Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8:3-8; Genesis 2:15; Romans 8:20-22; Exodus 20:1-17; Romans 1:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:10
July 9, 2016
An island the size of Hawaii made entirely from plastic bottles could become the hottest “selfie” backdrop on earth. This dream is part of an incredible environmental vision for the future. A team of Dutch scientists plans to transform 96 million pounds of plastic waste currently bobbing around in the Pacific Ocean into “Recycled Island.”
A spokesman for the project said: “The proposal has three main aims: cleaning our oceans from a gigantic amount of plastic waste; creating new land; and constructing a sustainable habitat. Recycled Island seeks the possibilities to recycle the plastic waste on the spot and to recycle it into a floating entity.”
The island is designed for self-sufficiency, providing food and work for the inhabitants. Solar and wave energy will provide power for the island and its 500,000 inhabitants. The Pacific Ocean currently holds the largest amount of plastic waste in the world. Ocean currents keep the plastic clumped together in giant rubbish dumps, which are fatal to sea life. Sea birds make the deadly mistake of eating the plastic, and some fish also eat smaller pieces of the rubbish.
The team plans to recycle the plastic in the circular current known as the North Pacific Gyre into hollow, floating blocks. These will become the foundation blocks for the 3,861 square mile island. Plans include establishing a modern city on the man-made island, and planners hope to create a large area suitable for agriculture. The spokesman added: “Recycled Island is a unique opportunity to create a new floating habitat from scratch, and at the same time the ocean is cleaned from a huge part of its plastic pollution.” 
Mankind was created to have dominion of a properly functioning world, but we lost our perfect paradise to sin at the fall in Eden. Our lesson this week looks at the concept of restoring humanity’s dominion over the earth. What does that look like in a sin-polluted world? How can sinful humans exercise wise and benevolent authority over our planet? It would have come naturally to us had we maintained our pure characters in Eden, but now we must work at exercising proper dominion.
God’s law, as expressed in the ten commandments, gives us guidance on how to live as social creatures. They guide us in how we treat ourselves, how we treat others, and how we relate to our Creator God. These principles can also direct us on how to act as wise stewards of all of God’s creation.
Even admirable dreams such as “Recycled Island” stem from an innate human desire to do what’s right by our environment. God infused the yearning to exert dominion over our environment into our DNA. We can only act as truly wise and benevolent stewards as we allow God’s Holy Spirit to lead us.