Like other women in their 20s and 30s (the largest group of users to embrace the popular social networking site), I am addicted to Pinterest. I rely on this virtual “scrapboard” or “pinboard” for recipes, decorating ideas and, lately, Do-It-Yourself (DIYs) cleaners that help me to reduce my use of chemicals that hurt the environment and my body. The environment is especially on my mind this week, as we prepare to celebrate Earth Day on April 22.
All of my friends are interested in saving money and reducing their impact on the environment. Pinterest is an excellent source for recipes for old-fashioned, chemical-free cleaners. I’ve listed some on Women of the ELCA’s “Earth Friendly” board. Do you have recipes that you could share?
And it’s not just cleaning products. Are you a plastiholic? Research has suggested that some chemicals that come in plastic are dangerous for our health. “Pesticides and plasticizers such as bisphenon-a (or BPA, used in cans, thermal receipt paper and baby bottles), can disrupt the endocrine system by changing how we regulate insulin or when girls begin puberty. Environmental factors such as these can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.” (Horizons, November/December 2011.) Also, our waterways have become polluted with excess plastic shopping bags and debris. This plastic mass kills the fish and other algae and life forms that are necessary for a stable eco-system. Check out this list of “16 ways to limit plastic waste.” Will you go on a “plastic diet” this month?
The National Council of Churches’ Eco-Justice Group offers many resources that you can use in your church and community this Earth Day. Women of the ELCA and others in the ELCA also offer resources for your church and group to celebrate the Earth this year.
Good stewardship of the earth is our responsibility, and it is what God calls us to do.
I encourage you to check out a list of eco-friendly cleaners and other clever DIY ways to save water. How will you resolve to make a difference for the planet and for your health on Earth Day and beyond?
I hope you will join me in celebrating Earth Day by visiting the “Earth Friendly” board on Women of the ELCA’s page on pinterest.com. Also, connect with us on our Facebook page and let us know what you are doing.
Elizabeth McBride is the director for intergenerational programs and editor of Café.