Creation Care Blog

Creation Care Practices at Mount Royal Mennonite Church,  November 2020

“We drink from each other’s wells” is the title of a book written by Gustavo Guiterrez. It talks about our interconnectedness as people and the natural environment. Every breath or bite we take to live is connected in some way to the whole of God’s creation. 

The natural environment is the gift, but not the only one, that undergirds us with the infrastructure of life. 

How are you living in harmony with the complexity of what we know as the COSMOS – God’s gift? Please send your ideas and practices to mrmc@sasktel.net for inclusion in this testimony of creation care.

 

Here are the responses we have received from the question we asked: How are you living in harmony with Creation?

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Here is our list of some of the things we do to help save the environment:  

* We use no pesticides that have chemicals.   We use eco-friends insecticides and mostly home remedies - soap water spray, sugar and baking flour mix, etc. We have loads of ladybugs and they eat lots of the eggs from insects not good for the plants.  

* In fall we leave our leaves in the window wells and around the strawberry plants, hostas, and fruit trees for the ladybug to keep warm in the winter. 

* We have compost bins and used them in summer for our kitchen peelings, etc. but once it freezes we throw our compost on the garden and work it into the soil in spring.  

* We collect rain water and hardly use the tap water for watering flowers and other greenery.

*  I use the wash line a lot in summer to dry clothes.

*  We have EnviroMaster come and feed our lawns in spring, summer and fall  and do weed control and uses no chemicals.  

*  We use our grass chippings for mulch in our garden - keeps the moisture in, the weeds down and serves as a fertilizer.  

*  Wash and reuse plastic bags for bread and buns.  Also save the wax paper from cereal boxes for kitchen use. 

*  Appreciate Home Hazardous Waste drop off a few times a summer for paint cans, bulbs, etc. 

*  Shrub trimmings/tree pruning, leaves we rake and can't use all of them we take it to the City Compost Depot on 11th Street and Highway 7.   We can also pick up free compost from the same place.   

Erwin and Tena  

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We started quite a while ago:

  • In 1986 when we decided to have an addition built on our house, we did extra insulation on the walls of the addition, upgraded attic insulation for the whole house to R40, and installed triple pane windows in the addition.
  • In 2001 we had an energy audit done on our house and learned that significant energy savings could be achieved by closing off chimneys, we closed off two of them by replacing existing furnace and water heater with high efficiency units, and replaced a wood burning fireplace with an electric insert.
  • A few years ago we replaced the deteriorating siding on our house with vinyl siding and in the process added a 1.5 inch layer of Styrofoam insulation on the outside to reduce heating and cooling energy use.  All original twin pane plastic slider windows have been replaced by energy efficient triple pane ones.
  • When Saskatoon started a pilot project to collect residential leaves and grass, we signed up and have been on the program since.  I signed MRMC up to this program about 5 years ago.
  • When a private re-cycler started collecting recycle materials we signed up and have been recycling everything possible since.
  • We converted to CFL light bulbs and are now converting to LED bulbs.  All Christmas lights have been LED for a number of years.
  • We donate clothes and other things to thrift stores and purchase use items from thrift stores when available.
  • I use reusable grocery bags and whenever possible avoid using even the thin film plastic for produce; usually refuse plastic shopping bags for purchases; reuse ziploc bags.
  • I drive a fuel efficient hybrid sedan.
  • I try to help birds survive the winter with bird feeders in the back yard.
  • I go paperless as much as possible.  I get electronic copies of utility bills and bank statements, don't print them, and I pay them electronically.  My Star Phoenix subscription is electronic 5 days a week, with paper delivery only on Saturday.  "No Flyers Please" on my mailbox.

Len Andres

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I recycle, use energy efficient light bulbs, turn my heat down and wear socks and sweaters if needed. I have energy efficient appliances, run the water less, and shop using recycled bags and buy in bulk dividing food and refilling containers. I use norwex cloths and other of their products that are environmentally friendly. (Test results available). I use cool water to wash cloths. I don’t run my car long before driving in cold or hot weather. I support my daughter who stores her cutter bees in her fridge for the winter then  back outside in spring. I have not used my air conditioner for the last two summers. I have made Christmas gifts for my family for the last three years so not part of the consumer frenzy. I get vaccinated so I don’t spread disease as easily. I respect the voice of our scientists who try to keep us safe/alive. We are all a part of Mother Earth. I try to lump my errands together so I save gas. I donate to thrift stores to keep it out of the land fill. I hope this is a start.   
Myrna Sawatzky

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Here are some of the things we are doing to care for creation: 

  • living in a smaller home 
  • using most of our front yard for vegetables and flowers
  • shopping at thrift stores
  • using LED lights wherever possible
  • recycling batteries, metal
  • using recycled lumber for projects
  • seldom using plastic bags for purchases
  • reusing ziplock bags
  • paperless banking
  • eco friendly  detergent
  • organizing shopping trips to drive less
  • driving a vehicle that has better gas mileage
  • using a laundry rack to lessen dryer use 

Judy and Dennis Hubert

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Here is what we do as a family : 

  • Recycle (blue bin items) I also gather batteries from home and work to recycle.  Clothes are also donated.  We use a green bin for green materials.

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Meditation room at MRMC

  • reuse pallets for feature wall, baseboards, divider wall, edgeing on bookshelves, and art frames.
  • reuse stained glass from sanctuary windows for divider
  • cut up doors no longer being used for shelves and side table
  • reuse wood conveyor rollers for legs on shelves and side table
  • replaced ceiling lights with energy efficient ones
  • reuse box from old youth room for seating
  • purchase gently used items for decor (silk plants, lamps, clock, trunk, vases)
  • used donated items (artwork, coffee table, electric fireplace, Roger's Golden Syrup can, etc)

Heather

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Here is my list.

In addition to the usual recycling of newspapers, tin cans, plastic containers, cardboard etc. I do the following things:

  • I give plastic containers to the Food Bank for reuse.
  • I buy almost no clothes and when I do, I buy from second hand stores.
  • I try to use as few canned goods as possible.
  • I do not update often; I use the same computer, TV, phones, etc until they no longer work.
  • When I do errands with my car, I plan a route that provides for minimum backtracking.
  • I mend clothing, and darn socks and gloves.
  • Instead of throwing out small balls of yarn, I knit squares for Blankets for Canada.
  • In summer, I dig my household plant waste into my garden and in winter I cut it into little pieces and dry it so it can be dug into the earth in the spring.
  • I save the water while waiting for the cold to become hot in a small pail and use it to water my plants or to provide water for a primitive humidifier made from a small clothes rack draped with thick wet towels.

I have no children so there will be no geometric progression of future polluters from me.

Myrna Schellenberg

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I put my vegetable and fruit peels into the garden behind my     duplex at Bethany or into the compost  in the Community garden at Wildwood church.  I also put grass clippings between the rows in the garden to keep moisture in and for fertilizing the soil. 

Elsie

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Below are some small things we are doing to care for God’s creation. I must say it feels like a drop in the bucket or in more biblical terms like feeding 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish.

  • We compost all our household organic matter. Even in Saskatoon we take a bucket full back to Rabbit Lake to compost every time we go. Bethany has no composting option.
  • Don used to write all his sermons on paper that was already used on one side. Our grandkids do all their drawing, craft projects on similar recycled paper when they are at our place.
  • We have never bought a new car and then drive them till  we have to give them to a crusher for recycling because they  have no resale value.
  • We never water, fertilize or spray chemical on our lawn.
  • We have always had a big garden and grow most of our own organic vegetables.
  • To visit our children we tried using ViaRail. We have done many trips to Winnipeg this way. But have also gone to Toronto and Kamloops by ViaRail. Unfortunately, this is getting much harder as the level of service has really deteriorated the last few years.
  • Naomi does a lot of quilting with church women and Bethany Manor as a way of recycling old clothes. She also sews lots of pot holders from the left over pieces.
  • We buy clothes and some household items at thrift stores.
  • During our walks we pick up cans, bottles etc for recycling at Sarcan. Spiritwood Sarcan also takes glass and old electronics. It is amazing how much we collect and the amount of money it brings in over the course of a year.
  • We use our own cloth bags when grocery shopping.
  • Walk to places if they are in walking distance. We should use public transportation more than we do.
  • Use our own coffee mugs, water bottles, etc. when ever possible.
  • changing over to LED bulbs.

This list got longer than we thought it would. I am sure there is more but it still feels so inadequate and boastful(?).

Peace, Don and Naomi Unger

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Hello! A couple of things that I do to care for the earth is compost and garden. Those fresh veggies are a great incentive.

Dan is careful with our homes - always looking to improve R value in insulation. Pam