Each weekday morning at 5:00 I watch our apartment custodian dutifully haul recycling bins from several floors to the compactor. I’m not sure he’s thinking he’s saving some part of the ocean from plastics, but I do know that he cares. I’ve seen him carefully remove non-recyclables and even repurpose some things.
We are called to be good stewards of what has been given to us. And living in America, we know that A LOT has been given to us.
My question: what is a steward? According to Merriam Webster it is:
the conducting, supervising, or managing of something especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care such as stewardship of natural resources
Environment stewardship is not new to us. It’s clear from Scripture that our belief in God entails conservation, preservation, appreciation and care for our world.
In her book, Stewards of Eden, theologian and scholar, Sandra Richter, says this:
…humanity plays a critical role in God’s blueprint for the flourishing of this majestic ecosphere in which we find ourselves. Yahweh is indeed the ultimate sovereign, but humanity has been created as his representative to serve as custodian and steward, enacting the Creator’s will by living our lives as a reflection of God’s image. We have received our authority from the Creator. We rule as he would rule. We are stewards, not kings.” (p11)
There is nothing ambiguous about this order. We are obligated by our beliefs to take care of the miracle of earth we have been given.
When it comes to our clothing, how do we start guarding and tending our earth?
Start with Sandra’s book, Stewards of Eden, What Scripture Says About the Environment and Why It Matters. Start with choosing shoes made sustainably (more on this later). Start with recycling one thing. But do start!