Caring for the Cosmos
February 2010: Conserving Paper
Though not a typical Sunday school discussion topic, the subject of trees comes up frequently in the Bible, illustrating their multifaceted role in God’s world. In the Garden of Eden, their fruit provided food (Genesis 1:29). Their shade sheltered Elijah in the desert (1 Kings 19:4). Their branches provided a nesting place for storks (Psalm 104:17). The leaves of the tree of life, as described in Revelation 22:2, “are for the healing of the nations.” In Abraham’s time, the trees of Mamre served as landmarks (Genesis 13:18). Zacchaeus used a sycamore-fig tree as a vantage point when Jesus visited (Luke 19). Psalms 96 and 148 even describe trees as praising God and singing for joy at his magnificence. Clearly God has assigned trees a great deal of responsibility in his world.
As Christians, it is therefore distressing to learn about the negative effects of felling forests, which include the disruption of habitats, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, erosion, and landslides, besides interfering with trees' Biblical roles. One way individuals can help to preserve our trees involves generating less paper. The following tips provide some suggestions toward this end:
- Sign up for electronic billing with utilities and credit card companies.
- Switch from paper to online statements with banks, frequent flyer accounts, and other institutions.
- Request electronic newsletters from schools, societies, and clubs.
- Encourage organizations to stop issuing paper programs and bulletins at meetings and services, switching to overhead screens or verbal announcements.
- Instead of buying books, invest in an electronic reader. Besides saving paper, online books are generally less expensive than their paperback versions, and users can adjust the font to a size comfortable for their eyes.
- Switch from paper calendars to electronic planners, such as those offered by famundo.com or cozi.com. These calendars save trees and time by centralizing information and allowing recurring events to automatically repeat.
- Recycle all forms of paper.
- Use both sides of a sheet of paper before recycling it.
- Choose products with minimal packaging, or those wrapped in recycled paper.
- Use glassware and china instead of paper plates and cups.
- Use linens instead of paper towels and napkins.
- When buying paper goods, purchase products made from recycled paper.
Copyright © 2010-2013 by Jennifer Kirsch. All Rights Reserved.