Photo by Mark Ahsmann, Courtesy of Wikimedia
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything it it. The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths.” Psalm 24:1-2
Looking back on our trip to Yellowstone National Park, I still have a lot to process. We saw (viewed) a lot: mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, mountains, rivers, falls, people, geysers, beautiful flowers and scenery, etc. And after seeing a lot of trash at YNP and our local parks I have been stewing about careless humans who don’t clean up after themselves or are too lazy to find a trash can (which are generally everywhere in our parks).
I heard the story of the extinction of passengers pigeons and the near extinction of the bison and the wolf and the re-introduction of both and I ‘stewed’ about humans ‘not taking care of the creation’. Yesterday while driving back from Charlottesville a grocery bag was flying across the highway, and across windshields (blocking drivers view momentarily – very dangerous) and how it ended up on the front grate of our van, and I stewed over that litter. We live near a VDOT lot for snow plows and such and they have a sign out in front that says how much it costs our state government to clean up litter on the highways. I think its something like $25 million a year. And here we are trying to balance budgets and eek out a few more dollars for schools or feeding hungry people and providing health care. It makes my blood boil.
But we can view and stew or we can do….
In my journal I made a list of things that I saw YNP doing to ‘take care of the creation’:
- Concession stands use Earthware made of corn/corn starch and it is compostable
- Hotels had signs in our bathrooms saying – we use lots of water to wash towels, please consider using them more than once, etc…they did the same for changing your sheets
- there were recycling bins everywhere
- in the showers they had large containers of soap and shampoo hanging on the wall instead of giving us little ones in our rooms
- they encouraged the use of reusable water bottles
- they were encouraging the destruction of invasive species by asking everyone to fish for and take home the lake trout – if you didn’t take it home to eat you were encouraged to kill it so that native species could live
- they regulated where you fished so as to leave the fish hatcheries alone and give the fish some ‘safe’ places to be
- There were signs saying how once upon a time you could drink this spring water, but now it is contaminated….