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Organic gardening isn't as difficult as many people make it out to be and it can be less expensive because you don't have to purchase fertilizer if you have space for a composter.
Follow these easy steps for a healthy lawn and garden.
- Pull weeds by hand. Using weed killers like Round Up are incredibly toxic and expensive,not to mention, they can kill the plants you want to keep.
- For difficult weeds or weeds that get in sidewalk or driveway cracks, use boiling water or vinegar instead of toxic chemicals. Click here for a very good article with photos of how well vinegar works.
- Compost kitchen produce waste rather than throwing it in the garbage.
- Use only produce - no meat
- Coffee grounds and egg shells are also good for the composter
- Use coffee grounds to keep pesky snails out of the garden. Use your own or, for a larger area, ask your local coffee shop to give you their used grounds. Most coffee shops are happy to give them away.
- If coffee grounds aren't enough to deter snails, egg shells are also helpful.
- Keep the soil aerated so that water can soak into the roots. Hard packed soil makes most of the water run off, wasting precious resources.
- Set your timers to water no more than 2 minutes at a time, with 2-3 cycles during the hot summer months.
- Consider removing your lawn and replacing with drought tolerant landscaping. Your water district may have rebates available if you remove your lawn. The Irvine Ranch Water District has rebate programs available if you live in their service area. Visit the IRWD website to learn more.
From the moment your child is conceived, he/she is being subjected to toxic chemicals. We can't get away from them; it's in the air we breathe. You can, however, reduce the amount of toxins in your home. Not only is this important for the health of your child; it's important to your health as well.
For information on more ways to reduce your child's exposure to toxins, please visit the orhter "Go Green" pages on this website. For items that are specific to infants, continue reading! And...if you have a suggestion, please visit our "Contact" page and send us a note.
- Use only organic items that come in contact with your baby's skin:
- Laundry Soap
- Fabric Softener
- Use cloth diapers. Not only do disposables fill up the landfills, it takes longer to potty train your child and who wants to change diapers longer than necessary?
- Cloth diapers also reduce the incidence of rash because they are breathable.
- Use a wash cloth to clean your baby's bottom, rather than disposable diaper wipes.
- Breast feed
- Studies show that breast feeding helps you to bond with your baby.
- Infant formula is not natural and many infants cannot digest it properly.
- Breast feeding IS natural and gives your baby all the nutrients he/she needs until he/she is ready for solid food.
- Grow your own or purchase local, organic foods and then make your own baby food. If this isn't possible, then purchase organic baby food.
- Re-use the baby food jars.
- Use only organic items that come in contact with your baby's skin:
Start With the Four R's: Re-think, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
The easiest place to begin Re-Thinking, Reducing, Reusing, & Recycling is:
IN THE KITCHEN
Reuse Glass Jars:
- Store paint
- Use for: screws, bolts, nuts, nails
- Store leftovers
- Drinking glass - you can even use it as a to-go glass if you keep the lid
Get Rid of Plastic Storage Bowls
Plastic is harmful to our health. It has been proven to have toxic chemicals and, when heated, can leach these chemicals into our food. Instead, purchase glass storage bowls; they are typically easier to store than plastic.
Say NO to Styrofoam!
- Styrofoam (also known as polystyrene) never biodegrades and is harmful to wildlife. When polystyrene breaks down, it breaks into small pieces. Birds and fish ingest it, mistaking them for eggs and insects. Unfortunately, they cannot digest it; it builds up in their stomachs, eventually killing them.
- Polystyrene is made from oil - another reason to reduce our use of it and one way we can reduce our addiction to oil.
- Never add hot food to a polystyrene container or re-heat food in a polystyrene container. The toxins in the plastic leach into food.
Use Re-Usable Dishes, Flatware, and Cloth Napkins:
I always question why people think it's "more convenient" to use disposable dishes and flatware. If you have to pay over and over for them and run to the store everytime you need them, how can that be more convenient than reaching into your cupboard for those nice re-usable dishes that you already have?
- By using re-usable dishes, flatware, and cloth napkins, you not only keep these items from going into the landfill, you also reduce the amount of water used to manufacture them (it takes about 5 gallons of water to produce one paper plate!), as well as the air pollution as a result of the factory output and the trucks used to haul them.
- Take containers with you to restaurants for leftovers, rather than using a to-go container.
Check with your waste management company to see what items are recyclable. You can usually find this information on their website and sometimes on the inside of the lid to the trash cans (if they are supplied).
- Paper towel rolls
- Plastic food containers
- Aluminum foil
- Paper cups
- Cereal boxes
- Frozen food boxes and containers
We recommend composters that are compact and spin in order to mix the compost. Keep the composter in an area that will get enough sun to "cook" the materials, but not so much that it will kill the beneficial bacteria that helps to break down the materials.
- Keep a bowl with a lid handy for produce scraps that can easily be added to the compost pile on a daily basis.
- To start a new compost pile, add a little soil and some grass clippings, along with produce scraps. Egg shells are also acceptable.
- Add water to moisten the material, which will help get the process started.
- Do you put meat in the composter.
- Spin the composter every couple of days at the very least.
- Allow to break down so that it looks like soil (which it is!)
- Add the compost to your flower beds when it's ready. You will know that it is ready when you have nice black, rich soil.
- Each time you empty the compost bin, keep a little compost as a starter mix for the next batch.
At OCICE, we believe that being good Stewards of God's Creation is a moral responsibility.
While many religious organizations focus on poverty, health, and welfare issues, we feel that Creation Care is just as important, because they are inter-connected. If those of us in prosperous countries, such as the U.S., consume, consume, consume, we affect the health and wellfare of those living in developing countries due to the CO2 emmissions that we create, and therefore, Global Warming.
We have seen by the record numers of hurricanes in 2011-2012 and the major earthquakes that scientists now feel are being caused by shifts in the earth's temperature.
With this in mind, we developed these easy to implement Go Green Tips to help you on your path to Caring for God's Creation.
The Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment (OCICE) is a 100% Volunteer based 501 (C) (3) non-profit. In a nutshell, this means that we always need volunteers.
Please take a moment to review the volunteer opportunities and complete the form so that we may know how you can help. A Volunteer will contact you within 1 - 2 days to follow up.
The OCICE Board of Directors
Margaret Henke, President
Margaret Mapes, Secretary
Sherri Loveland, Treasurer
Rev. Susan Chamberlain
All Proposition 37 does is require clear labels letting consumers know if foods are genetically modified. We already have food labels showing nutrition, allergy information and other facts consumers want to know. This measure simply adds information telling us if food is produced using genetic engineering, which is when food is modified in a laboratory by adding DNA from other plants, animals, bacteria or viruses.
Get the Facts at CaRightToKnow.org.
Read the Initiative here.
Get Involved with the Orange County Label GMO's Organization to help spread the truth about genetically modified foods.
Check out the CARightToKnow Events page.
Ocice Email published What Monsanto Doesn't Want You to Know in Yes On Prop. 37 2012-08-28 10:26:00 -0700
This article originally ran in the Huffington Post, by Michelle Simon
The battle in California over Proposition 37, which would require labeling of foods containing GMOs, is really heating up. Millions of dollars are already being poured into the opposition campaign, with much of it going to former Big Tobacco shills.
Over at GMO HQ, Monsanto recently posted this missive called "Taking a Stand: Proposition 37, The California Labeling Proposal," in which the biotech giant explains why it is opposing the measure (to the tune of $4.2 million so far).
Even for a corporation not exactly known for its honesty and transparency, this brief webpage is riddled with deception and outright falsehoods about the initiative and its proponents. Here are the 10 most blatant examples:
1) The law "would require a warning label on food products."
No warning label would be required. Rather, the words "partially produced with genetic engineering" or"may be partially produced with genetic engineering" would be required on the back of the package -- similar to what is now required for ingredient or allergen labeling.
For whole foods, like the sweet corn coming soon to a Walmart near you, a sign would be posted on the store shelf with the words "genetically engineered." The aim is simply to offer consumers additional information about the contents of the foods they purchase.
2) "The safety and benefits of these ingredients are well established."
Unfortunately, no long-term studies exist on either the safety or benefits of GMO ingredients, so Monsanto has no basis for making such a claim. Indeed, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not even require safety studies of genetically engineered foods. Meanwhile, some independent studies raise questions about links to allergies and other potential health risks.
3) "The American Medical Association just re-affirmed that there is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods."
This statement, while true, is taken out of context and is misleading because the AMA also (for the first time) called for mandatory premarket safety studies of GMOs. As Consumers Union recently noted in its reaction to AMA's announcement, labeling and testing logically go together:
The AMA's stance on mandatory labeling isn't consistent with its support for mandatory pre-market safety assessments. If unexpected adverse health effects, such as an allergic reaction, happen as a result of GE, then labeling could perhaps be the only way to determine that the GE process was linked to the adverse health effect.
4) Food companies "have had the choice" to use GM ingredients.
Choice is a good thing; however, consumers have never had the choice. Prop 37 will give consumers a long-overdue choice about eating genetically engineered food.
5) "FDA says that such labeling would be inherently misleading to consumers."
Of course FDA refuses to require GMO labeling, thanks to Monsanto's arm-twisting that began more than 20 years ago. Food Democracy Now's Dave Murphy explained the FDA decision in May upon its 20-year anniversary, which came as a result of a broader deregulatory push by the first Bush administration:
Twenty years ago this week, then-Vice President Dan Quayle announced the FDA's policy on genetically engineered food as part of his "regulatory relief initiative." As Quayle explained in the 1992 press conference, the American biotechnology industry would reap huge profits "as long as we resist the spread of unnecessary regulations."
Dan Quayle's 1992 policy announcement is premised on the notion that genetically engineered crops are "substantially equivalent" to regular crops and thus do not need to be labeled or safety tested. The policy was crafted by Michael Taylor, a former Monsanto lawyer who was hired by the Bush FDA to fill the newly created position of deputy commissioner of policy.
Five years earlier, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush visited a Monsanto lab for a photo op with the developers of Roundup Ready crops. According to a video report of the meeting, when Monsanto executives worried about the approval process for their new crops, Bush laughed and told them, "Call me. We're in the dereg businesses. Maybe we can help."
Call they did. It's typical for corporations to get their policy agenda approved through back-channel lobbying and revolving door appointments and then point to the magical policy outcome as evidence of scientific decision-making.
6) "Consumers have broad food choices today, but could be denied these choices if Prop 37 prevails."
There is no basis in logic that consumers could be denied food choices. Indeed, Proposition 37 actually broadens the meaningful food choices available through greater transparency. Right now, people are eating in the dark.
7) "Interestingly, the main proponents of Proposition 37 are special interest groups and individuals opposed to food biotechnology who are not necessarily engaged in the production of our nation's food supply."
In fact, quite a large number of food producers, farmers and others very much "engaged in the production of our nation's food supply" support the campaign. (See the growing list of endorsements.) Speaking of "special interest groups" wouldn't that label apply to the likes of Monsanto and all the industrial food producers who oppose Proposition 37?
8) "Beneath their right to know slogan is a deceptive marketing campaign aimed at stigmatizing modern food production."
"Modern food production" -- is that Monsanto's latest euphemism for scientifically altering the genetic code of the food supply? In truth, nothing is hidden "beneath" the Right to Know campaign, that's all it's about. But because Monsanto has no good argument for why consumers don't have the right to know how their food is produced, it has to resort to distracting deceptions.
9) "[Proponents] opinions are in stark contrast with leading health associations."
Another look at the long list of Prop 37 endorsements reveal that Monsanto and friends are actually out of step with leading health associations, such as:
- American Public Health Association
- American Medical Students Association
- American Academy of Environmental Medicine
- Physicians for Social Responsibility, California chapters
- California Nurses Association
10) "The California proposal would serve the purposes of a few special interest groups at the expense of the majority of consumers."
Again, logic defies this talking point, especially since all polling indicates a "majority of consumers" want GMO food to be labeled. Indeed, the most recent California poll shows the proposition winning by a 3-to-1 margin. No wonder Monsanto has to resort to such nonsensical talking points.
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Home Owners Take Note! Solar Now!
Climate Change is the defining issue of our time. Wild weather, tsunamis, rising sea levels and retreating glaciers are all attributed to climate change. Current reports on 2011 say it’s the hottest year since records have been kept. Knowing that our reliance on fossil fuels that is causing our planet to heat up, we must do more than change our light bulbs and take shorter showers. We need to make a baseline shift and we need to do it now - before it’s beyond too late. So what more can we do?
I’ve been concerned about the lack of actions that we can offer to our members that will help combat climate change. I haven’t seen offers to turn in my gas burning vehicle for an electric one. I haven’t had anyone offer to come to my house and insulate it and implement an overall efficiency strategy that will help both the planet and my pocket book. I haven’t seen our government put forward a plan to move us away from our wrong-way energy system. But I got a call from Sungevity, a home solar integrator from Oakland, CA, and it changed things for me. Not only are they offering an easy way for every home owner to go solar, but they want to help us raise funds at the same time. Help is on the way!
Sungevity offers home owners the chance to go solar with no money down and to replace their current electricity bill with a solar lease. Not only do they handle all the red tape and provide you with great customer service and a performance guarantee, but Sungevity customers will save up to 15% on their monthly electricity bills. Sungevity also gives new customers a $750 VISA gift card and a complimentary PC tablet to make monitoring their system easier and more fun.
And Sungevity is giving our organization $750 for every new customer who comes through our organization. “This looks great!” I thought. “but what’s the catch?” Amazingly enough, there isn’t one.
HOW IT WORKS
Three simple steps to going solar with Sungevity:
- You request an "iQuote" - tell Sungevity where you live and how much electricity you use.
- They design and install a PV system that is customized for your home.
- They lease the panels to you for a low monthly rate while you sit back and save.
You can request a no obligation IQuote here to see if your home qualifies for solar. Once your system is installed and connected, Sungevity will send you a $750 cash gift card and will send us another $750 for our important work.
“Solar for All” is Sungevity’s vision - I wish them all the success. I mean, their success is our success, too. So please have a look and see if this opportunity is right for you.
Since the beginning of the Sikh religion in the late fifteenth century, the faith has been built upon the message of the “oneness of Creation.” Sikhism believes the universe was created by an almighty God. He Himself is the creator and the master of all forms in the universe, responsible for all modes of nature and all elements in the world.
Sikhism firmly believes God to be the source of the birth, life and death of all beings. God is the omniscient, the basic cause of the creation and the personal God of them all.
From the Divine command occurs the creation and the dissolution of the universe (p 117, Guru Ganth Sahib). As their creator, the natural beauty which exists and can be found in all living things whether animals, birds, fish, belongs to Him, and He alone is their master, and without his Hukum (order) nothing exists, changes or develops.
Having brought the world into being, God sustains, nourishes and protects it. Nothing is overlooked. Even creatures in rocks and stones are well provided for. Birds who fly thousands of miles away leaving their young ones behind know that they would be sustained and taught to fend for themselves by God (Guru Arjan, in Rehras). The creatures of nature lead their lives under God’s command and with God’s grace.
Unity, trusteeship and accountability, that is tawheed, khalifa and akrah, the three central concepts of Islam, are also the pillars of the environmental ethics of Islam. They constitute the basic values taught by the Qur’an. It is these values which led Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam to say: “Whoever plants a tree and diligently looks after it until it matures and bears fruit is rewarded,” and “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows a field and men and beasts and birds eat from it, all of it is charity on his part,” and again, “The world is green and beautiful and God has appointed you his stewards over it.” Environmental consciousness is born when such values are adopted and become an intrinsic part of our mental and physical makeup.
Muslims need to return to this nexus of values, this way of understanding themselves and their environment. The notions of unity, trusteeship and accountability should not be reduced to matters of personal piety; they must guide all aspects of life and works. Shariah (Islamic law) must not be relegated just to issues of crime and punishment, it must also become the vanguard for environmental legislation. We often say that Islam is a complete way of life, by which it is meant that our ethical systems provide the bearings for all our actions. Yet our actions often undermine the very values we cherish. We must judge our actions by them. They furnish us with a world-view which enables us to ask environmentally appropriate questions, draw up the right balance sheet of possibilities, properly weight the environmental costs and benefits of what we want, what we can do within the ethical boundaries established by God, without violating the rights of His other creations. If we use the same values, the same understanding in our work as a scientist and technologist, economist or politician as we do to know ourselves as Muslims –those who subject themselves to the Will of God — then, I believe, we will create a true Islamic alternative, a caring and practical way of being, doing and knowing, to the environmentally destructive thought and action which dominate the world today.
By Dr. Abdullah Omar Nassef
Secretary General, Muslim World League
The festivals of the Jewish religion do call upon us to stand before God, in awe at His majesty, trembling before His judgments, but that is not the dominant mood of the Jewish faith. The festivals celebrate, in joy, the cycle of three seasons of nature. The rabbis even insisted that “he who has denied himself any one of the rightful joys of this work is a sinner” (Baba Kama 91b). The highest form of obedience to God’s commandments is to do them not in mere acceptance but in the nature of union with Him. In such a joyous encounter between man and God, the very rightness of the world is affirmed.
The encounter of God and man in nature is thus conceived in Judaism as a seamless web with man as the leader, and custodian, of the natural world. Even in the many centuries when Jews were most involved in their own immediate dangers and destiny, this Universalist concern has never withered…
Now, when the whole world is in peril, when the environment is in danger of being poisoned, and various species, both plant and animal, are becoming extinct, it is our Jewish responsibility to put the defense of the whole of nature at the very center of our concern…Man was given dominion over nature, but he was commanded to behave towards the rest of creation with justice and compassion.
Man lives, always, in tension between his power and the limits set by conscience.
Our ancestor Abraham, inherited his passion for nature from Adam. The later rabbis never forgot it. Some 20 centuries ago they told the story of two men who were out on the water in a rowboat.
Suddenly, one of them started to saw under his feet. He maintained that it was his right to do whatever
he whished with the place that belonged to him. The other answered him that they were in the rowboat together — the hole that he was making would sink both of them (Vayikra Rabbah 4:6).
We have a responsibility to life, to defend everywhere, not only against our own sins, but also against those of others. We are now all passengers, together, in this same fragile and glorious world. Let us safeguard our rowboat — and let us row together.
By Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg
Vice President, World Jewish Congress
The Jain ecological philosophy is virtually synonymous with the principal of Ahimsa (non-violence) which runs through the tradition like a golden thread.
Ahimsa is a principle that Jains teach and practice not only towards human beings but towards all nature. It is an unequivocal teaching that is at once ancient and contemporary.
There is nothing so small and subtle as the atom nor any element so vast as space. Similarly, there is no human quality more subtle than non-violence and no virtue of spirit greater than reverence for life.
The teaching of Ahimsa refers not only to physical acts of violence but also to violence in the hearts and minds of human beings, their lack of concern and compassion for their fellow humans and for the natural world. Ancient Jain texts explain that violence (himsa) is not defined by actual harms, for this may be unintentional. It is the intention to harm, the absence of compassion, that makes an action violent. Without violent thought there could be no violent actions.
Jain cosmology recognizes the fundamental natural phenomenon of symbiosis or mutual dependence. All aspects of nature belong together and are bound in a physical as well as a metaphysical relationship. Life is viewed as a gift of togetherness, accommodation and assistance in a universe teeming with interdependent constituents.
Not only in the Vedas, but in later scriptures such as the Upanishads, the Puranas and subsequent texts, the Hindu viewpoint on nature has been clearly enunciated. It is permeated by a reverence for life, and an awareness that the great forces of nature the earth, the sky, the air, the water and fire—as well as various orders of life including plants and trees, forests and animals are all bound to each other within the great rhythms of nature. The divine is not exterior to creation, but expresses itself through natural phenomena.
In addition, according to the Vaishnava tradition, the evolution of life on this planet is symbolized by a series of divine incarnations beginning with fish, moving through amphibious forms and mammals, and then on into human incarnations. This view clearly holds that man did not spring fully formed to dominate the lesser life forms, but rather evolved out of these forms, and is therefore integrally linked to the whole of creation.
This leads necessarily to a reverence for animal life. The Yajurveda lays down that “no person should kill animals helpful to all. Rather, by serving them, one should attain happiness” (Yajurveda 13:46). This view was later developed by the great Jain Tirthankara, Lord Mahmavira, who regenerated the ancient Jain faith that lives down to the present day. For the Jains, Ahimsa, or non-violence, is the greatest good, and on no account should life be taken. This philosophy was emphasized more recently by Mahatma Gandhi who always spoke of the importance of Ahimsa and looked upon the cow as a symbol of the benign element in animal life. All this strengthens the attitude of reverence for all life including animals and insects. The Hindu tradition of reverence for nature and all forms of life, vegetable or animal, represents a powerful tradition which needs to be re-nurtured and reapplied
in our contemporary context, India, the population of which is over 80 percent Hindu, has in recent years taken a special interest in conservation. What is needed today is to remind ourselves that nature cannot be destroyed without mankind ultimately being destroyed itself. With nuclear weapons representing the ultimate pollutant, threatening to convert this beautiful planet of ours into
a scorched cinder, unable to support even the most primitive life forms, mankind is finally forced to face its dilemma. Centuries of rapacious exploitation of the environment have finally caught up with us, and a radically changed attitude towards nature is now not a question of spiritual merit or condescension, but of sheer survival.
Let us declare our determination to halt the present slide towards destruction, to rediscover the ancient tradition of reverence for all life and, even at this late hour, to reverse the suicidal course upon which we have embarked. Let us recall the ancient Hindu dictum
—”The Earth is our mother, and we are all her children.”
By Dr. Karan Singh
President, Hindu Virat Samaj
Because of the responsibilities which flow from his dual citizenship, man’s dominion cannot be understood as license to abuse, spoil, squander or destroy what God has made to manifest his glory.
That dominion cannot be anything else than a stewardship in symbiosis with all creatures. On the other hand, his self-mastery in symbiosis with creation must manifest the Lord’s exclusive and absolute dominion over everything, over man and over his stewardship. At the risk of destroying himself, man may not reduce the chaos or disorder, or, worse still, destroy God’s bountiful treasures.
For St. Francis, work was a God-given grace to be exercised in that spirit of faith and devotion to which every temporal consideration must be subordinate: uncontrolled use of technology for immediate economic growth, with little or no consideration for the planet’s resources and their possible renewal; disregard for just and peaceful relations among peoples; destruction of cultures and environments during war; ill-considered exploitation of natural resources by consumer-oriented societies;
unmastered and unregulated urbanization; and, the exclusive preoccupation with the present without any regard for the future quality of life.
Therefore, in the name of Christ who will come to Judge the living and the dead, Christians repudiate:
- All forms of human activity—wars, discrimination, and destruction of cultures—which do not respect the authentic interests of the human race, in accordance with God’s will and design, and do not enable men as individuals and as members of society to pursue and fulfill their total vocation within the harmony of the universe.
- All ill-considered exploitation of nature which risks to destroy it and, in turn, to make man the victim of degradation.
By Father Lanfranco Serrini
Minister General, OFM Conv
“Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise.” (Baha’u’llah). With those words, Baha’u’llah, Prophet-founder of the Baha’i faith, outlines the essential relationship between humanity and the environment: that the grandeur and diversity of the natural world are purposeful reflections of the majesty and bounty of God. For Baha’i, there follows an implicit understanding that nature is to be respected and protected, a divine trust for which we are answerable.
As the most recent of God’s revelations, however, the Baha’i teachings have a special relevance to present-day circumstances when the whole of nature is threatened by man-made perils ranging from the wholesale destruction of the world’s rainforests to the final nightmare of nuclear annihilation.
A century ago, Baha’u'llah proclaimed that humanity has entered a new age. Promised by all the religious Messengers of the past, this new epoch will ultimately bring peace and enlightenment for humanity. To reach that point, however, humankind must first recognize its fundamental unity—as well as the unity of God and religion. Until there is a general recognition of this wholeness and interdependence, humanity’s problems will only worsen.
See the PowerPoint presentation, created by Trav Williams, OCICE member and Baha'i.
In “Earth and Faith, A Book of Reflection for Action,” published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), we are reminded that “the continued poverty of the majority of the planet’s inhabitants and excessive consumption by the minority are the two major causes of environmental degradation. UNEP’s Global environment Outlook 2000 concludes that the present course is unsustainable and postponing action is no longer an option. “The authors go on to say that “the spiritual challenge of the ecological crisis draws us back to our religious traditions, to reflect on and celebrate the natural world in its most profound sense of mystery as a manifestation and experience of the sacred. We humans find not only our place, but also our presence to the sacred in this phenomenal emergence.” The Declarations listed in this brochure can be found in “Earth and Faith”, which may be purchased on-line at www.earthprint.com, or visit the UNEP website. OCICE is deeply grateful for the work of the United Nations Environment Programme and the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment.
On a more personal note, OCICE Board members reflect on their reasons for bringing faith and ecology together. Our members have conducted a bit of research into the Christian faith, to discover what the Bible says about Creation.
In the Old Testament, the call to be partners in restoring and sustaining Creation is grounded in the belief that all creation was intended to be good. God created all things and then pronounced them “good”. The creation God has designed, molded and given over to us for our care is too wonderful, too ancient, too beautiful, too “good” to be desecrated. Human life and well-being depend upon the flourishing of other life and the integrity of the life-supporting processes that God designed and set into motion.
Humans have been charged by the Creator with the responsibility of “tilling” and “keeping the garden” (Gen. 2:15). Today, the Earth is suffering from much human abuse. As stewards, not owners, of God’s Creation, humankind must wake up and start caring for and preserving Creation.
The Eco-Philians of St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, CA are part of the Peace and Justice Committee. The Eco-Philians use the term “eco-justice”, meaning well-being of all humankind on a thriving earth. The Eco-Philians believe that justice for human beings is inseparable from right relationships within the natural order. There is no real justice where there is a misuse of Creation. If we oppress people or ecosystems that are powerless to defend themselves, we are being unjust to God’s Creation.
The Environmental Ministries Committee of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Tustin, CA was formed to educate, motivate and provide action opportunities for the congregation as we all strive to support environmental stability and respect for the earth. This intention arises from the urgency required of human beings to safeguard the future of the earth, our home, and to assume a position of stewardship for all of God’s creation as part of our Christian faith.
Both St. Mark Presbyterian Church and Aldersgate United Methodist Church have taken steps to reduce their footprint on Creation.
When St. Mark built a new church that opened in early 2009, they built to LEED standards and is the “greenest” church in Orange County, CA.
Aldersgate UMC reduced their electric use by 30%, simply by replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact flourescent. They are currently in the process of replacing other lighting with LED light bulbs, as well as energy efficient windows.
We at OCICE invite you to call upon us to answer any questions that you may have regarding faith and ecology. If you would like help starting an environmental ministries, please contact us.
In Service to the Earth,
The OCICE Board of Directors