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Happy Earth Day!

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The planet’s big day is here once more and I’ve failed again. Like most of us, I’m trying to do my bit for the planet. I hop on my bike for my morning commute, but I pathetically jump in my car when it rains. I take out the kitchen scraps to our compost heap, but why can’t orange peel go in? I try to recycle our rubbish, but I must admit I get so confused with the little symbols on plastic packaging that sometimes I chuck it in the black bin. Please don’t judge me.

Originating in the US in 1970, Earth Day is a global call to action for environmental protection. Today, it spans over 190 countries, promoting events that highlight critical environmental issues. In 2024 the focus of is ‘Planet vs. Plastics’ and they’re challenging industry to reduce the production of all plastics by 60% by 2040, because the consumption and improper disposal of plastics is posing risks to human health, jeopardizing biodiversity, and harming ecosystems.

Thankfully, the Diocese of Norwich, your local Church of England, is echoing Earth Day with its call to “safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” It’s not just about sermons and prayers, though – we’re putting our faith into action. Whether it’s changing our heating systems, rewilding our graveyards, or getting onboard with the Eco Church Award scheme, which encourages our congregations to walk the talk when it comes to environmental stewardship. Little by little our places of worship are becoming greener.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the environmental task at hand, however if we all give Earth Day a chance, we’ll collectively start to see things shift. In the very first book of the Bible, it starts with the image of a garden, where it states: “The Lord God put [humanity] in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it.” (Genesis 2:15) Now there’s a job description for all of us!

So, let’s raise a toast (in compostable cups, of course) to Earth Day. Do something, even if it’s just swapping your disposable water bottle for a reusable one. Go on Earthlings, let’s make Earth Day count!

Reflection by The Revd Tim Yau.