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In a fantastic talk by Ruth Valerio of A Rocha, we were given an excellent Biblical basis for caring better for our world. We were then asked to consider what we can do to make intention into reality. Here are a few ideas to get you going in the morning….

Go outside. Breathe the air. Notice what is around you. Imagine what or who notices you.

How often do we hear messages about needing to be in control, be strong and independent? Taking a step outside can remind us of the beauty and enormity of God’s creation. It can also connect us with that creation and make us recognise our interconnectedness with it. The air we breath that sustains us. The plants that grow and can nourish us. The beauty which inspires us. The dirt and mess which impacts us and which we create. Just take a minute or two to observe and be observed, and thank God for the blessing of being part of this huge creation.

Need a shower? See if you can spend 1 minute less with the shower on.

We need to take things for granted in life, otherwise, we would never get out of bed. We know when we get out of bed that there will be a floor to stand on. Most of us know that when we go to the bathroom the water is there, on tap, clean and ready to use. But how much longer will this be true? Save some water by taking just a little bit less time in the shower, or turn the water off when you don’t need it. Or perhaps you could share a shower with someone??

Found a stain or rip in your clothes? Don’t bin them: recycle them.

I find it helpful to imagine my waste bins as “Audrey II” from Little Shop of Horrors. Feed it too much and it will take over. Most of us don’t imagine that clothing which is damaged or stained can be any use to anyone. But most charity shops can sell bags of unsaleable clothes for recycling and there are textile banks in most recycling sites in Leeds and dotted around the city. If the clothing is in good condition and you just don’t want it, give twice by donating it to a local charity shop (fundraiser for the charity and a chance for someone else to enjoy your pre-loved clothing).

Plan a left-overs meal for tonight.

What is left lurking in your fridge that is just about past its best? Find a way to use it before it is unusable. Waste food is not just a problem for the supermarkets. If you can’t use up what you have yourself (perhaps you’re going away) consider donating it to a local Junk Food Café project.

Get your morning news… then ask “so what?”

The biggest change comes from being informed. Read all about it. What is really happening out there in the world outside the boundaries of your life? Are you a part of it? Can you pray for it? Can you do anything about it? Do you care? Is that okay?

Need to do washing? Hang it on an airer or outside

First, consider if you really need to put the wash on. Is there a full load? If not, try to wait until there is (and don’t cheat like I have and make it up to full by adding items that don’t really need washing). If you do have a load of washing, try to hang it on an airer in the house or on a line outside instead of tumble drying. The tumble dryer is one of the heaviest contributors to CO2 emissions of all household appliances.

Got any more suggestions? Please share them below, or comment on the ideas above.

“Wisdom teaches her children and gives help to those who seek her. Whoever loves her loves life, and those who seek her in the early morning are filled with joy.”  Ecclesiasticus 4:11-12

This blog entry was written by Abbie Palmer, new Event Coordinator at Leeds Church Institute