Environmental Stewardship

The Environmental Stewardship Work Area helps us become responsible stewards of God's creation, and care for humankind. We

  • Provide environmental education
  • Encourage individual and corporate green living habits
  • Help the church take steps to make our facilities more energy efficient and earth friendly
  • Provide avenues for environmental social action

August Provides Gusto for Local Produce

Look here to find out what local produce is in season this month!

July is the Jackpot for Local Produce

Look here to find out what local produce is in season this month!

Organic Cleaning Products-Do they work and, if so, do they come with a really high price tag?

When we think of the term “organic,” many of us believe that healthier cleaning products must also be associated with higher price tags. But, each of us in our own way can begin to make strides to gradually adopt a more organic lifestyle which can minimize our exposure to toxic chemicals, and all without going broke.

So, how do we begin? Some products on the market are labeled “natural.” Does this mean they are not toxic to us or to our environment? Not necessarily. First, we can begin by learning more about toxic chemicals which are found in the food items that we buy, the products that we use both inside and outside of our homes, our water, and in our cleaning supplies. Then we can begin to understand how these chemicals directly or indirectly affect our health, well being, and the environment. Some of the products we use to clean our homes could be causing more harm to us than good. We should check brand labels and on the website and look for "green" and non-toxic cleaners that don't contain chlorine, alcohols, triclosan, triclocarbon, lye, glycol ethers, or ammonia. Choose instead safer products that say "petroleum-free," "biodegradable," "phosphate-free," "VOC-free," and "solvent-free."

Another option we might consider is to begin using common household items to clean our homes. Common household items can be great substitutes for many of the toxic chemicals found in the products we find at our local stores. For example, a few items that we have in our homes can have a dual purpose, such as: baking soda, cooking oil, lemon and vinegar. These are just some of the items that can brighten our homes and hot harm, us, our children, or Fido, our best friend.

There are many websites that include a list of toxic-free products that we can keep on hand and also some websites with recipes for making our own cleaning products for glass, floors, toilet bowls, tile, countertops, showers, and so on. A couple helpful websites for making and/or purchasing toxic-free products are: www.livingwellspendingless.com, www.eartheasy.com, www.keeperofthehome.org, and www.ewg.org.

If we all take steps to be more conscious about what we use to clean our homes, our cars, our clothing, etc., we can begin to do our part in helping our small world and the world around us become a cleaner and healthier environment.

October Okays for Local Produce

Look here to find out what local produce is in season this month!

September Shines with Local Produce

Look here to find out what local produce is in season this month!

Jump Into June With Local Produce

Local Produce in the Merry Month of May

Local Produce is Alive in April

Advantages for Purchasing Local Produce Year Round

Various local produce is alive and well and available during a large portion of the year here in Illinois. Most of the local produce that is available in one given month is typically available for a period of three to four months following. For example, local produce that is available in April is also available in May and June, and so forth. There are many advantages for purchasing local produce, such as: (a) Local produce tastes better (b) Local produce retains its nutrients longer (c) Local food preserves genetic diversity (d) Local farmers don’t have access to genetically modified seed (e) Local food provides support to local farm families (f) Local food builds community (g) Local food preserves open farm space (h) Our taxes are kept in check, since farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services (i) Local food supports a clean environment and benefits wildlife (j) Buying local food today ensures that there will be community farms tomorrow.

The Green Tomato and the "American Diet"

The typical American diet is high in refined grains, added sugars and fat. This has contributed to an increased risk of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Meat and poultry are major sources of saturated fat, which raises cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart disease. The fat increases the buildup of plaque in veins, which stresses the heart as it has to work harder to circulate blood. When eventually blood cannot flow through damaged veins, bypass surgery is needed to bypass those veins.

Sweets and soda have become two of the top five sources of calories in the American diet. Decreasing the intake of these two foods, along with exercise, can help individuals maintain healthier weights.

Convenience has also contributed to a decline in our diets. The rise of two-income families has led to increased use of convenience foods and to eating out, both of which have increased calorie intake and expanded waistlines.

Studies in Japan and the United States have shown that while 30% of U.S. women may get breast cancer, only 1% of Japanese women suffer from this disease. Researchers concluded that a high-fiber, plant-based diet in Japan is the reason, plus the Japanese eat more fish than  Americans.

As a result,  diets that include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and varying sources of lean proteins can better control weight and reduce the risk of chronic illness.

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