Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Recycling bins and volunteering

Trade shows and conventions are notorious for being expensive and wasteful. A bottle of water costs $4.00, and there aren't usually any recycling bins around, so all the plastic just ends up in the garbage. But here at ICRS this week, Ampelon Publishing has placed recycling bins around the convention center so that recyclables can be collected. Ampelon is the publisher of Tri Robinson's book Saving God's Green Earth: Rediscovering the Church's Responsibility to Environmental Stewardship. Ampelon's recycling bins are a refreshing contrast to all the various promotional giveaways on the sales floor. I was very encouraged to see a publisher live out their book's message in such a practical way. Support them and buy their book!

And a random item from USA Today:

If you live in Minneapolis, Salt Lake City or Austin, you're more likely to volunteer in your community than if you live in other metro areas, says a report out today by the Corporation for National and Community Service. It's not that people in those cities are necessarily kinder or gentler. They just have the right circumstances for volunteering: They feel connected to their communities, have more education, own their own homes, spend less time commuting and have more opportunities to give back, the report says.

Residents of cities where people spend a lot of time commuting or live in apartments, by contrast, tend to feel less connected to their communities, so they don't volunteer as much. Cities that ranked lowest are New York, Miami and Las Vegas. Residents of rural areas volunteer more than urban areas, the report says.

This correlates well with what Robert Putnam reported, that the more commuting you do, the less time you have for civic involvement or community service. To the extent that suburbia tends to be a commuter culture, suburban Christians should be aware of how commuting tends to diminish volunteering. (I was glad to see that my hometown of Minneapolis-St. Paul ranked #1 in the study, with 40.5% of residents doing volunteer work. Chicago ranks #32, with 27.4%. Last on the list at #50 is Las Vegas with 14.4%. See the article for the full list.)


Jonathan Merritt said...

Ever since going to seminary, I have been convicted about my lack of environmentalism. Creation is God's revelation. I had a professor compare it to ripping a page out of the Bible. I have come to believe he is pretty close to right.

L.L. Barkat said...

Funny, I was just over at Charity's and she has a post on Recycled Lives.

Also, I'm glad to hear that someone took their convictions and put them into practice. Amazing how we often say we care about something but our behavior tells a different story.