on buses. Clothes are mostly hand-me-downs from the older siblings and are purchased for their ability to last and be handed down. They almost never eat out at restaurants and shopping and meal preparation is done carefully. They grow vegetables and some fruits in a garden and shop locally for items they don't grow. They own a couple chickens for fresh, free eggs. Vacations are taken in their camper to places they can drive.

Now compare this to a smaller family with approximately the same income level (I will use my family of 3 as an example): We seldom buy anything used (every now and then I will pick something up from a yard sale or Craig's List but it is only toys and decor for my house), we don't grow anything, it is all purchased from a grocery store. We eat out at least twice a week. We travel (fly) at least once a year in addition to driving places and take a cruise at least every other year. We live in a bigger house than we NEED and pay to heat and cool all of it.

Who would you say lives a more eco-friendly lifestyle?

TYPICALLY the smaller families I see are the ones creating waste. They practically drive semi-trucks to drop off their one child at school and are forever getting their styrofoam cups from Starbucks and bags of food from McDonald's. And I am absolutely not condemning anyone's decision or questioning anyone's right to do so. I was willing to put myself up as an example and I can admit that I have many changes I can make (and am looking into making) to do my part as I see fit. In my life and what I know to be true from my experiences I just don't think it is fair to say generally that it is the families who have many children who are doing more to damage the eco-system than those who do not.
 
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mamatobe08 replied to chrisandjen0717's response:
I agree with you on larger families being more efficient--because they have to save money! I mean, of course there are smaller families who have to watch money because of their income, but with 10 kids you kind of HAVE to watch what you're spending, no matter what your income!

I totally agree with you Kim about the ideas we have of those who are eco friendly. Heck, I resisted doing EC because I thought that's the only reason people did it--to save on diaper costs. Once he started being more predictable with the poos, I looked into it again, and realized that it's even more to help them become aware of the body processes and to keep them dry and comfortable. :)
 
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ukbluegirl02 replied to chrisandjen0717's response:
Thanks Jen. So much for the supportive atmosphere....
 
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cheeezie25 replied to chrisandjen0717's response:
Yes, I think you are totally correct in that larger families typically think more about their consumption practices in order to save money, which in turn, reduces waste. But I think what ad1978 was trying to say is that, if you compare an eco-friendly family of 3-4 to an ecofriendly family of 6-7, the smaller family is just going to consume less over their entire life span, and will then in turn, have less children, who will consume less over their lifespans and so on.

And this was from a different thread, but I think LeftCoastGirl was explaining how some of her ecofriendly practices are devired from living in an condo in the city, and how her carbon footprint has been reduced just simply from being within close proximity to her resources (grocery store, work, etc.). If she had an extremely large family, that type of lifestyle would probably not be possible. (Hope you don't mind me using your example LCG, but it was just too perfect from what I was thinking when I started reading this lol).

And let's not forget... the whole crunchy environmentalist movement was birthed from liberal ideals that aren't often embraced by people who practice a conservative lifestyle. As Sarah pointed out, people who are very conservative Christians typical back conservative, Republican politicians, those whose government policies favor (which is putting it lightly) industry and big agri-business, which are responsible for most of the planet's environmental destruction (not to mention human and animal rights violations). I mean, what is growing your own vegetables and using some ecofriendly shampoo really going to do if you aren't also supporting the environmental movement from the bigger picture?
 
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ukbluegirl02 replied to ukbluegirl02's response:
Oh and I meant a serious thanks Jen. Didn't want you to think I was being sarcastic. Two sides to every walk of life and I appreciate you presenting both instead of condemning one or the other. :-)
 
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MontanaMama2009 replied to ukbluegirl02's response:
Well, although you do make a valid point to some extent, Cheezie, I think we should steer clear of the whole Democrat v. Republican or liberal v. conservative debate.

Because we all choose what's most important to us personally. And what might be my one overriding sway to vote a certain way doesn't mean that it's someone else's.
 
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cheeezie25 replied to MontanaMama2009's response:
Yes, you are correct that there are many things that go into a person either being on the "right" or the "left" (or the in between) of politics, so to speak. However, in my personal experience, it would just seem impossible to completely seperate one's choice to be ecofriendly from one's political beliefs, which is just why I mentioned it as being a factor in why many Christians who are conservative would not be considered to be "crunchy."
 
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chrisandjen0717 replied to ukbluegirl02's response:
Thanks, ukbluegirl. I was almost positive that was a sincere thanks for my response, especially coming from you. From someone else I would have been uncertain enough to probably take offense but since you took the time to clarify I'm sure you underdstand what I am talking about... ;)
 
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sarahann1978 replied to MontanaMama2009's response:
I started out down that political path, and I think I was trying to show why I think that many Christians are not on the eco-friendly movement as you originally were discussing, making the point that they also tend to be politically conservative which is not usually eco-friendly thinking. I think Christine was reading between my lines and clarified what I was getting at. I however would have stopped short of her last sentence, because to me doing those types of personal things is important to me no matter how I look at the big picture.

I understand not wanting to tread into controversial areas, but often religion and politics go hand in hand so to discuss one, the other comes into play.

And what you said is true, that we all have personal priorities that shape our voting choices, that is the beauty of America that we have the freedom to think and act as we wish. To me neither of the two parties in our system can cover everyone's personal platform, so we all have to prioritize issues and do our part to do what we think is right.
 
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stephs_3_kidz replied to sarahann1978's response:
Hmm..

I am politically conservative, a Christian, AND I have a large family. :D

I know I don't do enough for the environment. We recycle, I buy eco-friendly cleaning products, I grow a small garden, we have been planting more trees/greenery at our new house, I reuse my newspapers to clean glass instead of using paper towels, we bought all new energy star rated appliances, ...etc.

But I still use not-so-natural bath and body products, I use disposable diapers and wipes, and I use a lot of air fresheners. LOL And lots of other things that are probably not so good for the environment.

I don't think anyone can be perfectly crunchie. And I don't think that not changing every aspect of your life to be eco-friendly means you're not a good steward of God's earth. :)

And it definitely doesn't make you an oxymoron, or a hypocrite. No worries. We all should try to do what we can live with. :)
 
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ukbluegirl02 replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
Very good response Steph. I'm more along the lines with you. I see it as more about not being 'wasteful' and being good stewards of the 'gifts' he has given us including $$ instead of being crunchy.

Bottom line, I'm cheap! :-)
 
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stephs_3_kidz replied to ukbluegirl02's response:
LOL, me, too--I have to be cheap!! It's expensive having 4 kids! lol But God has truly blessed us to be able to take care of them and blessed us just by allowing us the joy of having them in our lives. :)


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