As we are called to see ourselves and each other as vessels that hold God’s presence and bring God’s gifts to the world, so too, this very world and all that is above, around and within it are earthen vessels – just as easily shattered, just as much in need of our loving attentiveness and support. May our hands align with God’s in caressing and shaping these vessels.
For trees, plants, crops, and forests. For water, air, wind, and climate. We pray.
For sun, clean energy and prevention of global warming. For recycling and moderate personal consumption. We pray.
For proper use of chemicals and disposal of toxic waste.
Creator God, we thank you for all of creation. We ask your forgiveness where we have failed to be just stewards. And we now ask for your guidance in restoring the face of the earth. May we learn to live in harmony, safety and just sharing of resources among all so that we achieve the kingdom of God. Peace be to this community. Peace be to this land. Peace be to all people. Amen.
Last weekend, I put a display table in the MND health center for Earth Day. On it, I included one of my favorite quotes: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” No truer words…
This YLBG is a response to one of the informational items on the table: false solutions to the plastics problem. Several people suggested I write about some of these. Sounds like another YLBG series!
This week let’s talk about the so-called solution of incinerating plastic and using that as a source of energy. This is a popular practice to deal with the overabundance of plastic and other waste in the world. Let’s just burn it. This will keep it from the ocean and landfills, and it will provide electricity. This ‘solution’ emits 3 tons of CO2 for every 1 ton of waste burned. In the case of plastics, these are fossil fuel emissions in addition to those created in the initial production of plastic in the first place. When plastic is burned, the chemicals in the plastic are released to the air, including toxins like mercury and lead. There is an environmental racism aspect to this ‘solution’ as well. These incinerators are built in economically depressed areas, usually among communities of color who have no voice as to where they are located.
If this next comment surprises you, you have not been paying attention. I know I sound like a broken record! We must eliminate plastic wherever possible, and we can start with the items that we use for convenience. Less plastic means less plastic pollution. It is really that simple.
Learn about the realities of waste-to-energy. You can read an article here that talks about pros and cons. (Personally, I don’t see any pros, but, in the interest of the full story, I share this with you.) The Energy Justice Network has quite a different take on the topic here.