Put your toothbrush in the dishwasher and stay away from mothballs. Those are two of many tips offered at Healthy Families, Healthy Environment (www.healthyfamiliesnow.org), a new Web site sponsored by the Evangelical Environmental Network.
Those are two of many tips offered at Healthy Families, Healthy Environment (www.healthyfamiliesnow.org), a new Web site sponsored by the Evangelical Environmental Network.
EEN, a biblically orthodox Christian organization, aims “to declare the Lordship of Christ over all creation.” To that end, it launched the Healthy Families, Healthy Environment Web site on Dec. 1, 2001.
The site is part of an educational campaign to give parents the necessary information to protect families from environmental health threats, reduce and prevent continued threats, and help other families around the world who are most susceptible to environmental dangers.
Seven principles guide the Web site, the first of which is: “Parents and the broader community are called by God to protect all children from harm.”
The site defines an environmental health threat as “a hazard in the physical environment that leads to ill health, including both traditional public health problems (e.g., bacteria in water and food) as well as problems associated with industrial pollution (e.g., pesticides in water and on food).”
Healthy Families, Healthy Environment offers four main divisions, or “channels.”
The first channel—”Your Home & Yard”—offers tips, resources and biblical passages having to do with maintaining a healthy environment in and around the home. Want a “righteous” bathroom? Tune in to this channel.
The second channel—”Your Community”—gives tips and scriptural references for keeping neighborhoods, schools and churches in healthy conditions.
“Involving Your Children” is the third channel. It provides activities and inspiration for getting children on board. For example, start a compost heap. Do an energy audit. Recycle.
Lastly, the “Special Topics” channel gathers those tips, resources and activities that cut across the other divisions. Special topics include “Health and Biblical Christianity,” “Common Toxins” and “Pregnancy and Newborns.”
The site posts weekly devotions for families, as well as a healthy tip of the week. This week’s tip: “A new study says wild game, like deer and elk, and even grass-fed cattle contain a mixture of fats that actually lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of a number of diseases, including cancer. ”
Healthy Families, Healthy Environment is fairly easy to navigate, with a quick-find drop-down window. Visitors can also register to receive email alerts when new information is posted to the site.
The site pulls information from a variety of credible sources, including the National Academy of Sciences, Food and Drug Administration and peer-reviewed scientific journals.
EEN’s executive director, Jim Ball, received his doctorate in theological ethics from DrewUniversity. His dissertation focused on how evangelicals have responded to ecological crises. Ball attends an ABC-affiliated church.
Healthy Families, Healthy Environment is a practical resource that makes information, inspiration and education its top priority.
Those interested in physical and spiritual health—and that should be all of us—will find the site well worth a visit.
Cliff Vaughn is BCE’s associate director.