Little Things

      There is an old song, “Little Things Mean a Lot”. The lyrics tell us how we can do many little
things that will help our relationship with those we love. The same is true of our caring for the
earth. Wow, caring for God’s creation sounds like a very BIG thing. How can little things
mean, anything? Perhaps you have felt that way as you haul the recyclables into the garage,
and then out to the curb for pick up. Or if you live in the country, this means gathering the recyclables
in the garage, putting them into your vehicle, checking the dates and times the recyclable
place is open, coordinating the trip to town with other errands, and then finally hauling
them into town. Can this really make a difference? How about all the other things you do, or
think you should do, such as, recycling your ink cartridges, your batteries, your electronics,
aluminum products, plastic bags and on and on. Does it all really matter??

        Of course the answer is a resounding YES! Little things do mean a lot. You and I, are only
one person attempting to care for God’s creation in little ways. But when hundreds, thousands,
millions of people gather together to do small things, it has a huge impact on the earth in which
we live.

        This month we will concentrate on plastic bags. Several years ago I was in Texas, driving near
a shopping center with another couple. As we looked out into a vegetable field, we saw it was
littered with hundreds of plastic bags. One of the guys in the car commented, “I always wondered
where they grew those plastic bags, and now I know.” If only we could grow plastic
bags and recycle them back to the earth. But the truth is plastic bags are made of polyethylene,
a thermo plastic, made from oil. China has banned free plastic bags. China will save 37 million
barrels of oil a year, by banning free plastic bags. Ireland now taxes plastic bags and has
reduced consumption by 90%. San Francisco is the first city in the US to ban use of plastic

        So what little thing can we do? BYOB, (bring your own bag). On average this would save
each person 6 bags per week, 24 bags per month, 288 bags per year, and on average, 22,176
bags in a lifetime! AND if only 1 out of 5 people in our country used cloth instead of plastic
bags we would save 1,330,560, 000,000 over our lifetime. Now that is not a LITTLE

        I have cloth bags. Do I always remember to put them back in the car? Do I always remember
to bring them into the grocery store? I must be honest and say, no I don’t always remember.
But I am getting better. Old habits are difficult to change. If we each try to not use plastic
bags, this one little thing can make a huge difference in the care of God’s creation.