As we approach the holiday designated by the culture to thank God for the bounty he has granted us, it seems a good time to think about ways to do our part to care for His creation as we gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing.
- Free Range Turkey: Get a free-range turkey as the main event as a way to eat thankfully and mercifully. Here’s one guide and another. These turkeys are still hard to find and expensive, but I’m hopeful that by increasing demand they will become a more popular alternative.
- Buy Local: Remembering that the Thanksgiving holiday was initiated to celebrate God’s provision of a fall bounty, take this opportunity to scout out ingredients for the meal at local farms and farmers markets. We live in the Atlanta area and can find local farms and produce at Georgia Organics. I’m sure you can find a listing for your area.
- Reflect: Read portions of From the Beauty of the Earth by Steven Bouma-Prediger, printed in part at Flourish.
“In response to the gifts of earth and sky, hill and vale, tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of lights, we sing, “Lord of all to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise.” Gratitude is the grammar of a grace that fosters respectful care for God’s creatures. We care for God’s creatures because it is the appropriate and proper response to God’s providential care for us.”
4. Reduce waste: During the holiday season, between Thanksgiving and the New Year, American’s throw away 1 million extra tons of garbage each week, according to Georgia Interfaith Power and Light. A practical creation care step at Thanksgiving is to practice the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We can ‘Reduce’ by using canvas bags for grocery shopping, running the dishwasher only when it’s full and using cloth napkins and ceramic dinnerware instead of paper products. We can ‘Reuse’ holiday decorations and compost our dinner scraps. And we can make a commitment to ‘Recycle’ all that is left over—the plastic, aluminum, glass and paper that cannot be reused.
5. Bright Friday: Do something other than engage in a shop-fest on Bright Friday (just now naming the alternative to Black Friday).
6. Tune up for travel: If you are traveling for the holidays, make sure your vehicle is well tuned and the tires are inflated properly. This will increase your gas mileage and reduce your dirty emissions.
“Enjoy some feasting and fellowship, thank God for the wisdom and goodness embedded in creation – and do your part.”