By the Rev. Canon Pam Hyde, Canon for Creation Care
The coronavirus pandemic has been changing the way we live our lives for the past several months. But with our environmental problems accelerating, it’s more important than ever to take actions to protect and restore the earth. Here are ten ways that you can care for Creation today as you socially distance, spend more time at home, and keep the ones you love safe.
1. Conserve Water
Start by calculating your water footprint. Just visit water-calculator.org, then find ways to use less water. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. Cut your shower time by 5 minutes—you will save 12.5 gallons of water. And use all that handwashing water to water your plants!
2. Change Your Diet
Eating a plant-based diet (or even just skipping meat more often) saves wa-ter and energy. Find new plant based recipes online at places like Minimalist Baker https://minimalistbaker.com/20-best-plant-based-dinner-recipes/ and try them out.
3. Source Your Food More Sustainably
Buy your food locally for more flavor and to reduce the carbon footprint of your meals. See if you can find a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) near you at www.localharvest.org/csa/. Or start your own garden!
Replace things that are disposable in your house with things that are reusable. Cloth napkins instead of paper. Washable cloths instead of paper tow-els. Reusable containers for leftovers instead of plastic bags. A reusable water bottle instead of plastic ones.
5. Commit to Using Less Plastic, Especially SIngle-Use Plastic
We produce 300 million tons of plastic each year worldwide, and our plastic addiction is having a devastating impact on our oceans, our wildlife, and our health. Find out more at: www.nrdc.org/stories/single-use-plastics-101 then see how you can reduce your use of plastic.
6. Turn Off and Unplug
Why use energy when you don’t need it? Turn off lights, TVs, computers and other devices when you aren’t using them. And unplug “energy vampires”—items that continue to draw electricity even when they’re turned off, such as blow-dryers, phone chargers, electric kettles and coffee pots.
7. Read a Book or Watch a Documentary About Creation Care
Binged all the Netflix shows? Tired of jigsaw puzzles? Read a book, such as: Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change by Rev. Jim Antal or Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis by Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas and Rev. Dr. Leah Schade. Or check out films like Behold the Earth, Renewal, or Journey of the Universe.
8. Change the Way You Do Laundry
Use cold water when washing clothes. Try a shorter wash cycle. Only do laundry when the load is full. And dry your laundry by using a drying rack or a laundry line. You’ll save water and con-serve energy.
9. Try Out the Carbon Tracker Website
https://www.sustainislandhome.org. You can calculate your carbon foot-print and then find actions you can take to reduce it!
10. Take the Episcopal Pledge to Care for Creation
Visit www.episcopalchurch.org/creation-care/pledge. Pledge to protect and renew the Earth and all who call it home.