Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Revisiting the Carbon Fast for Lent

A few years ago, I posted this Carbon Fast for Lent that was organized by the Church of England.  Today's Hartford Courant quoted me in a story about it for this Lent, so I thought it would be good to repost it for this year.

Here's the Courant story if you're interested: "Carbon Fast" An Option for Lent

The 40-day plan lists simple energy-saving actions that can lead towards a lighter carbon footprint, including snubbing plastic bags, giving the dishwasher a day off, insulating the hot-water tank and checking the house for drafts.

Here's how it works:

Day one (Ash Wednesday.): Remove one light bulb and live without it for the next 40 days.

Day two: Check your house for draughts with a ribbon or feather. If it flutters, buy a draught excluder.

Day three: Tread lightly – whether that's by foot, by bike, on to a bus or on the gas as you drive. Find a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions when you travel today.

Day four: Are you recycling everything possible? Really – everything? Look into it today.

Day five: Can you talk about your Carbon Fast at church today? Encourage others to join in.

Day six: Turn your central heating thermostat down by one degree.

Day seven: Say au revoir to standby. Check that all electrical equipment is switched off when not in use. The TV alone will save a hefty 20kg of carbon dioxide per year.

Day eight: Unplug your mobile phone charger: it uses electricity even when it's not charging.

Day nine: Climate change isn't a distant threat – it's affecting poor communities now. Pray for those who help vulnerable communities adapt to the changing weather.

Day 10: Give your dishwasher a day off or promote it to a Grade A energy efficient appliance.

Day 11: Use local shops or farmers' markets instead of driving to out-of-town shopping parks. They will thank you; supermarkets won't notice your absence.

Day 12: Tell politicians to take action on climate change today.

Day 13: Put the heat on your electricity or gas suppliers and ask them if they have a green plan. Make the switch and feel cosy.

Day 14: Take a shower instead of a bath: you'll heat less water.

Day 15: Snub plastic bags. Get into the habit of taking your rucksack to the supermarket or go retro with a trolley. Ask your supermarket to remove unnecessary packaging.

Day 16: Switch off lights as you leave the room.

Day 17: Only fill your kettle with as much water as you need.

Day 18: Cut the air miles. Don't consume any food that you know has been imported by plane.

Day 19: Grace Maglasey and her husband Andrew struggle to grow enough food because their village in Malawi is caught in a cycle of floods and droughts. Join in with Grace's prayer today: "We pray that those of us who farm should harvest a lot of food so that this year we will not have hunger. In the name of Jesus, Amen."

Day 20: Compost. Put the nutrients from food waste back into the soil – not into a methane-emitting landfill.

Day 21: Only run your washing machine when you have a full load.

Day 22: Find one way to save paper today: re-use an old envelope or print double-sided.

Day 23: Turn the taps off. In one day a hot, dripping tap could fill a bath.

Day 24: Counsel your local council. Thank them for their recycling facilities but ask them if they could provide any more.

Day 25: Who works hardest in the house? Mum? Dad? No, the fridge. It's churning away 24/7. Treat it to a good de-icing to make sure it's running efficiently.

Day 26: "Love does no harm to its neighbour" Romans 13:10. But while our lifestyles consume more and more energy, our poorer neighbours are suffering. Reflect on ways to love our neighbours in our increasingly connected world.

Day 27: Pressure a car owner to check their tyre pressures. Low tyre pressure means high fuel consumption.

Day 28: Do a home energy check at energysavingtrust.org.uk. You could save up to £250 a year on bills.

Day 29: Run your washing machine at 30 degrees. This uses 40% less electricity than running at 40 degrees.

Day 30: Find out a new fact about the impact of climate change today. Amaze your friends.

Day 31: Fit aluminium foil behind your radiator – allowing you to turn the radiator down and save £10 a year per radiator.

Day 32: Any old iron? If they're on their last legs replace old electrical appliances with energy-efficient models. They could save a third of the energy.

Day 33: Have an embrace-the-silence Sunday. Turn off everything. No TV, no radio, no ringtones, no cars. It'll be good for the soul.

Day 34: Tell the Mailing Preference Service that you want to stop junk mail. Call 0845 7034599 or visit mpsonline.org.uk.

Day 35: Put an insulation jacket on your hot-water tank. If everyone does, we'll cut enough carbon dioxide to fill 148,000 hot-air balloons.

Day 36: Re-use an item you would have thrown away – such as a jam jar, an envelope or an ice-cream container.

Day 37: Put a lid on it. That's pans when cooking; and use a kettle to boil water.

Day 38: Draw the curtains to keep the heat in.

Day 39: Could your church be greener? Talk to your church leaders.

Day 40: Replace your missing bulb with an energy-saving lightbulb. Over its lifetime, you will save 60kg of carbon dioxide per year and up to £60. Make a personal pledge to serve others by pursuing a more sustainable way of life.

1 comment:

  1. I am working on your list, and am sharing this with Friends and family. Thank you!