Village Green Corner
All or nothing?
by Ruth Jarman
"There is no one righteous, not even one;" Romans 3:10
Is "being green" not for you? Is it too much of a commitment, too hard and complex a voyage to embark upon with the full-to-the-brim life you have already? You're just not cut out to be a tree-hugger. It's "all or nothing" and you can't do it all.
For me, living gently on the earth has parallels with my spiritual journey as a Christian. I have made a commitment, but I fail dismally every hour of every day to love God and others as I should. And in our industrialised 21 st century overcrowded world, living in a way that does not damage the earth is pretty near impossible. There are too many people in the world and too much carbon dioxide already up there in our atmosphere. And our modern life style depends so much on fossil fuels that however much we try to reduce our energy use we will always contribute more than our fair share of carbon dioxide to the global commons. So, in this too, I fail dismally every day. However much I try not to, I and my family are contributing to the destruction of God's creation.
So what do we do? Do we give up following Jesus because we can't be perfect Christians? Do we give up trying to live in a way that cares for creation because we can't give up our cars or dish-washers? No! I believe that Jesus accepts us as we are and is pleased with every feeble attempt we make to love others as ourselves and to protect his creation. And every time we fail to follow him, to love others, to live gently on the earth, we can turn to him in repentance, accept his boundless forgiveness, get up and start again!
Take holidays, for example. Are you planning to fly off somewhere this summer? Well, I'm sorry to be such a kill-joy, but flying off to see the world is, I'm afraid, bad for the world. Huge quantities of climate-damaging greenhouse gases are released by planes - just look at the size of them and think about how much energy must be required to lift them off the ground! So do try to limit your far-flung holidays. But if you still feel you need that holiday in the sun, don't give up trying to do it as caringly as you can.
Climatestewards.co.uk is a great new project run by the Christian charity A Rocha where you can reduce the impact of your journey by paying towards tree-planting and other projects which off-set and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. For under £10 you can more contentedly fly your family of four to the Med. while £70 will help two of you sleep easier on the way to Australia .
It's not always "all or nothing". Sometimes it's good just to do something!