February 26, 2018
Week 2, Day 1
"Fasting" from: Plastic | Some strategies: reusable bags, reusable water bottle, say "no" to plastic bags, straws, lids, etc.

As we transition from using less water to "fasting" from plastic, I'd like to introduce a complication to the plastic problem.

Our exorbitant consumption of plastic in the U.S. and throughout the world is having a catastrophic effect on the Earth and all life on it (including us). On the other hand, many humanitarian efforts rely on bottled water to reach people who would otherwise die of thirst.

While at an ELCA conference for youth ministry leaders in Houston, I learned about a ministry called "Border Angels." They go on "water drops" in the Southern California desert to save the lives of immigrants crossing many miles of harsh, scorching terrain.

Border Angels cites that since 1994, more than 11,000 people have died in the U.S. desert beyond the border. They save lives by going into the wilderness and leaving water. But what are they also leaving? Plastic. Is this cheap, lightweight, airtight, readily-available container the enabler of this essential act of compassion? Or could they make the same impact more sustainably?

Today's devotion video from Border Angels vividly captures the impact this gift of water can have on the life of a person on the brink of death.

My question for you is, when is plastic a gift -- like the plastic found in life-saving medical equipment -- and when is it not? What uses of plastic do we need to reduce, and what uses of plastic do we need to stop in their tracks? Consider these questions as you try to "fast" from plastic this week. Good luck!


Today's Daily Action
Time: 15-30 minutes

Today we go a bit deeper with our daily action. Today, I encourage you to find "your spot" of wilderness for the rest of Lent. Choose a place by home, by work, or in between. A place you can come back to regularly throughout Lent to meditate, pray, read, observe, rest, exercise, or whatever other activity you want to bring to that space. (I'm going to choose a big rock in Central Park or something.)

It may take longer than 15 minutes to find your spot -- but the investment will be worth it.

Throughout Lent, our daily action will invite you revisit your "wilderness" place for 5-15 minutes. And even when it's not in this email, I encourage you to go there as much as you can.

If our theme is 40 Days in the Wilderness, let's actually get out into the wilderness as much as possible!
Daily Question
Do you think there are any uses of plastic where the good outweighs the bad? What uses of plastic do we need to reduce, and what uses of plastic do we need to stop completely? Share your answer in our Facebook group >

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