UMC Creation Justice Tips: Are you a consumer or a citizen?

How you think of yourself matters. We’ve repeatedly been told we are consumers, but to consume means “to use things up.” Rejecting that label and seeing ourselves as citizens—ones who care for the welfare of the community—makes a difference in our actions. Which one aligns with our faith? Who do you want to be?

Fall is another planting season, this time for perennials. Choose native plants that bloom in the fall, such as asters. They give us a pop of autumn color, and more importantly they provide food and shelter for pollinators during the lean seasons of fall and winter. Feed them, and they will feed us too.

Every plastic toothbrush ever made worldwide since the 1930’s still exists today. Plastic doesn’t go away, but you can go away from plastic. Switch to bamboo. Learn more at brushwithbamboo.com.

Trees not only produce oxygen and clean and cool the air, but they also absorb carbon dioxide, lessening the effects of burning fossil fuels. Assess your space at home and at church. The air we breathe needs us to plant more trees! Fall and winter are the best seasons for planting. Check with the Arbor Day Foundation.

You already are careful not to let the water flow continuously while you brush your teeth. Transfer that same care to get-ting dishes ready for the dishwasher. Scrape food off. Compost what you can. Run a mere cup or two of water into a large dish or bowl, shut off the water, start rinsing. You may want to use a long-handled brush. Dishwashers are more water conserving that hand washing, and dishwashers don’t require super-clean dishes to start with. Save water.

For more about the UM Creation Justice Movement, go to umcreationjustice.org.