Somewhere along the line, the most die-hard environmentalists started using the term “eco-sin” to describe their environmental wrongs. It’s curious really, when most people have either abandoned the notion of sin or recoil in shame at the thought of willfully committing a sin against God’s creation.
Let’s cut each other some slack. Wouldn’t it be much more encouraging if we simply acknowledged our eco-mistakes? For the fact is, just as the pious know that none of us are without sin, so too are none of us “greens” in fact perfectly green.
Consider the following:
– an environmental advocacy group holds a meeting that welcomes attendees with green balloons (Sin?/Mistake? Ack! Plastic’s bad for the Earth, bad for the fish!);
– attendees at the same meeting leave their crumpled napkins, bottles and food behind on the tables, causing the cleaning staff to indiscriminately throw recyclables into the trash containers (Yikes! A meeting about recycling where the expert recyclers don’t recycle!);
– a new government building in a county that levies fines on businesses for non-compliance with recycling does not make recycling containers available in its snack areas (Judge not what I do, but what I say);
– a group of “green Moms” plans a “green” fundraiser, then encourages sponsors to purchase new items for giveaways at the fundraiser (Eek! Whatever happened to Reduce/Reuse?)
Eco-sins? No, eco-mistakes. We’re all human. Reversing long-held behavioral patterns is one of the hardest things to do. And that’s exactly what we’re in the process of doing – learning to change old behaviors.
That’s why the role of Mothers and Fathers is so critical. If we can just get it right with this next generation, there won’t be so many “eco-mistakes.” The next generation, having grown up with an innate green consciousness, will know better than us.
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