Shades of Green: Gluttony, greed and green

In Columns, Opinion

Last night, a customer at work said to me: “Don’t tell me you’re one of those environmentalist types. I’ll have to jump back there and beat it out of you!”

Then she droned on about how Jesus Christ is going to save us, so I shouldn’t waste my time worrying about such insignificant things. She basically said it’s a waste of time, we’re already too deep into environmental damage, and “cows farts produce methane gas. What do you suggest we do about that? You can’t do anything!”

Needless to say, “Ruth’s” physical threat has enlightened me to the grand realization that being an overall eco-conscious human being is stupid. Why deprive yourself of polluting luxuries? At this point, we’re already too deep in pollution to really save anything.

According to some theories, the Earth will run out of consumable resources and we will either starve to death or kill ourselves in war for them.

If that doesn’t happen, the sun is going to supernova and consume our planet before we consume ourselves. Then God is going to save us. Unless you’re condemned, of course.So, what’s the point?

I love when people tell me stuff like this. It’s okay if you would rather be a gluttonous pig, eating whatever you want and stuffing landfills with your garbage, because it’s simply too late. Might as well speed up the process toward self-annihilation.

I mean, isn’t that what Jesus would do?

Granted, reversing the effects of global warming is basically impossible, not to mention that it’s seemingly cheaper and more convenient to live an anti-green lifestyle. You get to eat at Del Taco every day, you get to buy soap and lotion on sale at Target and you get to carelessly scarf down double chocolate brownies every night, much like my favorite customer, Ruth.

Little does Ruth realize that she is committing two of the seven deadly sins: gluttony and greed.

She is a glutton, because she is eating too much of what she doesn’t need, and she is greedy, because she praises a societal hoarding of natural resources.

According to the Bible, the ability to say “no” to anything in excess, also known as self-control, is one of the fruits of a clean lifestyle (See Galatians 5:22, Deutoronomy 21:20, Proverbs 23:2, 2 Peter 1:5-7, 2 Timothy 3:1-9 and 2 Corinthians 10:5). That means only taking what you need so everybody can get a fair share, much like Jesus Christ, who shared his meals with everyone, including societal outcasts.

Still, that’s not really my reasoning for going green. I do it for myself. I like ensuring that no food goes to waste, I like preserving water and I like riding my bike.

Believe it or not, it makes me feel like a good person, and it clears my head of materialist congestion. Not to mention that I save a good dollar by eating leftovers and by printing notes on the backs of old essays instead of using new sheets of paper. The smallest deeds of conservation add up.

Conservation is not expensive, it’s definitely not sinful and it’s not a waste of time. If anything, we are buying ourselves more time. Although the sudden green wave can appear silly and trendy at times, and tax payers everywhere are complaining about the expenses of newly-implemented green technology, every little step can increase our planet’s lifespan.

The reward will hopefully be that we can watch our children grow up in a world where they can breathe.

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