Season of creation

Creation behooves us to find sustainable solutions. Let’s not wait for it to scream and shout to get our attention.

September 23, 2022

VICTORIA, Australia — In a corner of my kitchen, right beside my cardboard box containing recyclable materials, are nine empty and clean bottles of a popular fermented milk drink, lids of jars and containers, and deflated foil birthday balloons.

In an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle, I am left with these discardable items the waste management classification of which I’m not too sure about.

I want to segregate what I discard, but these items are quite tricky to classify. The bottles of fermented milk drink look like they belong in my recycling, bin but have no logos or pictures on their labels to denote that they can be recycled.

The other bottles had instructions on their packaging, saying that the caps should be reattached or replaced after crushing the bottles. However, my city’s website concerning the correct segregation of rubbish states that all screw caps and lids should be removed and thrown straight into your normal garbage bin. Localized waste management rules trumps generalized tips if you want to reduce, recyclable items ending up at your nearest landfill.

In my university days in the early ’90s, I was, together with other officers and members of the student council I belonged to, active in efforts to try and reduce waste that go into landfills with some basic and practical on-campus implementation.

We provided clearly labelled garbage bins for the students to use and conducted information sessions.

Minimizing waste and finding ways to be kind to our environment have been constant aspirations in the everyday life of communities I have been and continue to be a part of. Needless to say, it’s a never-ending challenge to reduce the waste we put out on a daily basis.

1 September to 4 October are designated as this year’s Season of Creation, an ecumenical phase that began at the start of this month with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and concludes on the 4th of October with the feast day of St. Francis. It is a time for Christians to contemplate, pray and take action to truly care, nurture and work together for our common home. The theme of this year’s Season of Creation is also an invitation to one and all to “Listen to the voice of creation.”

It seems that we listen best to the voice of creation when catastrophes devastate the communities we live and breathe in.

We hear of the havoc and destruction caused by changes in the earth’s temperature and extreme weather conditions brought on by the El Niño and the La Niña in different parts of the globe with increasing regularity in the news. It’s easier to hear the voice of creation when it’s screaming at us by way of typhoons, storms and floods.

The environmental challenges around us may often feel so huge that we are tempted to give up on the little yet sustained things and practices we can do in our own homes and lives to make a positive difference. Habits such as always bringing used eco bags when shopping, switching off lights and turning off power when appliances and other gadgets are not in use and so on and so forth.

It is during the times when all seems to be well, when nature is quiet and still when we must persevere and even double our efforts to be intentional in our consumption of goods and the respective lifestyles we choose to lead.

There is no question that it’s good for us and for Mother Nature when we do our part in taking care of our environment.

It’s important to remember that every little bit counts, no matter how minuscule a difference we think we are making. So, even if finding out how best to dispose of these bottles of a popular fermented milk drink, lids of jars and bottles, and deflated foil birthday balloons seem bothersome and a tedious question to find an answer, too, an answer must be found nonetheless.

Creation behooves us to find sustainable solutions. Let’s not wait for it to scream and shout to get our attention.

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