Monday, January 28, 2008

Lent & Environment

What we can do as people of faith caring for all creation?

Did you give up something during Lent last year? Keep yourself away from sweets? Eat fish instead of meat? Or have you tried reducing the number of latt├ęs you drink per week? These are also good ways to start caring for all creation because these behaviors help you live a simpler life. However, there is more you can do to care for our Earth. The strategy is simple: You stop environmentally harmful habits and start environmentally friendly ones!

Here’s a list to get you started:

Food
~Fast from heavily processed “junk” foods.
~Fast from disposable coffee cups or water bottles by carrying your own.
~Fast from eating meat, which consumes much of the world’s resources.
~Feast on foods lower on the food chain such as whole grains and vegetables.

Energy

~Feast on the light of God by having one meal by candlelight.
~Fast from regular lightbulbs--switch to energy-saving
compact fluorescent bulbs.
~Feast on energy efficient appliances or look for ways to save energy with your current ones: turn down the water heater to 120 degrees and set your thermostat to 55 or lower at night and when you're not home.

Purchases
~Fast from extra packaging by purchasing in bulk and/or bringing your own bags to the store.

Transportation
~Fast from individual automobile use for any destination in easy walking, bicycling, or public transit distance.
~Feast on improved gas mileage--check your car's tire pressure regularly.

(Or if you're looking for a new car, consider a hybrid or other fuel efficient vehicle.)

Water
~Feast on the blessing of water by offering a prayer of thanks to God each time you wash your hands or drink from the tap.

Others

~Feast on the outdoors by taking a walk.
~Feast on the richness of God’s word by reading Scripture through the lens of eco-justice.
~Feast on the beauty of community by calling or visiting with a loved one.
~Fast from household chemicals by using vinegar, baking soda, soap,
and hot water to clean and disinfect.

The preceding ideas are courtesy of
Earth Ministry, Seattle Climate Action Now (a partner of Earth Ministry), Seattle City Light, and Living in Lent, Caring for Creation, a resource created by Presbyterians for Restoring Creation.

As added motivation, members of the Earth Ministry staff will write posts about their Lent & Environment commitments. We encourage you to post comments and stories about your own Lent & Environment journey!

4 comments:

Marty Phillips said...

AWESOME!!!-
Marty at Jesus People Covenant Church

Marcia said...

Thank you for doing this! I look forward to seeing what everyone says. And I will be considering what I want to do for Lent in a new way,

Marcia at Richmond Beach Congregational UCC

Lizard said...

I'm so pleased to see Lent being promoted! I'm an agnostic yet I look forward to and celebrate Lent each year. It is a wonderful opportunity to step back from the chaos of day to day life and evaluate one's addictions, excesses, and weaknesses. And thinking about environmental issues in this context fits in beautifully.

I've "given up" many things over the years but there are two Lents that stand out. One year I worked on being more compassionate. I still work on that one. Another year, I gave up TV. I was amazed at how much more peaceful my life was. Who would have thought that TV would be stressful? I've gone back to watching TV but I'm much more conscious of what and when I indulge.

I suggest that either of these would be good for the environment. One aspect of being more compassionate means not gossiping and complaining but instead trying to find understanding and solutions. All of which is a powerful antidote to despair. Less TV means less exposure to extravagent lifestyles, commercials, and materialistic values - and more time for family, friends, and more meaningful activities. This might be especially good (and difficult!) for families with children.

Since I don't yet know what I'll give up this year, I plan to check back here often to see what others suggest. Hmmm. Maybe blogging would be a good thing to give up...

Elizabeth at no church

Cameron said...

Whoopie for Lent! I'll be checking back for da updates!