Teaching About Earth Care
by Ron VandenBurg
Everybody understands the idea of earth-keeping. We have been taught to recycle and have heard about our carbon footprint. To illustrate, last year, I did a through-lines presentation for a Masters-level teaching course. Instead of assigning to learners a through-line about which to write, I let them choose. Most of the class chose to write about earth-keeping, because they already knew that we all have a responsibility to take care of the earth.
For Christians, the earth-keeping responsibility is a command. The writer of Genesis says “And God saw everything that he had made, and it was very good” (1:31). Then God gives to people a daunting task when He calls us to be stewards, caretakers, or gardeners of all of creation (Gen 1:28). God created the world and he gives us the opportunity to ‘manage’ it on his behalf.
We and our children need to think back to Eden and learn how to care for all things with respect: the environment, water, animals, plants, farm land, and all resources. Earth-keeping also calls for us to teach our children to sort out our wants from our needs, so that we can share God’s created planet with other people living in other areas of the world and share it with those yet to be born. By doing this, we respond to God’s command to be his servants.
Ask your children to watch out for ways to save water and electricity.
Find ways to drive less. Walk, ride your bike or take the bus to where you need to go! Explore carpooling as a choice for getting around town. You will have extra time to spend with your friends and family.
Ask your family to use less heat and air conditioning. Dress for the weather.
Start a compost system in your backyard for all your fruits and vegetable peelings and scraps.
Spend time in nature. Play outside in the fresh air.
Keep your school and neighborhood free of garbage. Put it in the recycling or garbage where it belongs.
Psalm 24:1. The earth and everything on it belong to the Lord. The world and its people belong to him.