No time to waste

Published 11th May 2023 by Aike Kennett-Brown

We’re belatedly waking up to the fact that natural resources are precious and limited, and that we need to treat our planet with greater care and respect.  The Bible reminds us that ‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (Psalm 21:1, NIV), and God entrusted it to us in Genesis.  However, we’ve fallen into a ‘disposable’ culture of convenience that’s polluting our planet.  Did you know that:

Two billion people worldwide don’t have any waste management (UNEP)

At least a third of the world’s waste is dumped in the open or burned (World Bank)

Mismanaged waste causes up to a million human deaths a year (Tearfund)…but what about other species?

Globally, a third of all food is lost or wasted from farm to plate (UNEP), and yet we have 345.2 million people living with food insecurity.

It’s high time we started seeing our ‘waste’ as valuable God-given resources that can be reused and repurposed.

A key way to living more sustainably is to start with small steps.  In a Facebook live interview with Tearfund’s Bin twinning team, Laura put out the challenge to do a rubbish audit.  This involves keeping everything you throw in your bin for a month and then look at the frequently used items.  When Laura did this, she noticed she was eating lots of meal deals, so took to making a packed lunch and a refillable water bottle and coffee cup when out and about, halving the amount of waste she was creating and saving money at the same time.  Living in a household of 5, I only managed to do this exercise for a week, and quickly realised that most of my fruit and veg came in unrecyclable plastic bags, and so we have switched to choosing ‘loose’ items or products in biodegradable packaging.  I’ve also taken to meal planning, which has reduced the amount of food waste.

We’ve now started looking at the waste we create during our monthly Messy Church Goes Wild sessions, where we meet in an outdoor classroom and community garden based on school grounds.  I’m embarrassed to say that in the early days, we filled a black bin bag with disposable cups used for soup and hot chocolate and didn’t even think to sort it for recycling.  Now we are switching to re-useable cups and will make the washing-up an outdoor community building experience.

I wonder what small changes you could make to become more sustainable and care better for God’s creation both at home and at Messy Church?  Could your Messy Church undertake a rubbish audit and see what gets thrown away at the end of a session?   You’ll also find some great top tips on making Messy Church more eco-friendly in the May – Aug 23 issue of Get Messy!

Let’s take on the eco-challenge – we have no time to waste!

Aike Kennett-Brown
BRF Messy Church ministry lead
Since this blog first went up the Bin Twinning campaign has now closed.  Tearfund will continue their work with plastics and pollution but will fund it differently.

You may also like

by Aike Kennett-Brown

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”. During Lent, traditionally I would give something up, but the last few years have involved me taking up something. This year I am making space to know God more in the everyday things.

Read more

Embracing Difference

7th Feb 2024
by Aike Kennett-Brown

Last Friday was Culture Day at my daughter’s secondary school in SE London. Digging into my German family history (how else did I get a name like Aike?),

Read more
by Aike Kennett-Brown

At the start of a New Year, it’s good practice to pause for a moment and reflect on the year that’s past, giving thanks to God for both the opportunities and challenges.

Read more

Beauty for Brokenness

2nd Jan 2024
by Aike Kennett-Brown

Beauty for brokenness, hope for despair…

Read more