Being Green on Lent

In the Christian tradition of Lent, church-goers give up something like an everyday item for 40 days. It could be alcohol, TV, a certain food, something like that. But on Wednesday, the first day of this year’s Lent, many people chose to give carbon instead.

At the Grace Episcopal Church in Newington, Connecticut, church-goers were encouraged to analyze their light bulbs, their grocery bags, and their utility bills, and see where they could make changes. The name of the game is thinking

“about the environment and doing things to save it for yourself and those who come after us,”

quoth Reverend Jane White-Hassler.

It is only natural for a church that has been implementing eco-friendly building upgrades since last summer, and is currently even considering solar panels.

Also in Connecticut, Catholic priest and Franciscan friar Tom Washburn blogged on Tuesday about the carbon fast which he is undertaking, which he implemented initially in 2008. Let’s take a glance at his 40-day guidelines:

The 40-day plan lists simple energy-saving ideas which 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 home for drafts.

Here’s how it works:

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

Second Day: Check the house for draughts with a ribbon or feather. If there is flutter, buy a draught excluder.

Third Day: Tread lightly – on foot, by bike, on to a bus or on the gas as you drive. Make sure to find a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions when you travel today.

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