By Amy Huber, Off the Wall –
careless bunch back then.
We buried or burned our trash. We used leaded gasoline, which was stored underground
in tanks that were made of a single layer of metal (that would eventually rust and leak). Our
factories poured their waste products into creeks, rivers and lakes.
We were far from conscientious, and that’s putting it mildly.
This semester I have been taking geology, a general education class that merely touches
on ill effects caused by human mismanagement.
But one thing I’ve learned is that anything we do now will have lasting effects billions of
years in the future.
April 23-29 is Earth Week. I’m proud to say that I attend a college that is
environmentally aware and does all it can to promote both clean energy and recycling.
MCC has various bins around the campus to compost, recycle and shred various items.
They take this a step further with recycling pens and markers. There is a charging station for
electric cars and a class that teaches renewable energy.
Through the years I have learned about certain things I can do on my own to reduce
waste at home. For instance, I am careful of what I throw in the trash. It might not seem like a
big deal, but if each of us can eliminate a few items per week from their garbage, this adds up to
a substantial amount in a year’s time.
Imagine the impact hundreds of humans together can have by doing this. For instance,
just putting food in a trash bin uses up a vast amount of space over a year’s time span. This food
will eventually end up rotting in a landfill somewhere, inside a plastic bag, which will long
outlive the food inside it.
If I have cereal or bread that goes stale, or vegetables that are beyond human
consumption, I put them outside to feed the wildlife. Where I live we have a large number of
creatures and even the occasional stray cat. These animals appreciate the food I leave out for
How often have we gone to a store and returned home with our items in a
environmentally unfriendly plastic bags. Most people just toss them in the trash. However, both
Walmart and Meijer have bins inside their front doors to collect these bags for recycling.
Numerous area churches run food and clothing pantries and use an amazing number of
them per month. Shiloh Tabernacle more than 3,000 plastic bags every month. It is little effort to
place a huge bag of them in the car trunk and drop them off on our next shopping trip.
Another item many people toss into the garbage is egg cartons. Most of us know someone
who raises chickens, or someone who would know who does.
We are not so citified that we can’t honestly think of an aunt, uncle, cousin, or friend who
has poultry. If those people gather their chickens’ eggs, there is a strong possibility they would
welcome egg cartons.
Just changing our routines that tiny bit over a lifetime can help to sustain the earth for a
I once heard a DJ on a Christian radio station remark that he doesn’t recycle, because the
Bible states the earth is going to be destroyed anyway, so it doesn’t matter to him. I gasped.
Was he right? Maybe, maybe not.
But if we don’t do our part here and now, the earth will be destroyed long before we have
the chance to find out.