This is not a joke.
Have you noticed the chatter about giving up plastic for Lent this year? I kid you not; if you don’t believe me, check out Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s “The latest Lent challenge for churches: Give up plastic,” Washington Post, March 6, 2019 and “Plastic-less Lent 2019” on Facebook. The Brits have chimed in, too; see Jessica Taylor, “Give up plastic for Lent 2019: How to reduce your plastic pollution footprint in the lead up to Easter,” Evening Standard, March 6, 2019. Patricia Kasten, a writer from my diocesan newspaper, wrote, “This Lent, Let’s Bag Plastic Use,” The Compass, March 6, 2019. And just to prove that this is not a pet topic of non-academicians, 82 Christian ethicists from Asian, European, and North American universities released “Christian Ethics and Ecological Emergency: A Statement from Christian Ethicists Without Borders,” on Daily Theology on March 12, 2019.
Earlier this month, a dear friend died just shy of his 77th birthday. He had a lot of qualities–compassion, empathy, artistic taste, and wittiness, just to name a few. And not the least of his concerns was a deep love for the planet earth, including recycling, reusing, and reducing. He is smiling from heaven as more and more of the faith community begins to embrace and broadcast priorities that he lived and preached since the 1950s.
One of my recently discovered secular esources, Countable, shared on March 21, 2019 “What Should We Do About Our Massive Trash Problem?” According to the article, public policy options include Oregon’s bottle deposit system, Washington D.C.’s “Zero Waste” plan, and the European Union’s European Plastic Strategy. Personal practices are obvious–use cloth grocery bags, reusable water bottles, and avoid plastic straws and tableware.
It is heartening to see secular authors, scientists, public policy experts, and faith based leaders on the same page. Wish me luck, as I propose a stricter limit on the use of plastic bottles in my local residence next month, just in time for Earth Week and in memory of my deceased friend.