Thanks to Crystal Goetz, Messy Church USA Ambassador, for her blog sharing how Messy Church has made a difference on how her decisions to Make a Difference to our Planet. Crystal wrote a chapter for the newly released Messy Church Goes Wild book. Contact her at [email protected]
Part I, Part II, and Part III of earlier Making a Difference Posts
Making a Difference to our Planet
You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.Jane Goodall
Conversation at Messy Church International Conference in 2019
Jane Goodall’s words have had a profound effect on me. I have always had an itch that I couldn’t scratch when it came to being more eco-wise … wanting to do something but feeling so powerless and confused. It took a very random encounter to change everything for me. In 2019, I found myself sitting at a table with Jane Leadbetter of Messy Church stuffing plastic into a plastic bottle and having a conversation about how we can help the environment. It was at the last MCIC and it was unforgettable. We spoke about how much plastic goes into the oceans every year and the things we were making, called Ecobricks, would keep the plastic out of the oceans and be used for building things. We also talked about plastics being destructive to our planet and that we must always search for alternatives. That conversation has started me on a journey and as I go on, step by step, I see the horizon forming in front of me: new and better for the earth and we, her inhabitants.
Journeys like this one, do not come without difficulties. For years, I asked myself, what can I do? I am only one person. As I have moved forward through life, I have seen that every decision I make toward helping the planet turn from the disaster of climate change to a brighter future is good and right. I have spent some time educating myself and the more I learn, the more I want to help. So, I make little changes each day or each week and soon our family’s lifestyle has changed, but not in a bad way. I no longer feel such a heavy weight of the problem of plastic pollution on my shoulders because I have made some changes and I am always making more. I share my choices with others too. I’m doing something.
Now, I realize in the world we live in, it’s very hard to make environmentally friendly changes in the products we buy because the manufacturers don’t give us many eco-friendly options. But when we find them, we need to support them and hold on tight.
For years, I asked myself, what can I do? I am only one person. As I have moved forward through life, I have seen that every decision I make toward helping the planet turn from the disaster of climate change to a brighter future is good and right.”
Make a Decision…one at a time
An example from my person life is that I found out that they were cutting down the boreal forests in Canada to make toilet paper. I could not get it out of my mind, but also couldn’t fathom that toilet paper could possibly be more important than an ancient forest. Surely there must be something better. I began to talk about it with friends and check on the limitless internet for answers and up came many bamboo choices. In looking into it, there are definitely good choices and bad choices in that world as well. Not all bamboo toilet paper is created equal. I had to consider who was making it, where was it made, were they using sustainable farming and harvesting practices and most importantly, how were the people being treated and paid that were farming it? Then I heaved a heavy sigh. So much to think about, so many good choices, so many easier and less expensive bad choices. But rather than dwell in the ‘what can one person do?’ world, I did something about it. I chose to make a difference. I did my best to make a good choice to use a brand of sustainable bamboo toilet paper and paper towels. I no longer feel like I am taking part in the destruction of beautiful forests, but providing jobs and economic security for people who really need it.
How can You Make a Difference for the Planet?
If you wonder how you can make a difference in the battle against climate change, plastic pollution, poverty and hunger, here is the answer: decide to do it. Every day. All the time. Think about what you consume and what you do with it when you are finished. If you have an eco-friendly choice – buy it. Reuse packaging if you can, if not, find a way to recycle it. All these things make a difference, no matter how seemingly small they are. If we all choose to make little changes, they all add up to making a HUGE difference in our world.
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it todayAbraham Lincoln