On the eve of 2014, why not plan your New Year’s resolutions around caring for God’s creation? Here are eight ideas for EcoResolutions.
1. Do a creation care devotional. All good practices start with prayer, and Sojourners has a great one, Christians and the Environment. Extra credit: Start a small group study at your church using the guide.
2. Watch an eco-focused documentary. Netflix has quite a few to choose from, like Chasing Ice, which follows a National Geographic photographer as he battles weather and climate to take time lapse photos of the glaciers before they’re gone. Extra credit: host a screening with friends, and use the free downloadable Sojourners discussion guide.
3. Give away one of your Christmas presents. One of the easiest ways to live simpler is to keep less stuff, and if you can give away a gift you don’t need, you’ll lighten your impact and brighten someone else’s day. (Just don’t get caught re-gifting!)
4. Put on a sweater. Not to copy Jimmy Carter, but if you add an extra layer while you’re around the house — cozy up under a blanket, put on your slippers — and lower the thermostat one degree, you’ll save energy. Our electricity use accounts for 40 percent of America’s climate change pollution, so every sweater counts!
5. Join the Meatless Mondays craze. Meat production is another major source of climate pollution — one-fifth of the problem, to be exact. Cutting out meat just once a week lowers your carbon footprint, plus it’s healthier, cheaper, and a good excuse to try out new recipes. Extra credit: Invite friends over for dinner and multiply the meatless effect!
6. Bring a bag. Plastic bags are made from fossil fuels, and they create more trash. By bringing your own bag with you (May we suggest the new Sojourners “Create in me a green heart” tote?) you’ll use fewer resources and make a statement.
7. Swap your lights. Compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, are far more efficient than traditional incandescent ones, plus they will save you money. They’re different from standard light bulbs in that once they are on, it takes very little energy to keep them that way. So use CFLs in places where you leave the lights on, such as entryways or church bathrooms.
8. Keep up to date. Want to keep up with creation care news and opportunities to take action? Follow the Sojourners Creation Care campaign, @SojoCreation, on Twitter.
Got more ideas? Tweet them to us at @SojoCreation using #EcoResolutions.
Liz Schmitt is creation care campaign associate for Sojourners.