I recently discovered that April has been dubbed, Keep America Beautiful month. I am fortunate to live in a well-kept area but even here there is evidence of abuse and neglect of the earth. I imagine God must just shake His head in disappointment at the way we're treating this beautiful world He created. 1 Corinthians 6:9 tells us that people who destroy the earth and everything in it do not qualify as citizens of the kingdom of God. Although I am not a hard-core environmentalist, I'm thinking it's probably a good idea to be good stewards of everything we have, and do our part to take care of the beautiful world which God entrusted to us.
I also think it's a wonderful idea to educate our kids about ways they can help keep the earth in a state that glorifies the God who created it. And the sooner we start teaching them how to do it, the more beautiful it will become. So although this holiday is technically, "Keep America Beautiful," the principle is the same around the world. Here are three things we can do with our kids to keep our earth looking beautiful.
1. RECYCLE - There are several ways you can recycle. Ask your trash pick up for a recycling container in which you can toss recyclables.
o Cans and bottles - Interesting fact: Every three months, the U.S. throws away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial airline fleet.
o Paper - Interesting fact: each day American businesses generate enough paper to circle the globe at least 40 times.
o Cardboard - Interesting fact: Out of ever $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash. Recycle that packaging!
o Material Goods - Instead of throwing out those clothes and toys you no longer want, give them away. There are plenty of wonderful organizations that would welcome your used items. Also check out http://www.freecycle.org to donate your unwanted things as well as pick up items that others are looking to recycle.
2. CLEAN UP - Of course you want to discourage your kids from any type of littering. But why not take it a step further? The next time you go to the following places with your kids, take ten or fifteen minutes to throw away trash you find on the ground. Point out how much prettier the area looks without all the junk scattered around as well as a safer place to play. Places that might be in need of a clean-up:
o School yard
o Your neighborhood
o Baseball fields
o Nature trail
3. REUSE - Whenever possible, reuse normal household items. Here are a few things you may be able to find another use for:
o Jars - decorate and use to hold all sorts of household items
o Bags - use as trash bags
o Boxes - for storage
o Coffee cans - use as a planter, a bank, or to hold kitchen scraps
o Clothing - make into other items such as purses, quilts, cushion covers or doll clothing
o Greeting cards - use the cover as a postcard or frame it and hang it on the wall.
o And more...put on your creativity cap for other ideas.
Don't forget, every little bit helps! Get qualified as a citizen of God's kingdom and keep our Creator smiling by doing your part to help keep America (and the rest of the earth) beautiful.