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.’” 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.” 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. 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. 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. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that, “each person uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day.” 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. 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.” 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.
Organization, Energy Conservation. Energy Efficiency Makes Common Sense.
http://www.energycharity.org/ (accessed 10 10, 2011).
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Survey, US Geological. Water Use At Home. 02 16, 2011.
http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/qahome.html (accessed 10 10, 2011).
 Gen. 1:28.
 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).
 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).
 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).