Are We Drinking Ourselves Dry?

Are you an average American?  If so, you are now using 270 plastic bottles to consume an average of 35 gallons of bottled water a year.  The Beverage Marketing Corporation believes that by 2017 that number will climb to 300 bottles each year.

I’ll ask the question again:  Are you an average American?  If so, you probably don’t know that it takes about 3 liters of water to produce 1 liter of bottled water—for the metrically challenged 1 liter equals a little over a quart.

According to the American Water Works Association, almost 2/3 of all bottled water sales are single 16.9 oz. bottles and are sold at a cost of about $7.50 per gallon. You might find that figure amazing, but it is staggering when compared to the cost of a gallon of tap water or the cost of a gallon of gasoline.

With the on-going droughts in California and other places around the world, and the inefficiency and high cost of bottled water, I have to ask:  Are we drinking ourselves dry?

I’ll ask the question one last time:  Are you an average American?  If so, you might be unaware of a wonderful life-giving source of water . . .

John 4:13-14

Jesus said:  Drink this water, and your thirst is quenched only for a moment. You must return to this well again and again.  I offer water that will become a wellspring within you that gives life throughout eternity. You will never be thirsty again.

The woman replied:  Please, Sir, give me some of this water, so I’ll never be thirsty and never again have to make the trip to this well.

Recycling and Refocusing

recycle_word_peopleIn the Sunday edition of the Washington Post, Chris Mooney wrote:  “We have a problem, people: Even though we’re supposed to put the right stuff in the blue bin, a lot of recyclable material nevertheless winds up crammed into landfills. One of the most noteworthy of these is paper: While 64.6 percent of paper and paperboard got recycled in 2012, that still left 24.26 million tons of the stuff discarded, according to the EPA (Why We Don’t Recycle Crumpled Paper).”

While some things get tossed out simply because people won’t toss them in the recycle bin, research suggests there might be another reason.  The Environment and Behavior journal has reported on research by  Remi Trudel, Jennifer Argo, and Matthew Meng of Boston University and the University of Alberta.

Their research focused on the way your brain categorizes information and then acts on it.  When your brain sees a piece of crumpled paper, it perceives it to be trash and not something to be recycled.

The study found that, “Full sheets of paper were recycled 77.4 percent of the time, whereas crumpled paper was only recycled 7.8 percent of the time.”  The researchers said: “We consistently show that consumers’ decision to recycle the same product depends on whether the product is intact (i.e., whole) or distorted (i.e., crumpled, cut).”

When you meet an individual whose life has been crumpled by the power of sin or the heartache of failure, how do you respond?   Do you see them as trash or someone who can be recycled?

You are probably familiar with the verses that call you to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world,” but how well do you know and put into practice the scriptural admonition to be a recycler?  In Romans 15:1-2, Paul said:

Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”

What is Christianity to you?  Is it an experience and relationship of convenience or are you willing to “lend a hand” to those in need?