Easter is a joyful celebration for Christian believers. We rejoice in the living Son of God and the promise of life everlasting. Easter also signifies the newness of life in nature. Eggs, often part of the Easter celebration, are an example of new life. Tulips, lilies, and daffodils, the flowers prominently displayed during Easter, are the first signs of new life in the spring season.
This Easter season, take the time to experience the re-birth of God’s Creation through reflections and actions. Consider ways nature can be protected, mindful that the healthier our earth, the healthier its inhabitants. Here are some suggested actions:
- Minimize your use of fertilizers and pesticides. The addition of weed killer to yards and gardens can harm many other living organisms. Fertilizer can run off into other areas of the watershed and cause harm. Sprayed fertilizers/pesticides automatically spread beyond designated areas.
- Sweep and rake instead of using blowers and other gadgets that require fossil fuels.
- Grow a wildflower patch or start a garden in your yard. Encourage the growth of pollinating plants. Find the beauty in all wildflowers, including dandelions.
- Set out a bird feeder, plant a tree, or donate to a foundation working on behalf of the earth.
- Be mindful of the over-emphasis on green lawns, as they require precious freshwater, chemicals (which consume energy and resources), and more frequent cutting, which likely uses fossil fuels. These are not sustainable, earth-friendly practices.
- Compost vegetable and fruit scraps and other yards “waste.”
- Minimize purchases/uses of disposable materials, whenever possible. Too much waste is harming the natural world – the soil, water, and air. Seek out ways to reduce garbage.
- Choose leisure activities that renew your awe and respect of nature.
In this unusual Easter of minimal physical contact with one another, use this “slow down” opportunity to reflect on God’s gifts; help God heal the earth. From author Robin Wall Kimmerer, “Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.”
Julie Peller Ph.D. is an environmental chemist (Professor of Chemistry at Valparaiso University ) and she leads the Environmental Ministry at Nativity of Our Savior in Portage IN. Julie has been writing a weekly column for church bulletins for the past ~5 years called the Green Junction and is helping to move the call of Laudato Si to action forward. Her Research Interests are in Advanced oxidation for aqueous solutions, water quality analyses, emerging contaminants, air quality analyses, Lake Michigan shoreline challenges (Cladophora, water, and sediment contaminants), student and citizen participation in environmental work.