Thursday, August 27, 2009
The Preacher’s Corner
Our community needs to get behind recycling
Do you recycle? The thought comes easily to me, for I was reared in a family with parents and grandparents who had all gone through the Great Depression, and you never threw anything away! I remember how vexed my grandmother would be when I would waste notebook paper for drawing. She would remind me that in the one-room school she had attended, children drew on a slate.
Now, “never throwing anything away” is not the same as recycling. But it is an easy step from the one to the other. The operative principle is “Do not waste.”
Our church has had a little recycling ministry for the last year. I doubt we’ve saved the planet, but it has raised our consciousness of how much stuff we throw away. You could support a nice sized third world country on the “trash” we dispose of right here in Marshall County. Since I have started recycling my own discards, I notice that I have reduced what goes out in the dump truck by about three-fourths.
I notice this in fast food restaurants. Everything comes in heavy plastic containers. Grocery stores, also use lots of plastic. Sometimes the plastic in which produce comes seems to be much more elaborate than is necessary. I would imagine it adds a good deal to the price.
When you recycle, you have to sort things out a bit. Being mildly obsessive-compulsive, this gives me a good place to work out those urges. Plastic and paper have to be separated. For some reason, the recycling center I go to in Oxford does not want packing peanuts; just hard plastic items. There is another bin for glass, another for cardboard, one for newspapers, etc. You soon get the hang of it.
One day I was not paying attention and dumped a load of newspapers in the plastic bin. The bin was too deep to fish the paper out. I was embarrassed. What if the “recycle police” were watching? I was sure I would be banned forever.
You soon feel you are part of a club with the people you see at the recycling stations. I have not formed any social relationships out of these meetings, but you do feel the solidarity of a common cause.
Our little church may not save a great many souls, but at least we can do our part to care for God’s creation. When I see all the litter around town a little of my own soul dies. Doing something positive is the best therapy I know.
I do not know if others are interested in recycling. I would like to hear from some who are. Besides the city-run facilities in Oxford, larger Wal-Marts have containers for recycling at the entrances. Our local store does have a container where you can recycle plastic shopping bags.
Perhaps our community will get in behind this aspect of creation care. I am thankful that our neighbor communities are involved and will let us contribute. We ought to be good stewards of God’s gifts and to leave this planet a little better than we found it. That’s the end of my “sermon” for this week, but I hope it will strike a chord.
One thing I do know; my dear, frugal grandmother would be amused to know that her messy little grandson now thinks before wasting paper.
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