Galileo the Green Gorilla

Last week was the Litchfield Vacation Bible School hosted by Union Ave CC (DOC).  The kids had a Galactic Blast praising God throughout the universe.  Each night, the kids traveled to a different Biblical destination learning God’s word connected to an intergalactic body, for example the Sun, the moon, stars, comets, and supernovae. Galileo, the green gorilla, closed each evening with a green tip – that is, Galileo told the kids about how they could be green like him.  His tips to the children were:

  1. Conserve energy by changing to flourescent light bulbs and turning the lights off when you leave the room.
  2. Conserve water by taking a shorter shower or turning off the water while brushing your teeth.
  3. Don’t litter and pick up trash someone else threw on the ground.
  4. Recycle.

Galileo’s message was about saving the one Earth God created for us to live on.  As each of us do our part to preserve the Earth, we “reduce our carbon footprint.”  I’ve been thinking green for several years now.  I’ve been recycling and trying to conserve energy simply for the sake of reducing what goes into landfills and saving on energy bills.  Recently, my reasons have changed.  I think it is important for each of us to reduce our carbon footprint.  God created everything and called it good.  Genesis 1: 28 tells us that God demands of us to “be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”  God’s commandment is not that we deplete the Earth of all of its resources to meet our expansive needs.  God’s commandment is for us to care for the land, preserve its resources, and share the fruit with one another.

I’ve been scouring the internet for ideas about how to reduce, reuse, and recycle.  Galileo’s tips were great.  Here are some additional tips I’ve found:

  1. Don’t Rinse – Skip rinsing your plates before putting them into the dishwasher. In average you will save 15 gallons of water per load. Plus, you will save time.
  2. Hang Outside to Dry – Get a cloths line or rack to dry your cloths. Your cloths will last longer and you will save money.
  3. Turn off computers at night – don’t just put them to sleep. You will save an average of 4 cents a day which ads up to $14.60 a year.
  4. Use Both Sides of Paper – if you have a printer with a double sided print option use it. You will save half of the amount of paper you would have normally used. Then when your done bring it to the recycle bin.
  5. Get rid of baths – Don’t take baths, take showers. You will in average save about half the amount of water that you would if you were taking a bath.
  6. Don’t get bottled water – Instead of bottled water get a reusable container to carry water. Also you can get a filter to make your home tap taste more like bottled water. It is definitely more cost efficient.
  7. Turn the water off when you brush – Your parents have said this before, now I say it. You will save 4 gallons of water doing this alone.
  8. Recycle Glass – If you do not recycle this, it will take a million years to decompose.
  9. Don’t Pre-Heat the Oven – unless needed, just turn the oven on after you put the dish in it. Also, to see if it’s finished just look through the glass instead of opening it.
  10. Use Warm or Cold Setting on Washer – instead of the hot cycle use the warm or cold setting. This will save a lot of energy a year.
  11. Turn Down your Thermostat – Every degree lower in the winter or higher in the summer you put it is a 10% decrease on your energy bill.
  12. Turn off your lights – An easy one. Turn off your lights when you are not using them. The benefits are obvious.
  13. Get rid of junk mail – There are many services that can help you get rid of junk mail. That will lead to a lot less trees being cut down to take up room in your mailbox.
  14. Use Matches instead of lighters – Lighters are usually considered disposable so they will most likely end up in land fills. You can use the cardboard matches which are much more eco-friendly because they are made of recycled material.
  15. Don’t get a paper phone book – Instead of getting a paper phone book. Use a online directory instead.
  16. Give things away – Take things that you are not going to wear or use and give it to a charity or someone who will use it.
  17. Go to a car wash – Going to a car wash is a lot more water efficient then washing your car at home.
  18. Stop paper bank statements – Why waste paper getting your bank statement mailed to you when you can just check it out online.
  19. Buy Rechargeable Batteries – Even though it will take a good investment to buy these you will find yourself gaining it back in no time.
  20. Pay your Bills Online – If every house in the US did this then we would save 18 million trees every year.
We can do our part to reduce our carbon footprint by being green.  This is especially important as long as we continue to rely unrenewable energy resources, like oil and coal.  We can also encourage the government to move toward a future when we rely on clean energy from sustainable sources.

Be kind to God’s creation as God is kind to you,
Rev. Tracy

Sources for ideas for reducing your carbon footprint:
http://planetgreen.discovery.com/go-green/back-basics/top-basics-tips.html
http://www.treehugger.com/gogreen.php
http://www.squidoo.com/agreenlife
http://www.worldwatch.org/resources/go_green_save_green
http://www.greenworkspresskit.com/tips_for_going_green.html
http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/green-living/ways-to-go-green

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