Where does environmentalism start? Does it start with current initiatives around the world, in North America, in Alaska? No. It starts in each of us — one person at a time.
Tri Robinson, in his book, Saving God’s Green Earth, discusses how change has historically happened as a ripple effect. It typically starts in one individual and then ripples outward. Tri notes there are seven ripples of environmental transformation that impact our lives:
The first ripple impacts our hearts – What is the environmental condition of your heart? Our inner motivations affect our actions. Are we motivated by a cause bigger than ourselves or by anger? If by anger, it is doomed to fail for the consequences are only short term.
The second ripple impacts our minds – What is polluting your mind? The heart impacts the mind as the ripple spreads outward. Are you controlled by anger, jealousy, resentment, or bitterness? Don’t let your mind be polluted.
The third ripple impacts our bodies – What is polluting your body? If you want to be a steward of the earth, you first need to be a steward of your body. The ripple spreads out and your mind controls your actions. How can you steward the world when you cannot begin with yourself?
The fourth ripple impacts our homes – What is polluting my home, my family, my children, and my marriage? There are very practical and moral applications here.
The fifth ripple impacts the church – What is the condition of the church? The spiritual institutions of our time have veered off course. They used to impact communities and culture, taking the lead in societal issues. The ripple continues to spread.
The sixth ripple impacts our communities and neighborhoods – What is the environmental condition of your community? Again, there are practical and societal applications here. Practical = clean litter off the streets or plant a flower garden . Societal = Host community social events or visit neighbors.
The seventh ripple impacts our planet – Now we begin to see the bigger picture, one that includes making a difference throughout the entire world.
Editor’s note: This article is part of the Blog Action Day movement: thousands of blogs talking about the environment on October 15.