“Are you environmentalists?”
What would you say if someone asked you that question?
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.,,,
Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
They took all the trees and put ‘em in a tree museum
And then they charged all the people twenty five bucks just to see ‘em.
Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you e got til it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. 🎶
Stranger on the Homestead
A car drove up our driveway. It did not turn right around with an apology that the GPS led him wrong, as many do; the guy got out.
That happens so rarely that we all stood with mouths agape for a minute. What is this strange man doing, we wondered. Guess we don’t get many visitors up here!
Turns out his GPS did lead him astray, but Greg happened to know the people he was out looking for. Over an hour later, he was still on our property, taking the grand tour. He visited the solar panels, the greenhouse, climbed one of our hills, and offered us an outlandish sum for our property.
No Way, José!
After all the work we’ve put in, it’s not for sale! Nope. I kept on watering my sunflower garden, shaking my head about that one.
It’s funny how we don’t see the value of a thing until it’s gone or we see it through someone else’s eyes. All I knew was that while it’s taken me awhile to fully embrace the homesteading, off-grid totality, I’m learning every day to appreciate the virtues more and more.
As the man looked around, gleaning info about our lifestyle, our property, and our goals, he asked about some friends of ours. “So—are they environmentalists like you guys?” he asked.
I stopped to ponder.
I mean, I’ve never considered us to be that. We do care about using our resources wisely, but environmentalists? I wasn’t sure.
We do try to be good stewards of the land. We don’t want to waste resources, because God made them for everyone. As Christians, we just want to be responsible.
- ☀️ Solar (or will pretty soon)
- Rocks and wood from our property and jobs
- A greenhouse
- Wood for heat
- A generator (gas powered)
- A propane fridge and oven
- Gravity feed water tanks from the well
- Seeds that we’ve saved (if we can find them)
- Our own compost and wood chips that Greg chips from work.
- Gardening and home chores instead of the gym. Hiking is our aerobics.
- A plant based diet
If you look at this list, some would check the environmentalists box, and others would not. We’ve never given that much thought.
We don’t recycle as much as we should. We buy too much cheap plastic junk. Many of our decisions are just because we are cheapskates or lazy. Or busy or whatever.
More than anything, we just want to move towards sustainability. Renewable resources are going to serve us better in the long run, but we can only do what we can afford.
Since we had to install some type of power anyway, we opted for solar. It would have cost us a chunk to get power from the road dug underground, so instead of doing that, we sunk it all into the solar. But the price of solar has become more affordable and we have endeavored to do a simple setup. I don’t know if we are succeeding in that yet, but we hope to.
Are We Environmentalists?
When I think of environmentalists I have an idea of someone who’s political about the environment. I think of more restrictions than freedom, and that’s the opposite of what we want. We’d just like to live peaceably and inexpensively. We’d prefer to not rely on the power grid, and would prefer to choose what that looks like in our family.
Sure…we are all for solar because we don’t want to be buying gas for a generator all the time. That’s not sustainable, nor inexpensive.
Sustainable is our focus. We want to have gardens that we can maintain with less input of fertilizer. We are learning how to do this, but for now, we are using the rocks on the land to make raises beds, rock walls, and other structures. That’s a resource that I’m pretty sure we won’t run out of. We will run out of energy before we run out of rocks!
These posts and more may suggest that we are environmentalists 😎
Saving Seeds for Sustainability
I understand being kind to our environment. We should all do that, just because it’s the right thing to do.
I believe that God is the Creator of all of nature, so we can learn much through what He has made why would we want to damage that?
Here is a song that I like that illustrates how I see God, nature, and the environment.
But environmentalists? After considering, I have to conclude that we aren’t environmentalists. Not in the political sense of the word. We aren’t hippies. We love nature but aren’t tree huggers. We are homesteaders who care about renewable resources and who try to live responsibly, but rarely do it perfectly.
We are planting a garden, and trying to live more off the land, but we have a LONG way to go! We are learning to appreciate a simpler life, value many old-fashioned practices, and would love to spend more time off of the modern hamster wheel of life.
So…while I plunged my hands into the dirt today, pumped water from our well, and planted tomatoes and eggplants, I listened to the stranger as he listed all of the benefits of our property. I heard the longing in his voice as he coveted what we have. I looked around, and breathed a prayer to the God who provided all of this outside bounty, and I said to myself, “We don’t have to be environmentalists to be thankful.” God has blessed us with strength, with health, and with the ability to keep coming up with ways to use the land. And that’s something…
A Side Note from the Bible
I got to thinking whether being an environmentalist is Biblical. I’ve concluded that of course being responsible and not wasteful is responsible. If we believe that the earth is God’s and that we are just stewards of His property, we will want to be faithful. He will seek for an account of what we have done on the earth, just like in the parable of the talents. Some servants made good use of their talents and some wasted them.
Joseph led the Egyptians in storing grain up for the times of famine in the future.
The Israelites gathered manna for each day, and had to learn to use what they had. Anything leftover was spoiled, so they learned not to take more than their share.
Jesus gathered up the fragments after He multiplied the bread and fish, and nothing went to waste. Others benefited from the leftovers.
A verse that kind of sounds like an environmentalist verse is in Revelation.
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
This indicates that eventually the earth will be destroyed, but God is giving us time to make a decision. I hope it’s for Him. We believe that the earth is waxing old like a garment. It should not surprise us that it’s just wearing out. It’s not going to last forever. We have a new heavens and a new earth to look forward to.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
One more wonderful promise that’s helps me to keep it all in perspective is the following passage.
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
Are you an environmentalist? If you had to classify yourself or your family, what would you call yourself? Or maybe you’re kind of like me, and recognize some qualities, but don’t really fit perfectly into anyone’s mold.
Whatever your answer, just keep plugging away at what you’re convicted to do as a family.