Stewardship is a concept your kids will probably only learn about at home or Church. In our society today, very few people employ stewards and those who do give them varying titles. In Bible times, a steward was quite possibly the best servant role one could have. Wealthy people often owned vast or even multiple estates – much like today. A steward was similar to a caretaker, but usually much more. He was basically the stand in for the owner for whatever he was the steward.
Stewards had a lot of authority and a lot of responsibility. They made decisions for the owner and were responsible not only for the upkeep, but also the improvement or growth of the property they managed. When an owner checked in with a steward, he expected only good news. Bad news or the decline in value of a property most likely ended with the steward losing his job.
Your kids may not know that when God created the Earth, He made all of mankind the stewards of everything on it. Christians should take good care of the environment, not for some political or social reason, but because it is one of the jobs God gave us. You can have fun teaching your kids how to be good stewards by having some fun with zero waste cooking.
Start by teaching them about Creation and God’s expectations for us as stewards of it. If your kids are older, you may want to look at other scriptures that mention stewardship. Tell them that one way to be a good steward is to reduce waste and use every part of the things we use to make food. Talk about different plants and animals that are used for food. How much of that plant or animal ends up being thrown away – either by producers or by those cooking it?
Explain that as good stewards, we should attempt to waste as little of anything as possible. There are lots of books and websites with ideas for zero waste cooking, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Plant the parts of vegetables you usually throw away like roots and grow free food for your family.
- Take the bones from meat, leftover parts of vegetables and simmer in water to make broth.
- Use things like eggshells, used coffee grinds, and the parts of fruits and vegetables you normally throw away and create a compost pile to improve the soil.
- Research to see if some of the parts of fruits and vegetables you normally throw away, like apple and cucumber peels, are actually edible and start eating them. (Bonus…peels are often where most of the vitamins are found.)
- Research creative ways to use things you normally throw away in craft projects, to replace household products, etc.
- Buy products with as little packaging as possible or make things like bread yourself instead of purchasing them. I’ve never been brave enough to try it, but some families buy the grain and grind their own flour.
What other ideas can your kids find? (Hint: There’s an idea not mentioned in the photo above.) Don’t worry if a particular activity doesn’t work well for your family. Ask around. You may find that a friend or neighbor would love to use your eggshells or coffee grinds for something!