We Are Keepers of the Garden

We Are Keepers of the Garden

            In Genesis chapter one we are told, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.’”[1] This is not a voluntarily command, rather a command that is to be obeyed with pure nurturing hearts and hands. Subdue does not mean to let it sit idly, but to cherish and bring out the full potential in it. Preserving and restoring the environment begins with having and promoting a positive attitude. Christians should seek new ways to preserve and restore the environment, while educating others in preservation and restorations. Earth preservation begins at home. Simple changes in personal lifestyles, such as recycling, using compact fluorescent lighting, and water conservation, can have dramatic positive effects on the environment.

Christian homes should be switching the incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs. Brian Dakss from CBS News reports, “If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.”[2] Many will state that it costs too much to switch over from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lights, and this is a fallible statement. The average US household has 45 light bulbs and replacing the incandescent bulbs that last approximately 1,500 hours with compact fluorescent bulbs that last approximately 10,000 hours would save $180 a year in electricity costs over the bulbs lifetime.[3] Switching to compact fluorescent bulbs can be expensive in the beginning, but it pays off in the end.

Recycling—the word that many associate with waste of time, pointless, or too much trouble— should be a common household occurrence. If we would stop to think about our children and mankind, we would see the importance of recycling. In our busy lives, it is much easier for us to throw away all the trash into one bin and walk away. It seems we do not have a genuine concern for our children and what their way of life may be because of our actions. For example, making one ton of paper from recycled paper, we can save up to 17 trees and use 50% less water. Recycling aluminum allows us to use 95% less energy than making aluminum cans from bauxite ore which is a raw material used to make aluminum.[4] Two important resources to sustain life are trees and water. The same resources found in many of the materials we use and could recycle, and if we refuse to recycle, our children could find themselves without such resources.

Christians should be conserving water at home. Simply fixing that little leak in our toilet could save up to 22 gallons a day, and 8,000 gallons a year.[5] The U.S. Geological Survey reports that, “each person uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day.”[6] As the world population continues to increase, water is continuing to become a more precious resource that can be the cause of new wars in our children’s future. Also, keep in mind that water was created to sustain life, not destroy it.[7] We take for granted how simple it is for us to turn on a faucet or buy a bottle of water and have no worries about getting water born diseases or dying of dehydration. If we continue to be wasteful and not preserve what we can, this can become a reality just as in third world countries.

Many will say, “why should I be concerned with a deteriorating world?” The answer is simple; despite sin, nothing changes the fact that this world is God’s creation. We seem to have no problems maintaining our bodies, which God created, so why should His earth be any different? As we grow in knowledge and ability to restore and preserve God’s earth, we should make every attempt to do so, not only because we are commanded to do so, but also for the sake of our children and mankind. The Energy Conservation Organization reported that, “for every dollar invested in efficiency, consumers save four dollars, money that can be spent in other areas of the economy.”[8] Therefore, whether your motivation is to help mankind or to save a dollar, swapping out that light bulb, fixing that leaking toilet, and recycling that aluminum can does not seem so difficult anymore.


Dakss, Brian. CBS The Early Show. 02 11, 2009.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/06/22/earlyshow/living/home/main2965734.shtml (accessed 10 10, 2011).

Kids, Energy. US Energy Information Administration.

http://www.eia.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=environment_recycling-basics (accessed 10

10, 2011).

Organization, Energy Conservation. Energy Efficiency Makes Common Sense.

http://www.energycharity.org/ (accessed 10 10, 2011).

Problems, Ecological. Water Conservation–Why should we conserve water? http://ecological-

problems.blogspot.com/2009/10/water-conservation-why-should-we.html (accessed 10

10, 2011).

Survey, US Geological. Water Use At Home. 02 16, 2011.

http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/qahome.html (accessed 10 10, 2011).

[1] Gen. 1:28.

[2] Brian Dakss, “Green Light Bulb Buying Guide,” CBS The Early Show (February 11,2009), http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/06/22/earlyshow/living/home/main2965734.shtml (accessed October 10, 2011).

[3] Ibid.

[4] Energy Kids, “Using and Saving Energy: Recycling,” US Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=environment_recycling-basics (accessed October 10, 2011).

[5] US Geological Survey, “Water Use At Home,” US Geological Survey (February 16, 2011), http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/qahome.html (accessed October 10,2011).

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ecological Problems: Water Conservation—Why should we conserve water, http://ecological-problems.blogspot.com/2009/10/water-conservation-why-should-we.html (accessed October 10, 2011).

[8] Energy Conservation Organization, “Energy Efficiency Makes Common Sense,” Energy Conservation Organization, http://www.energycharity.org/ (accessed October 10, 2011).


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3 Responses to We Are Keepers of the Garden

  1. I’m by no stretch of the imagination a tree-hugging liberal, but I’ve often felt I’m in the minority as a conservative who does worry about the environment. Let me clarify that–I do not believe in global warming. I tend to believe the literature that tells us the planet has been on a cooling trend for at least a decade. However, I have always felt as people under a God-given obligation to be stewards of the earth, we are to cultivate and protect, not exploit and commercially develop, our beautiful home.

    I remember meeting Smoky the Bear when I was a very small girl. Shaking hands with that baritone-voiced gentle giant made an impression on me. Of course, the character’s main mission is to prevent forest fires. But, I remember those soulful (albeit plastic) brown eyes appearing to look deep into mine as the man inside said, “But remember, sweetheart, it all starts with you, and it all starts with you doing your part to prevent litter.” I guess it’s silly I still hold such a moment dear.

    But these things really work. I have always been very conscious of refraining from being a “litterbug”. I have always been careful to throw my trash away properly, and be careful with fire, and though recycling in my rural area is next to nil, we try to be conservationists in our own right by conserving water and compressing our trash. We have gone paperless on many of our bills, and we up-cycle newspapers and grocery bags. Yes, I do use plastic, but with a purpose. I find a million uses for them around the home.

    I have preached to my children about litter all their lives. I was dismayed to hear there are places in the country where litter is rampant, such as in the inner city-areas like Harlem. I know we use a lot of chemicals and that we do overuse our resources. I don’t think there is a doubt of that. However, I feel common people can do their part.

    • pastorrobbm says:

      Thank you for your insight, and its not silly to remember and hold on to those “Smokey the Bear” moments, because they are the moments that steer the direction we move in. I used to be the type to not care about the earth period, but after writing this and reading what God says, I changed my ways. I think taking care of the place we live goes far beyond conservative and liberal, but then again you will always run into the folks that turn it in that direction.

      Thank you again for your story, I pray someone reads it and is blessed!
      God bless, and stay out of twitter jail lol.

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