40Acts: 11 One Green Thing & 12 No Filter

11: One Green Thing

Yesterday’s Daily Prompt read:

Most of us aren’t eco-warriors all of the time, but we can take time to educate ourselves on the best ways to preserve God’s creation, and we can commit to doing one green thing. Change something simple, like switching from plastic bags to reusable ones, or walking to work a few days per week instead of using the car. Today is St Patrick’s Day and green is everywhere, so use that as a reminder!

I’m not much of an eco-warrior, I’m afraid…We recycle, I reuse bags, we have never had a tumble drier, but that’s about it. We use the car not-very-ecologically-soundly, as I drive to Clermont (just me!) once a week, plus down to Roanne twice a week. If I go to church that’s another round trip of about 140 km! But, being out here in the sticks,  driving to work is not really a choice!

I’m struggling to think of what I can do…I suppose that the most obvious is not to put my heater on in my study at every opportunity, but to wrap myself up in my Slanket when I feel chilly (like now…the sun is shining outside but the house is still cold). I will pick up litter when I’m out for a walk (remember to take a bag) and I recently bought a packet of wild flower seeds…I’ll sprinkle these about a bit when I’m next out. And I will continue to nag Mr D about leaving lights on unnecessarily (gets up to switch light off now!) He insists it uses less electricity to turn lights on and off than to leave them burning all the time. That can’t be right…can it?!

Edited to add: I have decided what I will do for this Act…whenever I buy fruit and veg in the supermarket I try to avoid using a plastic bag wherever possible – after weighing, I stick the price sticker directly onto the bananas or whatever. But sometimes, when buying several of one item, you have to use a plastic bag. From now on, I’m going to reuse these bags. No tying them tightly and ripping them open when I get home so they can’t be reused. I will tie them carefully, open them carefully and save them. If I feel really motivated I might try doing something with mesh bags that oranges come in…I might be able to convert those into reusable product bags. Does anyone have any tips (or offers to help make some reusable bags?)

12: No filter

Today’s prompt raises questions in my mind

Young children have no filter a lot of the time: they say the first thing that pops into their heads, without worrying about how it will sound first. They also crucially lack the preconceptions, judgements and assumptions that most adults default to. Over time, they’ll learn discernment; but is there something we can learn from them today? Can we, for one day, try to disentangle our discernment from our small-minded, preconceived ideas about people? Today your challenge is to treat people as equals – to assume nothing about their lives, but to show them love and generosity and friendship regardless.

On FB the 40Acts team expanded this a little more, writing “For most, it’ll be something we already do. But there’s always a chance to go deeper. For example, what’s your default reaction when you see the people that society deems undesirable in the street? Is it to run over and say hello? Or to be generous towards them? Or – if you’re honest – do you make a split second judgement (almost unconsciously) about their lives and walk on? Today is about re-examining our thought patterns; the stories we tell ourselves about people. And then simply removing that filter. It’s a reflection day, primarily”

This needs more unpacking in my brain. It may not happen today, but I hope I won’t just store it in the distant recesses of my brain labelled “to be thought about at a later date”  and which will be conveniently forgotten about! I hope that this will be something where God will poke me occasionally and say “Remember…?”

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