A Christian’s response to global waste

by Renata

Photo by Jas Min on Unsplash

Renata Kiss, FISM News


Here’s some encouraging news we don’t hear often.

Recently, a Chicago couple spent a day cleaning up their community, in an effort to take care of the environment, and they ended up collecting seven full bags of trash. Meanwhile, in Hungary, 150 volunteers came together to collect trash from the country’s second largest river. In the past 10 years, volunteers have collected about 727,000 tons of trash from river Tisza and other neighboring rivers. 

This news comes as global waste generation is expected to hit 3.4 billion tons by 2050, according to Statista. To put it into perspective, that’s roughly a 70% increase in trash across our globe. Of course, many contributing factors are at play here, such as population and economic growth, urbanization, and our own habits.

For instance, the U.S. produces over 1,700 pounds of trash every year, which adds up to 12% of global waste. Shockingly enough, that’s only a little bit lower than China’s waste at 15%. 

While these numbers are staggering, it’s important to remember that this includes everything from food and clothing to industrial and electronic trash. Thanks to the surge in electric technology, e-waste is set to increase to 20 million tons in the next decade. This includes lithium mining as well, which is known to have harmful effects on the environment, not to mention the health hazard it poses on those who produce such batteries. 

So how should we as Christians respond to our decaying planet?

The book of Genesis obviously comes to mind when thinking about our world. We know that everything God made in the beginning was declared “good.” Unfortunately, Adam and Eve’s sin led to our current state of decline. 

Romans 8:22 says,

“All creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”

As believers, we are in a state of mourning, because the way our sin affects the world is tragic. But we’re not left without hope.

God promised a new Heaven and a new Earth where everything, including us, will be without sin and death. In the meantime, our responsibility is to follow Christ and His example, which encompasses the way we treat the earth as well. 

New Testament Professor Craig L. Blomberg writes,

“The dominion over creation granted to humans does not confer on them the right to rape the environment or to show cruelty to animals but gives the responsibility to take care of all the rest of the created order.”