Heart and Mind - April 2019 - Dr. Lou Yock
Heart and Mind - Dr. Lou Yock
It’s April and our attention turns again to our Mother Earth. With the arrival of spring, Easter, robins, greening landscapes and blooming flowers, in gratitude we welcome the change of season and anticipate all of our fair weather activities. On my walk in Cartier Park on the cold March morning that I write this, I strained to see if I could hear any peepers—not yet…but soon.
I spend this time of year in appreciation of our environment, and take the time to consider the actions I take so that to pass on a sustainable Earth to those who follow me. One of the ways I do this is to remind myself, “reduce, reuse, recycle.” But as those who recycle know, economics are affecting the ways recyclers recycle. Recycling opportunities and capabilities are decreasing. Because of this, I am now redoubling my effort in the ways I reduce and reuse.
Here at the church our biggest recycling item is paper. Are there ways I could reduce my use of paper? There are, and I invite everyone to consider what they do with paper at the church, and how we might reduce our paper consumption. Perhaps those of us with iPads and laptops could use them to follow the agendas and consider meeting handouts. I am also asking for ideas from our different committees and Carol in the office, to think big about how we might cut down on paper and printing. Are there other effective ways to convey the information in our weekly bulletin? Can the elements of the Order of Service be made available without printing them every week? And of course I would encourage those who are able, to let Carol know that they would like to receive the newsletter electronically.
For various reasons, we currently have no way to recycle at the church. The Environmental Action and Advocacy Team continues to study what we can do, but in the meantime I am taking my recycling home with me. Because of this, I am more mindful of my container use. I try to bring things in containers that I can take back home with me, wash, and reuse. It isn’t as difficult as I thought it might be, and has opened up another avenue for mindfulness. Perhaps hospitality hosts could likewise consider taking their recyclable items back home with them, or even better, bring their food in reusable containers.
Over the years we have made leaps and strides and become very effective in the ways we reduce, reuse, and recycle. In trying to pay attention to what I do, I know I have lessened the amount of recyclables I consume, and even put out garbage for pick-up less often. I still have a long way to go, still have to make the effort to pay attention, and still have to remind myself to make that effort. But, it’s paying off and I am getting better at it. In April, as we remind ourselves that Every Day is Earth Day, I invite the friends and members of People’s Church to reconsider the ways we might reduce and reuse as individuals and a congregation.