Every cigarette butt casually discarded, every sweet wrapper or takeaway container soon adds up to a big problem on our streets. Let’s care for the planet God gave us. Find a bin. It’s a win-win.

Green: Pick up five pieces of litter today.

Amber: Keep a pair of protective gloves in your pocket or bag, ready to remove debris wherever you go. You could even separate out the litter to recycle at home.

Red: Plan a community clean-up day. Advertise it as widely as you can and gather a team to systematically work through specific areas. Spread the word on social media with the hashtag #40acts.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…” (Psalm 24:1 NIV)

On a drive I do regularly, there’s a roundabout that is full of litter where people have just thrown their rubbish out of the car window. Every time we stop there I itch to get out the car and pick up the rubbish. Unfortunately I can’t really park up on the side of a roundabout. It feels like that episode of Friends where Ross dates a girl whose house is covered in stuff: clothes, food and something that looks like treacle?

Psalm 24:1 says that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. That doesn’t just mean the oceans but also the verges by the side of roundabouts, the field at school and your front garden – all belong to God. He gave us the earth for us to enjoy and to reflect his glory.

We see on the news and in documentaries the amount of plastic in our oceans and the damage that climate change is doing across the globe from extreme weather to species loss. Sometimes the problem can seem so overwhelming that we don’t know where to start (like Ross’s date’s house!). However, God has placed every single one of us on this planet with a plan and a purpose for our lives and I believe we really can make a difference.

The key is to start where we are, on our walk to school, work or college. It could be as simple as carrying a bag with you if you have a lack of bins in your area. For those of us with more resources, perhaps we can try to avoid packaging altogether so we can stop contributing to the problem of waste. If there’s a particular area that you know is full of rubbish, remember that this too belongs to God, and think of the difference you could make to your community by clearing it up!

Beth worked in the arts for four years after graduating with a degree in theatre and performance studies. She is now a neighbourhood education and engagement officer for her local council. She runs workshops in local schools and community groups on waste reduction and recycling. She loves great theatre, talking about the planet and Sunday afternoon naps.
She lives in London with her husband, Josh, and their rescue cat, Bea.
twitter: @mathieson_beth

Today’s charity is: A Rocha UK

A Rocha UK is a Christian charity committed to helping individuals and churches in the UK to care for the natural world.