Monthly, Second Monday, 7– 8:30pm
Coordinator: Al VerSchure
Room 166 in the adult wing
Because the Lord treasures all of His creation, Earthkeepers is committed to its responsible care and restoration, both in our community and beyond.
For more information, contact Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org or 796-3361 or to let us know of your interest in this group sign up here: Registration Form – Winter 2023 Adult Classes and Groups
Sustainability Second Suggestions:
• Remember – REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE- in that order. Set yourself a challenge that you’ll buy only second-hand clothes for a month. Scour local thrift shops or vintage clothes apps or do clothing swaps with friends.
• Or challenge yourself to buy nothing new for 3 months and wear instead, those items hiding in the back of your closet.
• Use old t-shirts, socks or towels for cleaning and dusting around the house instead of paper towels. Throw them in the washer when done and reuse.
• Washers are efficient enough to work at lower temperatures so use cold or warm water instead of hot and save on your electricity or gas usage. Wash full loads as much as possible to conserve water usage.
• Adhere to the “30 Minute” rule – if your destination is less than a 30-minute walk away, and it’s safe to do so, walk or ride your bike instead.
• Instead of using your dryer for your laundry, opt to line dry outside or use a clothes rack inside instead
• Avoid any single use items when possible, such as beverage bottles, razors, cutlery, straws to name a few. Invest in reusable items instead.
• Invest in a silicone or metal reusable straw. Keep in a purse or in the glove compartment of a vehicle.
• Always have a reusable shopping bag or two (or three) available in your car when doing grocery shopping. Initially you may need to be very deliberate about remembering to take them inside with you but it will soon become second nature!
• Stick to a 5-10 minute shower to save both water and money!
• Be mindful of the sunscreen you use while visiting lake and ocean beaches. Thousands of people utilizing harmful sunscreen ingredients can impact the delicate balance of aquatic ecosystems. For your sake as well as aquatic environments, avoid the following ingredients: Oxybenzone / Avobenzone / Octinoxate / Octoclyrene / Octisalate / Homosalate
• Invest in a wood or bamboo toothbrush since they’re more sustainable than plastic ones.
• Invest in a water filter for your kitchen sink faucet and say good-bye to plastic water bottles thereby reducing your plastic waste.
• Support your local Farmers market, by buying local produce and other food items. Shopping close to where you live saves on car and road “wear n tear” as well as lessening the need for gas – for both you and the semi- trucks that deliver food to grocery stores.
• Appliances can still use electricity when left on standby so be sure to switch off and unplug as much as possible each night. Using a multi-plug surge protector is a convenient way to do this.
• Create a “zero food waste” policy to make sure you don’t throw out food that could have been eaten. Freeze leftovers in small portions that can be pulled out as needed, make smoothies using older bananas or softer berries, and think of creative ways to use up leftover foods in dishes such as omelets or soups.
• Research the companies you buy from and invest with so you can support those with clear environmental policies in place.
EARTHKEEPERS IS ONLY RECYCLING RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES. PLEASE NOTE: Common household alkaline batteries (AA / AAA / C / D / 9V / etc.) are considered nonhazardous and may be tossed out with ordinary trash. Please do not bring alkaline batteries to the church for recycling.
Websites of Interest:
Michigan Interfaith Power & Light’s (IPL) mission is “to inspire and equip people of faith to exercise stewardship of and love for all Creation. We offer practical ways to put faith into action by promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other sustainable practices that lead to a cleaner, healthier, and more just world. Michigan IPL works statewide to gather and focus the immense grassroots power within Michigan’s faith communities to help them become leaders in the effort to address climate change and environmental degradation.” Check out their site including their blog at: https://www.miipl.org/
Faith Climate Action Week – April 14 – 23, 2023: “Faith Climate Action Week is Interfaith Power & Light’s premier week of climate action – sermons, worship services, educational events, and hands-on-action to show that people of faith are leading the way to heal our climate. It is a 10-day period of activities in celebration around Earth Day. Through the actions of people like you, Faith Climate Action Week has reached close to 2-million people with more than 5,000 climate and Earth stewardship sermons and talks nationwide. Faith Climate Action Week is ten days in April during Earth Month when IPL congregations focus on how we can all take action to protect our climate. This year’s theme is Living the Golden Rule: Just Transition to a clean energy economy.” More information can be found here:
West Michigan Environmental Action Council: “There is a beauty in our dunelands, the banks of our rivers, the streams that run through our cities. But this beauty reveals its truest form in the people that are willing to protect it, using their energy and passion for creating change in our communities and ensuring stability in our natural resources. That passion has been seen for 50 years since WMEAC first organized to protect our rivers and streams from pesticides like DDT and led the efforts to push for the Environmental Protection Act. It is seen today as we continue our work to protect our globally unique dunelands, as we use our communities’ hands to clean our rivers and teach our young people about how to protect our water for the next 50 years.” Check out WMEACs blog, Zero Waste Living Directory, and more on their website: https://wmeac.org/
Becoming Partners in Earth Healing: “If we are partners in earth-healing, we need to ask different questions about any place that we own or live on or love. For millennia, humans have mostly asked, “What do we want and need from ‘nature’?” In this age, we need to ask instead, “What healing does this place need, and how can I help?” – Debra Rienstra, Refugia Faith: Seeking Hidden Shelters, Ordinary Wonders, and the Healing of the Earth. https://reformedjournal.com/stewardship-is-not-good-enough/
Great Backyard Bird Count: “Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these four days we invite people to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them to us. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations. The Next Great Backyard Bird Count will take place on February 17-20, 2023.” For more information on how to participate check out their website: https://www.birdcount.org/participate/
Amy and the Tortoise – A Fable of Global Warming and the Importance of Trees by John Leben. Watch it here: https://vimeo.com/557725013
Will this ‘revolutionize’ recycling? https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/oct/04/wax-worm-saliva-rapidly-breaks-down-plastic-bags-scientists-discover
Climate Witness Project | January 2022 | Creation Care Update: https://mailchi.mp/crcna/new-cwp-news-jan2022-172326?e=6069698ff0
Great information on creation care: https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/sassy/
Climate Huddle: Talking Hope and Healing on climate change with Dr. Katherine Hayhoe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tWF8FNXih4
Here are some of the links mentioned throughout the talk:
• Global Weirding with Dr. Hayhoe – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi6RkdaEqgRVKi3AzidF4ow
• Christians & Climate Change Sermon by Dr. Hayhoe – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOJuHpeWoPE
• Katharine Hayhoe: Climate Change — Facts, Fictions, and our Faith, Lecture at the Center for Faith & Culture – https://cfc.sebts.edu/faith-and-science/katharine-hayhoe-climate-change-facts-fictions-faith/
• Biologos Integrate Curriculum on faithful science & climate awareness – https://biologos.org/integrate/unit/climate-change-and-our-commission
• Emily Atkin, “What Can I do?” Anything – https://heated.world/p/what-can-i-do-anything