Plastic bags.

I may have mentioned how much trash I have seen all across the continent.  In some places it is like fields of garbage instead of wheat or corn.  And clearly you can see all of the polyurethane bags flying through the air and stuck amid all the other garbage.  The blue and black bags are sometimes referred to as the national flower of such and such country. 

Nairobi is working on curbing the usage of plastic bags.  Some places are banning them by the end of the year, prior to being mandated by the government.  Several places are selling their own bags now that are reusable and there are signs in many stores suggesting that people bring their own bags so as not to waste our environment. 

The amount of trash and plastic bags that I have seen over the last several months has put me on a bend to really try and recycle and be more aware of what I’m using.  I don’t think that I will be able to use many plastic bags once I return.  I hope not anyway.  I know that some of you may remember this when I return.  Please don’t hesitate to remind me of what I’ve said and call me on my plastic usage. 

Some of my rafiki (friends) have been pretty environmental (Pittmans) for a long time and I appreciate that about them.  I hope that there will be many more of in the months to come.  I challenge each of you to find one way to make your life more environmental each month until the end of the year.  That’s only 3 things really.  I know that you can do it.  Let me know what you are doing and I’ll let you know what I’m doing here. 

First for me is that I try to not take a plastic bag when I shop and just use my own backpack or other bag.  Now a couple of times I’ve asked for no bag.  The clerk either looks at me funny or says OK and still puts things into a plastic bag.  But it’s the first step of what I can do here.  That’s my September thing (I’m actually writing this the end of September so I’ll do one for this month, too).  My October thing will be to turn off outlets or unplug things that are not in use.  Here the outlets often have a switch so that you can turn the individual outlet on and off to save power without having to unplug things.  I am working to remember to turn off the outlet when I’m not using it at all. 

So there you go.  There are my two things so far.  What are you going to do to change your environmental impact for October?  Start recycling?  Use less power?  Buy an energy efficient appliance?  Walk or ride your bike more instead of driving your vehicle or buy a more fuel efficient vehicle?  Take the bus (my good friend Lisa does this a lot in the Cities – you go girl!)?  Buying local foods (like my farmer’s market fanatical friend Dawn)?  How about investing in alternative energy markets?

Keep me posted!

Remember that God created the world and us for his pleasure.  He gave people the great honor and task of being stewards of his earth. 

Genesis 1:26-31

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to tehm, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

The God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.”  And it was so.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.  And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.