LENTEN WATER BOTTLE CHALLENGE

Who would have thought just 25 years ago that a marketing genius could sell Americans a product that costs more than gasoline that we could already get for free.  That’s exactly what companies have done by packaging water in plastic bottles.  Somehow they have convinced us that it is healthier – it isn’t if you live in the United States and in fact may be less so if you consider the leeching of the plastic byproducts into the water and contaminants found in 22% of bottled water.

You also may be surprised that only 13% of water bottles are recycled so once again it is more important to reduce and reuse.  In addition, in order to make these 29 Billion plastic bottles of water we drink each year, they use 17 million barrels of crude oil which is enough to power a million vehicles for a year.  This does not take into account the carbon footprint of sometimes thousands of miles in shipping.  Americans have just gotten into a bad habit that is easily breakable.

We challenge you to get a reusable metal, BPA free plastic or rubber protected glass bottle, fill it up from a faucet or fountain and take it with you.

Now that you have discovered how easy it is to fill up a reusable bottle instead of buying bottled water you have to dispose of, please pass it on to your family, friends, coworkers and sports teams.  Most people want to help the environment but they just don’t think about the consequence of their habits.

We challenge you to pass the word on in school, at practice and at the office.  Show the plastic water bottle facts and challenge your teachers, coaches/teams and coworkers to use less bottled water and more tap.

Source:
http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/water-bottle-pollution-2947.html

Short video to learn more:
http://tinyurl.com/bottlewaterstory

Local Events for Lent

A LENTEN OPPORTUNITY

The Care of Creation Ministry of St. Eugene has invited Father John Rausch to come to share his knowledge and understanding of the social and ecological concerns as they relate to all of us as Christians.  Fr. Rausch is a Glenmary priest and director of the  Catholic Committee of Appalachia.

“My main ministry is to help people think,” says Farther John Rausch.  He will further share in our community by celebrating the weekend masses.  Please join us for two events.

Friday, February 22, 7 p.m.  “The 7th Day of Creation: The Spirituality of Working in God’s Garden.”  Based on the 7th Day as one of rest and appreciation, the talk will use stories to focus on the scriptural, theological and ecclesiastical teachings about humanity’s role in the care of creation.  The Q & A following will invite participants to engage the topic through their own stories and concerns.  The evening is intended to stretch the imagination and spark some inspiration.

Saturday, February 23, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.  “The Rising Tide and Destructive Storms of Climate Change.”  We’ll begin the morning with viewing “The Hungry Tide” a documentary about south Pacific islands endangered from global warming.  Following the documentary, there will be three breakout sessions on local endeavors to care for creation.

Both events will be held in the Social Hall. Father Rausch will also be celebrating the weekend masses on Sunday.

Contact Connie Mitchell: cmitchell28@charter.net

A Letter To the Editor:

The following was published in the Citizen-Times this week. Thanks Jane for letting us know!

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I’m going to Washington for the Forward on Climate march on Feb. 17 because I believe in a loving and creative God who made the heavens and Earth, the sea, the creatures (we humans are counted in here) and the plants, and “saw that it was good.” If I disrespect the Earth, which God has created, I disrespect God. I’m going to the biggest march for the climate because I believe that this Earth is going to make it — despite all the dire predictions about climate change, storms like Sandy, droughts, the melting Arctic and a rise in sea levels. This Earth is bigger than we are, and it’s resilient. It won’t look the way I know and love, but I believe that even after species of animals and plants and even humans are extinct, the Earth will carry on.

There are climate change deniers even though “97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.” (NASA: Global Climate Change — Vital Signs for the Planet). Others believe that the end of time is coming but that it won’t matter for those who believe and have been “good”; they’ll be carried up in “the Rapture.” I’m not ready yet. Climate change is, of course, a huge ecological issue as well as a faith issue; it’s also a justice issue. We of the developed world are causing most of the pollution, while those is low-lying areas, those on islands, those with fewer resources, they are the ones seeing their lives, homes, food sources and clean water disappear. We wealthier ones can move to a safer, cleaner, greener area. Developing countries like China and India are seeing our lifestyles and are also trying to get the “good life” for themselves by exploiting their resources, building more polluting coal-fired power plants, etc.

We are made in God’s image. We can look at all that human activity is destroying, or we can look around and grab onto the hope. Learn about solar, wind and geothermal power. See how First Light Solar Energy, an Asheville solar company started with three employees seven years ago, now employs 65 full time with benefits. See how windmills are being built off the shores of North Carolina. See how Green Opportunities! is training young people to care for the Earth and learn skills to weatherize houses and build solar panels. See how First Baptist will hold an Asheville First blitz in April to weatherize homes to make them more energy-efficient to save money as well as save the Earth. See how A-B Tech has added a sustainability technology program. See how our very own elementary schools are composting and recycling. See signs of hope.

With tens of thousands of other people I’m going to Washington to urge President Obama and Congress to cast their votes for the Earth rather than for corporations and industries that pollute the Earth. Jobs are being created while protecting the environment. It is a false choice to say that it has to be either jobs or the environment. We must have both; our lives depend on it. We will ask President Obama to say no to completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada down through the U.S. to Texas. Climatologists have said that it is “game over” for the planet if this pipeline, carrying the dirtiest, most polluting oil, is allowed. Sponsored by the Sierra Club and 350.org, this demonstration, the biggest ever for the environment, will make history and hopefully make an impression on our legislators. Pay attention because you love God or simply and importantly because you love this Earth.

Susan Presson is a member of Green Congregations.