It’s one thing to think you’d like to plant trees, pray for the oceans or become politically active on environmental issues. It’s another to keep telling a group of friends how it’s going. Start a support group for your efforts or add an earth-keeping check-in to an existing group.
- Meet in person if possible. Electronic communication can help in between meetings, but it is important to be together physically at least sometimes.
- Everyone begins wherever they are and chooses their own goals. It is helpful to have more than one goal at a time, but not more than three. A one-time, 30-minute fix that can be completed by the next meeting pairs well with a more challenging change in habits. As goals are completed, new ones can be added.
- At your first meeting, give each person the chance to describe what kind of accountability he or she finds helpful. Some will want to be confronted when they don’t follow through; others prefer prayer or a listening ear. You are not here to judge but to love.
- Scan the resources below to broaden your ideas for possible goals. Also consider scaling up actions you already do to include more people. For example, suppose you turn your car off when waiting at train crossings and drive-throughs. A modest step toward scaling-up this habit could be to spend an hour learning about anti-idling laws or talk to one friend about why this is important to you. A more challenging goal could be to get your school district to implement a school bus idling policy.
My church is too busy for a new group…
- Propose adding this feature to an existing congregational green team, Christian education class or fellowship group. Take care not to force a captive audience into doing something they don’t want to do.
- This could happen at your family supper table or with a close friend you spend time with anyway. “Where two or three are gathered” is a place to start. Even including your aspirations in random casual conversations may help you follow through.
- Creating Communities of Accountability, Session 11 of our Every Creature Singing curriculum, provides supporting biblical and theological background and discussion questions.
- Living More with Less, 30th Anniversary Edition combines broader themes such as “nonconform freely” and “cherish the natural order” with practical ideas on how to live these ideas.
- Blessed Earth Tip Sheets
- The People’s Eco-Challenge
- Sabbath Economics, This plan from Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries, provides a time-tested model for a yearlong approach to change in multiple areas of life.
- Earth Deeds Calculate your carbon footprint and find sustainable projects to fund.
Speaking of accountability… let us know you’d like to do this. Once a month through June, we’ll cheer you on with a friendly email.