Come with your senses—see and hear God at work! Look up to the sky
. Is it blue? Full of clouds? Birds flying? What do you hear? Look out at eye-level
. Perhaps you see flowers, colors, a butterfly. Look closely at the ground
. Be patient. It is teeming with life. Lift your eyes again to the sky. Pray your praise and gratitude for God’s gifts of ecosystems, habitats, and beauty.
Now is a good time to add native plants to your garden.
Native plants require less water than lawns or annuals and help prevent erosion, and they do not need fertilizers. They reduce air pollution, and they increase shelter and food for pollinators and other wildlife, reminding us of God’s care for all creation. Check with an extension agent, nursery, or websites for natives for your area.
From UM Social Principles: “Few biblical themes are as prominent or as numerous as the scriptural injunctions to stand in solidarity with ‘the least of these,’ including the poor, the orphan, the widow, the stranger, and all other vulnerable members of society….Accordingly, we pledge ourselves to the establishment of just, equitable, and sustainable economies that work for all.” Creation justice addresses both planet and people who are suffering.
As election season heats up, remember that the planet is also heating up! Scrutinize candidates for their stand
on dealing with climate change and the injustices done to many people. Do your homework on all levels of government—federal, state, and local. Vote your values.
Surprisingly, some tea bags are made of plastic, and not so surprisingly when steeped in hot water they release microplastics into the tea. Most tea bags can be composted along with the tea leaves, but not these triangular plastic mesh ones. Choose your tea bags carefully
, or switch to a reusable infuser for loose tea.
Speak up about the climate crisis and the need to vote with the environment as a priority. Talk so others will listen.
Start by respecting the other person, be sure to listen, work to build a relationship, and be an example—walk the talk. You don’t have to convince! But you are planting seeds of change.
September can be a very dry month. In some regions drought is a fact. Conserving water is important for the planet. Calculate your water footprint
with this tool (watercalculator.org
) so you have a baseline of usage. The calculator also gives practical tips for reducing use.
Tree planting season is coming. Investigate potential tree sales
and planting services. Check with local government, nonprofit foundations, and nursery businesses. Trees pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, provide habitat and food for birds and other pollinators, and give shade in the summer and allow sun in the winter, lowering the use of fossil fuel energy.
Shutting off lights when not in use
is something even preschoolers can do. Such a seemingly little thing can help the younger generation grow up more aware of needing to take care of the earth. Teach your children they have the power to make a difference for good. And if they remind you when you forget the off switch, just say, “Thank you! Good job!”—and smile!
Conduct a waste audit.
For up to a week, keep track of what normally would be discarded. Could it have been reused, recycled, or composted? If it is excess packaging, were other options available? What about leftovers? What might you do to minimize food waste? Consider enlisting your whole family as Waste Erasers.