Planet friendly New Year’s resolutions
With the first signals from the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) that we may finally be at the ‘beginning of the end’ of the fossil fuel era, why not make 2024 the year that you really tackle your organisation’s environmental sustainability? So to kick off the New Year, here are a few pointers from the Bible on some planet-friendly resolutions:
- Recognise our responsibility. In Genesis 2:15, God places Adam (man) in the garden of Eden to “till it and keep it”, establishing our role as stewards, but as Isaiah prophesied, “The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers . . . The earth is defiled by its peoples.” We need to own up to our role in our current climate crisis and our responsibility as carers of creation – individually and corporately.
- Cultivate an organisational culture of humility, gratitude and reverence for God’s creation by regularly reflecting in God’s word, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Ps. 24:1). The Psalms, which recognise the beauty and majesty of God’s creation, (especially 8, 9, 104 and 139) are a good starting place.
- Build understanding. We all need to better educate ourselves on environmental issues and what the Bible tells us about caring for creation… and then assess/audit how well we are measuring up (including reviewing supply chains to ensure support for eco-friendly businesses).
- Empower. The greatest enemy of change is the perception that the problem is insurmountable, but as Jesus demonstrated so memorably when he fed the 5,000, God can do a lot with modest individual contributions. So create a roadmap and find tangible ways to build the three Rs of environmental sustainability – reduce, re-use and recycle – into the life of the organisation.
- “Seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17). It’s the least developed nations that are suffering disproportionately from the irresponsibility of the most developed. As NGOs we play a key role in calling power brokers and policy makers to account, and our voice is particularly powerful when joined in coalition with others through networks such as The Climate Coalition.
- Learn from others. In Proverbs we are told to learn from one another, just as “iron sharpens iron” (Prov. 27:17) (There are so many organisations out there that we can learn from, including the Church of England, which has established a comprehensive environmental programme and route map to achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2030. This covers key areas that all organisations need to be looking at, including reducing your energy footprint and prioritising sustainable travel.
- Last but not least we must PRAY. There is a steep mountain to climb, but we must continually bring our hopes and fears to “him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Eph. 3:20).
ABOUT KATE NICHOLAS
Kate Nicholas is a best-selling Christian author, preacher and consultant with Action Planning and, in her latest book, Soul’s Scribe, Kate looks at how to understand and share your “soul story” or faith journey. Find out more about her books, TV show and online courses at https://www.katenicholas.co.uk
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