Green Advices and Queries
We depend for our lives upon the sun, the rain, the wind and the diversity of living things around us. Notice the changing patterns of the day, from dawn to dusk, and the wonder of the night sky. Take heed of the changing seasons, from winter to spring, to summer and to autumn. Each has its particular beauty. Mountains, lakes, rivers and forests can all inspire us and provide places of peace and opportunities for worship. The natural world also presents us with challenges, to which we should be ready to respond. Take time to recognise, respect, appreciate and enjoy the whole miracle of the universe.
- "If pressure is brought upon you to lower your standard of integrity, are you prepared to resist it? Our responsibilities to God and our neighbour may involve us in taking unpopular stands. Do not let the desire to be sociable, or the fear of seeming peculiar, determine your decisions." Advices and Queries, 1994, No.38
- We are subject to all the persuasive powers of commerce and are influenced by family, friends and neighbours. Take time to understand yourself, your real needs and your true potential. Try to bring all your actions in line with this understanding and your knowledge of the world around you.
- "Try to live simply. A simple lifestyle freely chosen is a source of strength. Do not be persuaded into buying what you do not need or cannot afford. Do you keep yourself informed about the effects your style of living is having on the global economy and environment?" Advices and Queries, 1994, No.41
- Consuming more than we need may divert resources from the provision of essential services at home and abroad. Reusing, recycling and repairing will all reduce your footprint on the Earth. However refusing, and so doing without unnecessary goods, is the most powerful action.
- "We do not own the world, and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will. Show a loving consideration for all creatures, and seek to maintain the beauty and variety of the world. Work to ensure that our increasing power over nature is used responsibly, with reverence for life. Rejoice in the splendour of God's continuing creation." Advices and Queries, 1994, No.42
- We share the DNA structure of all life on Earth. The atoms in our bodies have circulated throughout the network of living and non-living forms making up the universe. Much of what we do, directly or indirectly, leaves the natural world damaged. Do you accept your responsibility for minimising this damage?
- The drive to market cheap food has resulted in pollution of air, soil and water, destruction of wildlife and waste of raw materials. Try to buy local, fair-traded and organically produced food and eat fresh food in season. Consider whether you could grow some of your own.
- Intensive animal farming is often cruel to the animals and is an extravagant use of land, water and edible grains. Try to reduce your consumption of animal products.
- Composting food and garden waste will enrich the soil and reduce the need for manufactured fertilisers and chemical controls. Healthy food and richer wildlife will be the reward.
- Saving heat in the home can be done with improved insulation but reducing the temperature, area and time of heating is also important. Do you dress warmly enough and encourage others to do so too? Consider investigating renewable sources of energy for your home.
- Cars and aeroplanes use irreplaceable fossil fuel, pollute the air and are major and increasing contributors to global warming. Could you reduce your use of these modes of transport? Consider this particularly when planning holidays or a change of home or occupation.
- Waste disposal is a major problem causing soil, water and air pollution and taking up valuable land space. Do you make every effort to reduce the amount of rubbish you put out for collection and disposal?
- "Remember your responsibilities as a citizen for the conduct of local, national, and international affairs. Do not shrink from the time and effort your involvement may demand." Advices and Queries, 1994, No.34.
Published by: Earth: our Creative Responsibility Group, a sub-group of Quaker Peace & Social Witness. 2002.