The tough little Timex watch I wear on a daily basis is showing signs of age. It loses about a minute each day; the light dims after a few seconds, and one of the loops on the band has fallen off. I have learned from past experience that a new band and a new battery will cost about the same as a new watch, and that fact poses a dilemma for me.
The Creation Care initiative at St. John’s has reminded me to consider the choices I make every day. Ours is a throwaway society. We use disposables for convenience. We often buy more than we need or shop for entertainment. In addition, larger items like appliances are often designed so that repairs are either impossible or impractical, since they will cost almost as much as the item itself. The result is that most of us accumulate things. Our basements and garages are filled with things that amused us for a moment, things that we intend to use some day, things we think our children may eventually want.
I am not sure if I will repair or replace my watch; possibly the consequences for the earth in this case are about the same. However, I do know that we all must become more deliberate and mindful about the things we buy, how we use them, and how we dispose of them. It takes 2,700 liters of water to grow the cotton for a single t-shirt. Globally we waste about a third of the food we grow. What’s more, when that food ends up in a landfill, it contributes to harmful CO2 emissions. This path is not sustainable.
This Lent I am prayerfully focused on the way I use God’s creation so that our beautiful earth will be here for the generations that follow us.
Appointed readings for today: Exodus 32:7-14, Psalm 106:6-7, 19-23, John 5:30-47