Where once there was a gaping hole in the conversational landscape, Christian voices are ringing out across the country.
"I remember that on Earth Day 1990, my local church didn't mention it at all," says Albert Hsu, associate editor of InterVarsity Press and author of The Suburban Christian. "My pastor later told me it wasn't a Christian thing to care about. That was a wake-up call. I think a lot of this goes back to Gnosticism, when people thought the physical world was evil. Those ideas can lead to bad stewardship. Certain denominations believe this world will be destroyed in the end times so we needn't bother caring for it. But God declared this world good and calls us to take care of it.". . . Even so, says Hsu, with so many American Christians living in the "land of plenty," it's difficult to keep the environment at the forefront of one's mind. "Suburbia is a consumer culture," he says. "If we need something, we buy it and use it, instead of finding alternatives. One of the problems in suburbia is that it's a place of abundance where we don't see the scarcity and limitation of resources."
The article also has this handy list of ten things Christians can do (adapted from Matthew Sleeth's Serve God, Save the Planet):
1. Turn off the faucet while shaving, brushing teeth, and washing hands.
2. Pre-cycle by buying minimally packaged goods and choosing reusable over disposable.
3. Buy only "tree free" toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues made from recycled paper.
4. Bike, walk, carpool, or use public transportation instead of driving.
5. Change at least five light bulbs to compact fluorescents.
6. Install low-flow showerheads.
7. Caulk and weather strip around windows and doors to plug air leaks.
8. Use no pesticides or chemicals on your lawn or garden.
9. Pick one endangered species and do something to help save it.
10. Pray for people whose forests and habitats have been destroyed by material consumption.