1. Eat Those Leftovers!
After the holiday season you will likely have leftovers from Christmas & New Years. A great way to be a steward to the Earth is to consume your food. Did you know that Americans throw away 25% of the food they buy? Not only is this a waste of money but it is also harmful to the environment. Producing food takes land, water, and heavy machinery. By eating your leftovers you are not only saving money but also preventing energy waste from food production. Not to mention you are keeping them from taking up space in a landfill.
2. Bookmark & Visit Creation Justice Ministries' Action Center
Each month, the Creation Justice Ministries team will update www.creationjustice.org/action with a new set of timely events, advocacy opportunities, and education resources. Set a reminder to check this website monthly, and take the actions that are possible for you and your community.
3. Green Your Laundry Routine
4. Plan to Participate in Faith-Rooted Ecumenical Advocacy efforts, including virtual Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2020
Creation Justice Ministries is one of more than 40 co-sponsoring Christian organizations for the annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days. This year the conference is virtual! This is a valuable gathering that connects Christian communities nationally to worship, learn about timely issues, develop leadership skills, and take action for justice. This year's theme is "Imagine! God's Earth and People Restored." Learn more at www.advocacydays.org.
5. Celebrate Black History Month
February is Black History Month and there are many ways to celebrate and get involved. Follow Creation Justice Ministries on social media to follow our Black History Month campaign. We also recommend that you check out these organizations who are making black history: Outdoor Afro, Black Millenials for Flint, & the NAACP Environmental and Climate Program.
6. Plan a Lenten Devotional that Will Benefit God's Creation
The Creation Justice online community is doing a "Tread Lightly for Lent" devotional this year, adapted from the Presbyterian Hunger Program's Environmental Ministries 2018 resource. You may also consider trying a carbon fast. If you live in a place with an active state chapter of Interfaith Power and Light, it can be fun to find a local community doing a carbon fast together.
7. Use Green Cleaning Products
Did you know some cleaning products have toxic chemicals that can harm your health as well as pollute God's creation? Check out our "Cleanliness and Godliness Toolkit" for ideas on greener cleaning.
8. Change Light Bulbs to Eco-Friendly Types
CFL and LED bulbs can emit 25-80% less energy than traditional incandescents, plus they last longer! Consider this greener alternative when it comes time to replenishing those bulbs.
9. Celebrate Women's History Month
March is Women's History Month! Follow Creation Justice Ministries social media to learn about amazing women who have made a positive difference in God's creation. Also check out "Desertification in Africa is an Intersectional Problem, and Women are Stepping up to the Challenge" by CJM board member Susu Lassa and last year's "Women's History Wrap Up".
11. Turn Off the Lights When Not in Use
If you’re not in the room, the light doesn’t need to be on. Leave yourself post-its to help you remember to flip the switch off when you leave the room. You can even consider installing automatic timers for the lights in your home.
12. Observe World Water Day March 22, 2021
World Water Day is this week! Support various campaigns and check out the water resources provided by Creation Justice Ministries.
13. Donate to a Faith-Based Organization that Supports Care and Justice for God's Creation
Our ecological crisis is a spiritual crisis. We are facing systems of greed and racism that require a moral response. Give to faith-based organizations that devote time and resources to caring for God's creation. Consider becoming a monthly recurring donor, to help the organization build a strong, predictable grassroots funding base for their work. If you don't yet contribute to Creation Justice Ministries, consider joining the #CreationJustice Monthly Giving program.
14. Cut Your Shower Time by Five Minutes
Cut five minutes off your shower to save water. According to a study done by Harvard the average American shower uses 2.5 gallons per minute. You will save 12.5 gallons of water if you shorten by just 5 minutes. Or, consider turning the water off while you lather up and only turn it on to rinse.
15. Start a Garden, Indoors and Out!
Start a garden in your own backyard or share the work with your community by creating a neighborhood garden. Do you have space in your church’s yard, at a vacant lot, or in a nearby park? Gardening is good for creation and saves you money. If you do not have space outdoors, you can grow veggies or herbs in pots in your place of residence. Indoor plants will produce oxygen to improve your indoor air quality.
16. Observe Earth Day Sunday on April 25, 2021
This year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! Make use of the Earth Day Sunday resource developed annually by Creation Justice Ministries. This year's theme is "The Fierce Urgency of Now" and is all about how to live faithfully in urgent times. This year's theme is "Environmental Racism, Public Health, & Eco-Justice" and past years can be found through www.earthdaysunday.org.
17. Eat a Plant-Based Meal or Meals with Ingredients from Local Farms
Eating plants is good for your body and good for the earth. Find a new recipe to try this week!
18. Wait to Run the Dishwasher until it is Full
Consider only doing dishes when you have a full dishwasher load or full sink. If you do dishes by hand, use a basin to conserve dish-washing water. This reduces your water use and saves you money on your water bill.
19. Advocate for Environmental Justice
Learn about imminent threats to communities near you. Learn whose health and livelihood is most affected by local pollution issues, and who is on the front-lines of counteracting the harm. If you need a place to start, check out the Oil and Gas Threat Map. Join an existing grassroots organization, talk to your family and friends about environmental justice, or set up a meeting between your faith community and local environmental justice advocates to build solidarity.
20. Observe Endangered Species Day May 21, 2021
Did you know one in five species is threatened or endangered? There are many things everyday people can do to save God's creation from extinction. Check out www.creationjustice.org/endangered to find materials to raise awareness in your faith community.
21. Fend Off "Energy Vampires."
Make sure to turn off and unplug items when they're not in use. The socket draws electricity even when items are "turned off." Some items that are often plugged-in when not in use are blow-dryers, phone chargers, electric kettles, and coffee pots. Other items that are often left in the "on" position when not in use are televisions, computers, and video game consuls. Using the battery-saving function on smart phones and computers helps them last longer, as well as saves energy. Perhaps you have a spare refrigerator you only need to run when you're preparing to entertain guests. Look around your house and find what can be unplugged. You might be surprised by your energy savings!
22. Research How Your Community Regulates Waste
Each city or town has their own trash, recycling, and compost system. What is the system where you live? Regulations change frequently so take some time today to update yourself. Here are some questions for you to find the answers:
23. Bring a Reusable Container for Leftovers to the Restaurant
Next time you go out to eat, bring a reusable container for your leftovers. One-time use plastic and styrofoam containers are easily replaceable with a reusable container. You can leave one by the door, in your backpack, or in your car so that you always remember it.
24. Honor World Oceans Day Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Plan to honor World Oceans Day with your faith community. Check out www.worldoceansday.org for ideas, and find faith-based resources at www.creationjustice.org/oceans
25. Watch a Documentary on Creation Care and/or Environmental Justice
Some examples include faith-based films such as Behold the Earth and Renewal, as well as other educational films such as The Story of Stuff. Learn something new, and make a commitment to yourself to make a positive change in your life.
26. Contact Your Representative
Take initiative today and call, email, or write one of your state representatives regarding any creation care issue that you are passionate about. Positive environmental change starts with the individual and continues with larger scale change. You can contact your representative by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. You can find out who your US Representative is here and your US Senators here.
27. Reuse. You Don't Have to Use an Item Just Once Right?
What disposable items in your life could you replace with a reusable option? Do you use cloth napkins or paper? Do you have a reusable water bottle or disposable? Do you use cleaning wipes or clothes? Do you pack your lunch in plastic bags or in reusable containers?
28. Make Your Next Shopping Trip Green
Consider the before-life and after-life of purchases. Patronize second-hand or fair trade stores. You can buy clothes, jewelry, shoes, furniture, books, movies, and toys conscientiously. If you cannot find what you need at a second-hand store, try a fair trade store for ethically sourced products.
29. Pick Up the Trash in Your Community
Go outside and pick up trash. You can invite a friend or small group from church to join you. You can enjoy fellowship and increase the amount of garbage collected.
30. Read a Book Concerning Creation Care
We recommend titles by members of the Creation Justice community, including:
31. Use Green Transportation
How do you get from place to place? Make a plan for how you can reduce your footprint. Does your city/town have public transportation? Are there places where you can walk or bike instead of drive? Make a commitment and plan to improve your transit carbon footprint.
32. Calculate Your Water Footprint
Find out what your water footprint is and how you can reduce your impact. This calculator will show you how your lifestyle impacts the rest of the world and how you can make a positive difference. Share with us ways you plan to reduce your footprint!
33. Use Gray Water
Gray water is water that has been used but is not necessarily contaminated. You can use dish washing water, hand washing water, and cooking water to water plants. There are even systems you can install now that allow you to make use of gray water more effectively.
35. Honor the Season of Creation September 1-October 5
Beginning with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1 and ending with St. Francis Day on October 4, the Season of Creation is a time-set-apart to express gratitude for God's good creation, care for creation, and call for justice. Learn more at www.seasonofcreation.org
36. Check Your Car's Tire Pressure
Properly inflated tires improve the car’s gas mileage. This will not only decrease your carbon emission but also save you money.
37. Try Composting at Home
Check out this guide to learn how to compost at your home, or go here to see if your neighborhood has a curbside compost pickup option.
38. Invest in Green Arts and Crafts Supplies
Do you or the kids in your life enjoy art? Buy recycled paper and products for projects. Nature is another great way to find art supplies. Twigs, leaves, and flowers are excellent for art projects. The recycling bin can also be great place for creative minds to find materials.
39. Track Your Use of Paper and Disposable Products
This week, watch how often you use paper plates, disposable utensils and straws. See which of those items you can replace with reusable Tupperware and flatware that you can take with you. You can keep this in your car, purse, or backpack to use at a moment’s notice.
40. Looking for a New Book? Check Out Your Local Library.
Instead of buying your own copy, check out your local library for your next read. Libraries are valuable community centers, and chances are you'll only read the book once - no need to purchase every copy for yourself! If you like using e-readers, the Libby app allows you to borrow books from the library digitally.
41: Track Your Waste for a Week
Keep track of the waste that you create for a week. How much of it can be replaced with recyclables or reusables? What can you challenge yourself to live without?
42. Try Cooking One-Pot Meals
By using one pot to cook your meal, you save on electricity, gas, and water, which reduces your footprint and may even give you leftovers for the week!
43. Evaluate Coffee and/or Tea Habits
Does you use a reusable or disposable cup and filter? Do you use loose leaf tea or tea bags? Where does your beverage come from? Is it ethically sourced? If not, find out how you can make the sustainable switch.
44. November is Native Heritage Month--Learn About the Indigenous Peoples to the Places Where You Live, Work, and Pray
Monday, October 12 is recognized by some as Columbus Day, and others as Indigenous Peoples' Day. November is Native American Heritage Month. These are good times to brush up on your knowledge about Indigenous Peoples. Consider using Creation Justice Ministries' Environmental Justice with Indigenous Peoples resource. Take time to acknowledge the Indigenous Peoples from where you live. Consider remembering them by name when you pray. Some questions to research are:
46. Plan to have an Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving
Make environmentally sustainable choices this Thanksgiving. Cook your food in reusable cookwear instead of the disposable aluminum foil cookwear. Also, replace paper napkins with cloth during your meal. Reduce your leftover waste by replacing plastic wrap with beeswax wrap or stretchable rubber lids.
47. #OptOutside this Black Friday
Some families depend on the deep discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to be able to afford essentials. For many, though, Black Friday and Cyber Monday can become a frenzy of consumer culture and unnecessary purchases. If you need to make a purchase on a discounted item, please do so with intention. If you don't need to make a purchase, consider joining the movement to go for a walk: #OptOutside & #FindYourPark. This alternative can allow you to use the precious holiday season to spend quality time outdoors.
48. Invest in a Reusable Water Bottle
Cut down on plastic by carrying your own water bottle with you. Preferably a reusable one made of aluminum rather than plastic. You will find that you save money by bringing your own water instead of buying new bottles every time you are thirsty.
49. Check Cabinets for Expired Medicine and Properly Dispose of Them
Avoid flushing medicines and other dangerous chemicals in the toilet or washing them down the sink. Instead, find your local med disposal location and take them there. This will help keep water clean and drug-free for other people drink and animals and plants to live in and consume.
50. Opt to Wrap Gifts in a Reusable Bag Instead of Wrapping Paper
51. Plan a Green Meal
Challenge yourself to cook a one pot meal and buy from local farmers. Get creative and try something new-- who knows, it could be a new favorite recipe!
52. Make Your New Year's Resolutions Green
Take some time to reflect with your family on ways to be more green in 2022! Can you invest in solar energy panels? Share your New Year's Resolutions with us at Creation Justice Ministries for the chance to be featured on our social media.
About this Blog
This blog shares the activities of Creation Justice Ministries. We educate and equip Christians to protect, restore, and rightly share God's creation.