Our Adult Forum on Stewardship last Sunday focused on caring for the environment. In preparing to lead the session, I came upon a website for JUMP (www.takethejump.org). JUMP is a grass roots environmental movement inspired by research from Leeds University in the UK, asking people to commit to six behavioral shifts to help the health of the planet. While the site for JUMP grants that corporate and legal entities bear a huge responsibility for addressing climate chaos, it also insists that individuals and their choices also have an important role to play.
Here are the six recommended shifts:
• End Clutter (keep products for at least seven years).
• Travel Fresh (no personal vehicles)
• Eat Green (a plant-based diet, no food waste, healthy portions).
• Dress Retro (3 new items of clothing per year).
• Holiday Local (one short-haul flight every three years, one long-haul flight every eight years).
• Change the System (make at least one life shift that addresses systemic ecological destruction—i.e. attend a protest, contact elected leaders, switch to green energy providers, etc.).
These are aspirational goals, for sure. And the JUMP website understands the magnitude of the changes described, asking people to do the best they can as they engage them. Individual life circumstances make some of these goals harder than others. Now that we live in the city, Charlie and I don’t own a car and are used to using ride shares and public transportation, so shift #2 is not a problem for us at this point in our lives–but our oldest son lives in Arizona, and we don’t want to make a commitment that means we would only see him once every eight years (or even once every three!).
Still, I am fascinated by the invitation to mindful consumption offered by the JUMP list. Just like praying, reflecting on how to incorporate these commitments asks me to change; to place my personal desires in the expansive reality of human interconnectedness. I am a long way from being able to claim consistency in living as one with the earth, but I feel the Holy Spirit’s energy through the process of trying.
Have you made any commitments like those listed above? If so, I would be interested in hearing about your experience!