The Accidental Green Life

How Christian Piety Can Grace the Earth

The Psalmist, speaking of the earth and all its creatures, expresses such creation this way, "When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die …. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth" (Psalm 104:29-30).

In other words, the Spirit of Christ holds us together, down to the atoms that are our building blocks and up to the daily bread we need to fill our bellies and the air we need to fill our lungs. Through him we continue to exist, to be created and renewed.

But sometimes we forget these daily graces and try to create and renew ourselves, particularly through the promise of ownership. As Foster wrote in Freedom of Simplicity, "Contemporary culture is plagued by the passion to possess. The unreasoned boast abounds that the good life is found in accumulation …. We often accept this notion without question, with the result that the lust for affluence in contemporary society has become psychotic: it has completely lost touch with reality."

In response to this psychosis, Foster suggests "unplugging from the consumptive society." Many of his ideas for an unplugged life, for acts of simplicity, sound similar to discussions about living green. Here are just a few:

* resist obsolescence
* stress quality of life over quantity of life
* make recreation healthy, happy, and gadget-free
* eschew food produced with poisonous chemicals
* compost kitchen scraps
* eat out less
* buy things for usefulness rather than status.

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