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We are all stewards of the Earth
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“This is my Father’s world
And to my listening ears,
All nature sings and round me rings
The music of the spheres”

I loved this hymn when I was a young girl. It was one of my favorites. We frequently sang this sweet song about God’s wonderful world in Sunday school and at vacation Bible school. I know many of you probably did, too. The four verses of this song are a simple reminder that God’s world is a wonderful and continuing gift to each of us. It is a gift to treasure and to care for every day.
In my faith, God’s instructions at the time of creation indicated that man’s role was to be a steward of the Earth and all things in it. This role of stewardship is echoed in many other faiths and cultures around the world.
According to the dictionary, stewardship is “the position or act of one who manages or cares for another’s property.” So in my faith, I feel that we are in deed caring for another’s property — God’s world. You know, even if you are agnostic or have no affiliated religion, it is just common sense that we need to take care of this “home” we live on.
I often wonder what kind of job God thinks we are doing today. Our world has become so populated, so hectic and so complex. We rush from one activity to another, relying on conveniences like fast foods and fast vehicles to make life fly by. We live in concrete worlds that have taken the place of lush forests and wildlife habitats. Our addictions to conveniences create mountains of landfills overflowing with the waste from products that seemingly — or at least, were intended to — make our lives easier.
Modern technology has brought many positive changes for mankind, like lifesaving medications and amazing ways to communicate with people instantly all over the world. But even these good things — medications and electronics — can have a toxic impact on our water and soil quality when they are disposed of improperly. In the mad rush of our modern lives, we have seemingly forgotten our God-given role as environmental stewards.
I periodically have people ask me if I am a “tree-hugger” or some kind of fanatic because I work with Keep Liberty Beautiful. It’s really odd to me to think that someone must be an extremist simply because he or she cares about our environment. It also seems odd to me because I’m definitely about as middle-of-the-road as one can be.
But, just as I have tremendous faith in my belief system, I also have a tremendous faith in the focus areas for Keep America Beautiful: litter prevention, waste reduction and recycling, community improvement and beautification. These are goals we should all be concerned about.
Why care about litter? It is ugly to look at, but it also creates health and safety hazards for people, wildlife, aquatic life and our environment. And let’s not forget the costs that are generated in cleaning up the stuff that the non-stewards are throwing or letting blow out of their vehicles or tossing on our sidewalks. And there are also significant costs associated with tackling water pollution. Who is paying for all of that? Well, who always does, my fellow taxpayers?
Our world is too crowded already, so waste reduction and recycling to minimize the need for more landfill space is essential. Even 4-year-olds understand the mantra “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” so I think we adults should be able to put it into practice. Recycling and reusing products conserves more of our natural resources. It often reduces energy costs in production as well.
Why be concerned about community improvement and beautification? I know that uninformed people often think that this is a fluff issue. The reality is that neighborhoods and communities that are neglected become targets for crime. Even small issues that are not taken care of can lead to more criminal activity because it looks like no one cares what happens. Run-down communities also do not fair well economically. Certainly, our chamber and development people can tell you that new industries — with more jobs — don’t want to move into locations that look neglected and littered. Have some pride in where we live. Let’s make it look good.
Surely we can find a balance between the positive blessings of modern technology and our need to care for and protect our world and its resources. Consider the choices we make every day. By making simple changes every day and making an effort where we live, we can minimize the negative impacts that our “convenience lifestyle” has on our Earth and our natural resources. My Father’s world, your world, my world, our children’s world. However you think about it, we need to be good stewards of our environment. Cherish our Earth.
KLCB announcements that you can use to help save the environment:
• Oct. 24: The annual Rivers Alive Cleanups in Liberty County. Mark your calendars now.
• Aug. 19, 8:30 a.m.: Litter enforcement training. For more information or to register, call 368-4888 or e-mail
• Tell the world how you really feel about litter. Get your free litter car decal by calling 368-4888 or e-mailing
• Keep your “butts” off the streets and sidewalks! Cigarette litter needs to be disposed of properly. For a free cigarette litter pocket ashtray, call 368-4888.

For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact Swida at 368-4888 or
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