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09/18/09 by Staff Writer
Marilyn Shuping could only attend one day of the conference on faith and the environment. But what a difference that day made.
“I could have sat there and listened for days,” Shuping says. “And I bought Matthew Sleeth’s book and read it immediately.”
She has always been what she calls “a green person.” She was president of the Audubon Society in Winston-Salem so she clearly understood the value of preserving habitat for birds and other animals. “But it was a whole new world for me to hear the faith community taking up the cause,” she says. “It was like it had been in front of my face all these years, and I never quite realized it.”
She made more changes in her life in June than most people make in a year. She has cut her electric bill by more than half, saving over $100 a month. “I have not used my clothes dryer,” she says. “I hang the wash on the line.”
Now she makes aprons with pockets to carry clothespins and gives them as gifts. “If you don’t go out and witness a little bit, then it’s not any good,” she says of her natural way of drying clothes.
Shuping has switched her incandescent light bulbs for the more energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. She gardens. She composts. And she has included a host of environmental tips in her church’s newsletter at Merrimon United Methodist Church in Beaufort, N.C. “Ever since the conference, I have put in something about how you can make small changes that make a big impact on our environment,” she says. “Of course, I back it up with the scripture.”
She likes to talk with others about environmental stewardship. “I enjoy helping other people understand that it doesn’t take a whole lot for them to save money and have a better understanding of what we’re doing to the environment,” she says.
“This has made a huge difference in my life.”