Claire L. Eva, Assistant Director, General Conference Stewardship Ministries

Summary: Do we live in a ?throwaway society?? Taking a look at some eco-friendly ways of the past and issues we face in today’s environment, the author appeals to readers to view God’s creation from His perspective.

Throwaway Society

I was stuck in traffic. Caught behind a young woman driving a dusty red Firebird. As I watched her using the slow pace of traffic to make up for lost time—eating and fluffing her drying, permed hair—she rolled down the car window and, to my amazement, threw a banana peel onto the highway. ?Hey!? I thought. ?How in the world can she do that??

Her act was disturbing, but it got me reflecting. We live in a throwaway society. Not just banana peels in wrong places, but when it comes to the technological ?progress? of the last half century, we almost throw away more than we keep.

Milk used to be delivered in eco-friendly glass bottles, and if you lived in rural surroundings, it may have come directly from the cow. In many places we throw away tons of plastic every year—from every imaginable product. Good home cooking has a sparring partner—processed, packaged, ten-minute meals. Interestingly, the packaging often costs more than the food inside. Just think of all those colorful trapping dollars that go into the giant trash tubs we use!

Our babies wear paper diapers and stacks of paper are consumed at an all time high, despite technological tactics for filing electronically. Where are all the trees coming from? Why all this waste? We have become superfluous, self-indulgent consumers and God’s creation is groaning beneath the weight of our excesses.

Some years ago, there was a television commercial that made me weep, no matter how many times I viewed it. It depicted a Native American looking at what used to be a lovely, crystal stream, now polluted with debris. But that isn’t what made me cry. Rolling down the face of the man—his bold, bronzed face—was a tear. He was first to realize what such a negative transformation meant. But I ?caught on.?

Of course, that is just a faint shadow of the One who really knows what it means. We need to keep ?catching on,? to keep seeing the world from God’s perspective. Pray that we will, before it is too late. Let us take up our responsibility as stewards of His beautiful creation.