The thrust of the previous post asserts that our stewardship of creation has the ultimate goal of glorifying and honoring the Creator. Such an environmental theology is grounded in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. This of course begs the question: How can we determine if our use of nature exalts and honors God? The answer to the question lies in the Paschal mystery that is at the heart of the Meal. Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection effect the renewal of the cosmos: “To fulfill your purpose he gave himself up to death; and, rising from the grave, destroyed death, and made the whole creation new.”
Thus creation care that exemplifies a cruciform engagement with the world tends towards the exaltation of God. On the cross Jesus Christ poured himself out in self-giving love to the Father. Following this eucharistic environmentalism by definition comprises kenotic love (kenosis refers to Christ’s emptying of himself in sacrificial love, cf. Philippians 2:7) for God that seeks the good of the neighbor at the expense of one’s on comfort and consumption.
Christ sets the course for this kind of kenotic relationship with creation in the context of his temptation in the wilderness. Jesus Christ rejects the enticement to make stones into bread. In other words, his role as Messiah was not to bend creation to satisfy his appetites, but to give himself as on offering so that the cosmos might be renewed. Christ parries the tempter by countering, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
This point cannot be stressed too much: Right dominion over creation is demonstrated when the Man hungers for fulfillment in the Creator, rather than in creation. In this vein Alexander Schmemann observes that,
the 'original' sin is not primarily that man has 'disobeyed' God; the sin is that he ceased to be hungry for Him and for Him alone, ceased to see his whole life depending on the whole world as a sacrament of communion with God…The only real fall of man is his noneucharistic life in a noneucharistic world. 
Finally, in the Eucharist the Church encounters the real presence of Christ in the context of a material meal. Indeed, that the Church should encounter Christ materially should come as no surprise since the faithful first knew him when he became flesh and “tabernacled” among us. And at the end the Emmaus disciples finally recognized him in the breaking of bread.
If it is true that the Eucharist reveals Christ’s real presence then eucharistic engagement with the created world will also reveal Christ. Thus one compelling criterion for the right use of creation is contained in the question: Is the presence of Christ revealed or is it obscured in this use of the natural world. The character of Christ set forth in the gospel narrative provides the means of discerning his presence. Justice, healing, and self-sacrificing love are among the principle attributes manifest by Christ in Scripture.
The following diagnostic questions may questions help to flesh out these Christocentric criteria so that they may be practically applied in Christian discipleship: Does our use of the world promote justice, advance healing, and seek the true welfare of the other in love? Or does our use of creation result in oppression, poverty, destruction of natural beauty (e.g. mountain-top removal for mining purposes), and the rationalization of greed and covetousness?
Does our use of creation reflect the Christian discipline of self-denial, or does it promote living “on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence (James 5:5)?” The answers to these questions are crucial because care of creation does not fall into the category of adiaphora. Involvement with environmental concerns is not a morally neutral, extracurricular activity for Christians. Rather it is inherent in our created purpose. The heavens do indeed declare the glory of the Lord (Psalm 19), and the material world honors the Creator by obeying the laws of nature established by God to govern the cosmos. However, it is humanity’s unique vocation to give articulate voice to the praise that all creation continuously pours forth to the glory of God. With this in mind, the words of St Leontius of Cyprus seem to be a fitting conclusion to this series of posts:
Through heaven and earth and sea, through wood and stone, through all creation visible and invisible, I offer veneration to the Creator and Master and Maker of all things. For the creation does not venerate the Maker directly and by itself, but it is through me that the heavens declare the glory of God, through me the moon worships God, through me the stars glorify him, through me the waters and showers of rain, the dews and all creation, venerate God and give him glory.
 BCP, 374.
 Matthew 4:4 ESV.
 Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World (St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 2004) 18.
 I owe this point to Elizabeth Theokritoff, author of Living in God's Creation: Orthodox perspectives on ecology.
 Quoted by Timothy Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way, (St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY, 1995), 54.