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February Diary article by Ruth Pyke January 25, 2018

Posted by nicholastufton in The Diary Monthly letter.
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The plastic tide has hit our consciousness in a huge wave of awareness since the beginning of this year. Blue Planet (BBC) has shown plastic entangling sea creatures, preventing them from flying or swimming, and eventually killing them. Plastic is being ingested by fish, turtles and sea birds and it is littering the beaches and seas of the world. Politicians have begun to take notice and made promises to reduce our plastic footprint.

The way in which we treat our planet makes a difference to our health and well-being. Whether or not we see the world as created by God who saw it and said ‘It is good’, it is likely that most of us are disturbed by the scenes of plastic pollution in hedgerows, trees and roadsides.

Over the last year, I have been challenged and inspired by two Facebook groups which are striving to live with less, to recycle more and to cut down substantially on the plastics used in our homes. Just one or two actions can help – whether using paper bags instead of plastic, milk bottles instead of plastic containers, or to repair where possible instead of buying new. Others take containers to butchers to avoid their meat being wrapped in single use plastic. I hope that we might all do something as our contribution to a better world for our children and future generations.

In ancient times, the writers of the Psalms would also look at the stars and at the sea just as we do – and wonder at it. Over 2,500 years ago the writer of Psalm 104 wrote this hymn of wonder at God’s creation. It speaks of the stars and the heavens, the clouds and the winds. It sings of the springs which bring water to the earth to sustain and refresh all that is created, both plant life and animal, and finally he gazes at the sea. The words could be a commentary for the Blue Planet.

Yonder is the sea, great and wide

Creeping things innumerable are there,

Living things both small and great.

There go the ships and Leviathan* that you formed to sport in it.

On 14th February, Lent begins. Perhaps, inspired by the beauty of the world and by the Blue Planet, we could each think of one way in which we might reduce our plastic so that future generations have the same beauty to marvel at as did the Psalmist. Maybe our inspiration will be that of the Creator who loves our world and shares with us the joy of caring for it.

*A sea monster – a whale or a crocodile or maybe a dolphin.

Ruth

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