Jeanne and I do most of our shopping locally. We also order through Amazon. We have found this to be very convenient.
I believe that there are downsides to doing a lot of shopping this way. One concern is that it is vital to support businesses in Moses Lake. Our local economy is important. If a person uses a service like Amazon for the majority of their non-perishables it can hurt folks here.
Another challenge is what to do with all the boxes and packing material? As a family, we try to recycle as much as we can. Every time we order through Amazon we have to deal with a corrugated cardboard box and some form of bubble wrap and/or Styrofoam noodles.
For Christmas, we ended up ordering many items this way. The aftermath was that I had to find creative ways to fit a ton of stuff into the two recycling containers that we share with the church. We had a lot to put in there.
I feel good about recycling all that corrugated cardboard even though it requires some effort to break it down into flat pieces. What bothered me was all the packing material. What to do with the yards of bubble wrap? We thought about storing it away, to be re-purposed later, but that pile was becoming a mountain.
I do not believe that our local recycling service accepts this kind of thing. Also, what to do with the Styrofoam noodles? Occasionally, we would receive the biodegradable type, but not as of late.
I feel badly when I toss so much of this into the dumpster.
Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.”
Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.”
From these passages, it is understood that we actually own nothing. We can’t take anything with us when we die. While we are here we are charged to be good stewards of God’s stuff.
In my mind, this means that we do our best to reuse, recycle and reduce. I’m struggling with just how to do so right now. I need to find ways to be more responsible. How about you?
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 25 years.