Saturday, February 9, 2008

Carbon Fast

As usual, NPR is ahead of me on this, but now that I've heard it there, I went to investigate it on my own.  A Carbon Fast for Lent.

The Church of England has instituted a new kind of "giving up" for Lent.  It is a discipline of reducing one's carbon footprint during the holy season.  The idea is that God created this earth, that it is good by virtue of being God's creation -- and not our property to do with as we please -- and that we are called to care for it as best we can.

For those few who still believe human activity causes no harm to the earth and to the poorest of the poor on this planet, this will have no meaning, and they can go ahead with giving up chocolate alone.

For the rest of the believers, however, this Carbon Fast makes a lot of sense.  We are to honor that time when Jesus fasted and was tempted by Satan in the desert by taking on our own acts of self-denial.  The thing which is hardest for us to deny ourselves is not chocolate or coffee (hard as both are for me) but our gluttonous use of energy.  So, simplify.

The Carbon Fast program has a simple chart that gives you something you can do each day during the season to lessen your carbon footprint.  So, along with the parishioners' daily devotions, I will post the day's suggestion from Carbon Fast.  If you want to download the entire chart yourself, you can find it at

To catch you up on things, here are the first few days of Lent's carbon offerings:

Ash Wednesday:  unscrew one lightbulb (that does not compromise safety) and leave it out during the entire season.

Thursday, February 7:  Check your windows for drafts with a ribbon or a feather.  If it flutters, find some way to block the draft.

Friday, February 8:   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.

Saturday, February 9:  Are you recycling everything possible?  Really -- everything?  Look into it today.