Tearfund supporter Emma Sproul grew up with a strong sense of stewardship of the environment, influenced by her father, a professor of renewable energy. Later, through her studies in social work, she came to appreciate the links between people’s health and the health of our environment.
Her ideas around stewardship and relationship - and the ways she puts these ideas into practice - are also deeply rooted in her Christian faith.
Emma says, “It always comes back to connection for me. As followers of Jesus, we are called to be in better relationship with God, with ourselves, with the environment and with others.”
Emma has set out to explore these connections more intentionally in her everyday life - growing her own food, reflecting on her consumption and waste and the impacts her choices have on others. It’s been a process of learning and discovery - and finding joy in simple pleasures.
Part of the joy is simply in slowing down and paying attention to the beauty of God’s creation.
“In being forced to stop and be present...I am reminded to just be - in awe of nature’s beauty.”
Becoming more informed has also given her a sense of empowerment - she can make choices that better reflect her love for people and God’s earth. It is a welcome alternative to the feelings of powerlessness that can, she says, overwhelm us in the face of a “system which places people and the planet far down the list of priorities.”
Emma recognises that big issues like plastic waste pollution or environmental degradation need to be tackled at multiple levels. There are systemic, structural factors at play that need to be challenged and changed.
Emma views what some might call her individual small, intentional acts as, in fact, big acts of resistance. And the joy she finds in these “simple pleasures” helps to focus and sustain her conviction to act.