I know, I know, it's totally a bandwagon, used-up topic, but allow me to poke a little fun here.
I went with my family of six this past weekend to stay at a Holiday Inn in Orlando. While touring our room after check-in, I noticed a little sign hanging next to the towels that read something like, "In order to save the energy of washing and the cost of recycling reclaimed water, we'd like you to please use your towels more than once."
It had a nifty little picture of a dolphin and an ocean in the background; how sweet, and how convenient to the hotel owner. I think what that really translates to is, "We've found a big way to cut our overhead, and we're calling it 'green.'"
Darn! The one place I could always get away with using my towel once and tossing it carelessly on the floor! Sure enough, for the three days we were there, the six of us had one towel a piece; not like the good old days when we'd return from the pool and find not only our room clean, but six freshly folded towels placed neatly in the bathroom "for your convenience." I guess its now "for our own convenience, you get six, only!"
Oddly, however, they replaced the tiny Styrofoam cups. Pardon my ignorance, but are those somehow easier to recycle than reclaimed water? Whoops, we better not give them any ideas!
You've also gotta love all the re-useable bags for sale everywhere, especially Target's bag made up of a bunch of the old recycled ones. It looks like it comes "pre-dirtied" and will only cost you about $5 to purchase.
I love the idea - it's great to stop all the wasting of those little plastic grocery bags - but does this mean I'm going to have to start buying tiny bags for my bathroom trashcans?
A fellow at the grocery store recently asked me if I was recycling my bags, while he filled them with groceries for me. I told him, "Yes, I use them in my bathroom trash cans once I get them home."
Unsatisfied with my answer, he asked me again, "Yeah, but are you recycling them?" Gee, I just answered that question. Do people think that there is some mysterious process that somehow turns this plastic waste into ecologically safe fish food or something? Whatever we recycle it to be used as, it'll still be plastic!
My favorite little fruit market no longer carries plastic bags at all, which I think is just fine. I can just as easily carry out my small armload of fruits and veggies, but the first time I find a rotten tomato that rolled under my seat, darn it again! The lady at the market was super nice; she's seen me in there with all my gang and knows I watch my dollars. So she gave me a nice bag to re-use, which I, of course, forgot the last time I was there.
All this "green" stuff is totally cool, but when businesses make the announcement, "We're going green!" can't they just be honest and say "Well, we're savin' a bunch of money this way, and oh yeah, it's good for the environment, too."
Well, as ridiculous as it seems to me sometimes, they're on to something pretty important - we do need to be better stewards of this beautiful earth God, our creator, has entrusted to us. The Bible says in Psalm 19: "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens, and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat."
Wow, is that an awesome description or what! Obviously, our maker took great care in providing for us this lovely home called earth, so we also should take great care of it. Its beauty so clearly symbolizes His love and provision for us, His beloved. So then why wouldn't we want to treat it with care and respect?
Parents, this is another one of those behaviors that must be learned at home. Are you recycling your plastics, glass and aluminum? Are you reusing things as much as possible to get the most out of them before they hit the can?
Your kids will see and mimic your behaviors, so be a good steward as God calls us to be in Psalm 8: "You made him (man) ruler over the works of your hands, you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas."
Here, God tells us that as humans, we are the ones in charge of His creation.
Just by making a few small changes in your home, you can help keep a cleaner environment for your children and grandchildren. Also, it's very likely that these behaviors will become second nature for our kids if we practice them regularly. It may not always be convenient, but don't you think that's worthwhile?
Ruthie Davidson is a mother of four children, ages 5 to 10. She lives in South Daytona and can be reached at email@example.com.