Young Christians lead ethical lifestyle challenge

Author: Hannah Pye

Published on: 1 March 2017

Hannah Pye, previously the Children, Youth & Family Worker in the Tas Valley Team Ministry and now Chair of the Church of England Youth Council, describes the impact of a recent discussion among young Christians on the ethical and environmental dilemmas thrown up by Micah 6:8.

“What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” It’s on car stickers, bags and wooden plaques but how often do we let those words affect our life? That was the challenge posed to the Church of England Youth Council, a group of 16-25yr olds, in November 2016.

We discovered that Micah 6:8 calls us to live a more ethical and environmental life. How could we begin to do that? Some of us had already been trying to live this out over recent years and these are the lessons discovered along the way.

  • Every time you spend money you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want:

Every purchase we make, every single one, will make an impact on the environment or people. Who or what are we hurting or helping?

  • Don’t over buy:

Some estimates suggest that 80 percent of all saleable products end up as waste in six months! Waste costs us money and is damaging the planet for no reason. All that energy, the plastic and carbon footprints simply sit in landfill.

  • Tackle one thing at a time:

It’s easy to feel like we are insignificant. Tackle one challenge at a time and eventually they add up. Choose the issue most important for you, the rest will follow!

  • Search for a best buy:

Research is essential. Useful websites can help us discover where, what and how to shop, eat and live in ways that help the environment, just a click away. There will never be a perfect purchase, simply better or worse options and it’s down to us to weave our core values into our lifestyle.

  • Celebrate:

It’s important to celebrate when we make good choices, find amazing websites and discover ways to upcycle! Find like-minded people who will share in your joy and it will make you want to continue helping other people and the planet!

Together we shared tips to help all of us make better choices whether recycling, upcycling, turning lights off, buying local produce or growing your own. There is a web browser called Ecosia that plants trees, it’s possible to switch to 100 percent renewable energy, to use environmental cleaning products, to cut down on meat and to buy second hand. Above all, we discovered that this is worship. Making conscious decisions, with bible, prayer and God in mind, to protect and nurture the gift he’s given us is worship.

Since November, several young adults have been making changes to their own choices and we created the first ethical living group on Facebook (search Ethical Living Community UK). Here we celebrate these changes together and share helpful information. Please come and join us in remoulding our lives to live how God commands; protecting people and the planet.

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Hannah Pye

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