Saturday, October 27, 2007

Christian Perspective on Going Green

I am a strong believer that the Bible is sufficient to answer any problems or questions that we may have. If not in direct answer, the principles and normative patterns will tell us the biblical answer for any question.

2 Tim 3:16-17: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

So what is the Christian perspective on going green? Many conservative Christians think of going green as something that alarmist hippies do. They turn their noses up at the environmentalists who chant about global warming and dying animals. This is a terrible tragedy! To quote Francis Schaeffer:

"The Christian who believes the Bible should be the man who--with God's help and in the power of the Holy Spirit--is treating nature now in the direction of the way nature will be [when Christ returns].... God's calling to the Christian now, and to the Christian community, in the area of nature... is that we should exhibit a substantial healing here and now."

When we look at the biblical perspective on going green, we see that being a caretaker of the earth is at the very heart of who God our Creator is. To honor and glorify our Creator, we should seek to be caretakers of all that He has created, preserving it as best we can until His return where His Creation will be restored. The Bible says that all of Creation speaks of God. What are we, His creatures, saying to the world about Him when we consume without thought and live without any concern for what impacts our actions have on the Creation, and the people living in it.

The poorest of the earth's inhabitants are the ones who are most impacted by environmental issues. They can't afford a water filtration system, air purification or clean food. Our toxic tendencies directly affect them first. Christ cares for the least of these, and we should too.

The prevailing thought in most homes is that our small individual actions couldn't possibly make a difference. Most of us can't afford to install solar energy or drive a Prius, even if our kids would all fit in it! But the truth is, the small efforts we can make to conserve the energy we do use and other creation caring actions we can take, make a big impact on our earth. Don't get overwhelmed, taking one step at a time, we can be better stewards of this world God has created.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Seventh Generation Review Go Green and Stay Clean

My primary concern that has lead us to go green and pursue green living standards is the health of our family. The chemicals we use in our every day cleaning products have always concerned me. It took a while for me to make a change though, because I didn't know where to start! I also thought it would cost too much for our small budget. I have found out that making one step at a time in this journey to go green is the most important. I decided to start with the items I used the most. So, since I am constantly doing laundry, and cleaning up my kids' messes, this Seventh Generation All-Purpose Cleaner was the next green cleaning product we decided to test.

Seventh Generation products are the most well-known, and fairly easy to find. Most Target stores carry Seventh Generation cleaners, and they are most definately at your local health food store. Here is what we thought of this cleaner:

Overall effectiveness: Did a great job on tough areas like the kitchen and bath

Packaging: Attractive, easy to use

Price: $5

We found that a little goes a long way with this, and you can water it down some to make it last longer. It is great on hard surfaces, including marble and tile, although it says not to use it on wood. Got the soap scum off of my tub without too much effort, and doesn't smell at all. Our only complaint would be the price, and the fact we couldn't find a concentrated version to save on packaging, etc.

Monday, October 22, 2007

First steps in GOING GREEN

According to a 15-year study presented at the Toronto Indoor Air Conference, women who work at home have a 54% higher death rate from cancer than those who work away from home. The study concluded that this was a direct result of the increased exposure to toxic chemicals, many of which are found in common household products.

Do those statistics startle you? I am always leery of statistics. DH majored in Sociology, and took statistics and is always telling me how easy it is to weight them in favor of your "cause". I also don't like the fear tactics people use to try to get me to do the right thing, but this does concern me. I know that the chemicals we use in our cleaners aren't healthy for my family. But I also don't have the extra time, energy or really the desire to make them myself! Plus, I really like my sink to shine and my clothes to smell fresh....So what's a girl to do? Try to find GREEN products that work, and are affordable! Here is the first one I started with:

I purchased this from my local health food store. We have front loading washing machines, and this was labeled HE. It is concentrated, so I wasn't buying any water! It washes 66 loads, and is biodegradable and chemical free.

What we liked:

Easy use, looks just like my "non-green" detergent that I am used to

The smell-it's absolutely heavenly! In fact, my clothes smelled fresher, longer with this detergent than with my previous non-green detergent.

Effectiveness-my clothes were definately just as clean as before.

Cost-at first it seemed really pricey, at nearly $20. But when you compare number of uses out of this and others, it compares with Tide prices.

Overall consensus: We would buy this again, and would highly recommend it to anyone who asked.

We will be trying another Laundry detergent when we are done with this one. So far we've done about 50 loads with this.

Mama Goes Green

Are you living in the city, but looking for ways to live simply? Would you like to be greener, but don't know where to start? Does the term "Green" or "Environmental" make you think of hippies and extremists? It doesn't have to be so confusing, and we are going to take a step by step approach to taking green from the media and hype and putting into our practical lives. We will be reviewing methods and products along the way, and letting you know what we think. Are they practical, affordable, and do they work as good as the non-green stuff? These are all questions we will answer for you, from the perspective of a family of 6 without an endless budget or endless time to spare. Join us for the journey!