The most wasteful time of the year

December 12th, 2017

Christmas is fast approaching, and so are the mountains of trash Americans produce along with it. Based on EPA figures, it is estimated that Americans generate an extra 25 percent of garbage each year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s in the form of food waste, plastic waste, wrapping paper, ribbon, party supplies and decorations. In an April 22, 2016 Los Angeles Times article, it was reported that Americans produced 254 million tons of waste in 2013 and was the largest trash generator in the world.

We don’t see it

Our constant consumption and throw-away culture has consequences we rarely see because we have no idea where our trash actually goes or what happens to it. But the number of landfills across the country has grown exponentially, and the transport of garbage oversees is a growing industry. The result? The land, water and air are increasingly more polluted as we spend more energy and resources to transport and process trash and recycling. Toxic pollutants are leeched into the soils, waters and air from overflowing, closed or mismanaged landfills. Recycling centers cannot recycle as many items as we think they can. Yet, we continue to use nonrecyclables and plastics — everything from straws to packaging and from water bottles to microfibers in clothes.

A change in attitude

Our earth was carefully crafted and has evolved to provide all we need to sustain animal and human life. But far too many humans have taken those resources for granted and abused them, thinking of them as possessions rather than privileges to be shared and cared for by us. Advent was never meant to be a time of rampant consumerism, gluttony and wastefulness. Advent was meant to be a time to simplify, to focus on preparing our homes and hearts for the Savior, to live out our faith by sharing our time and resources with those in need — and to focus our minds and hearts on the God who provides all, including the gift of salvation through the birth of Jesus.

Question of the day: What was the last thing you threw away?
Focal scriptures: Psalm 24; Luke 12:13-21; Romans 2:1-16. 

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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