Lifted from the Guardian – (this is a religion that works for me:)
“The Church of England is urging people to cut down on carbon, rather than chocolate, for Lent this year.
Two senior bishops within the church are joining with development agency Tearfund in calling for a cut in personal carbon use for each of the 40 days of Lent, which begins tomorrow.
The Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, who is also vice-president of Tearfund, and the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, have launched the “carbon fast” in response to what they say is an “urgent need” to reduce carbon emissions, and to protect poor communities around the world that are “already suffering from the ravages of climate change”.
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.
Participants are asked to begin the carbon fast by removing one light bulb from a prominent place in the home and live without it for 40 days, as a constant visual reminder during Lent of the need to cut energy. On the final day of the fast, people are encouraged to replace the missing bulb with an energy-saving bulb.
Jones said: “Traditionally people have given up things for Lent. This year we are inviting people to join us in a carbon fast. It is the poor who are already suffering the effects of climate change. To carry on regardless of their plight is to fly in the face of Christian teaching.
“The tragedy is that those with the power to do something about it are least affected, whilst those who are most affected are powerless to bring about change,” he added. “There’s a moral imperative on those of us who emit more than our fair share of carbon to rein in our consumption.”
Figures from Tearfund, which is helping communities cope with the impacts of climate change around the world, highlight the contrast between carbon emissions in the developed and developing world. A total of 9.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide is emitted per person each year in the UK, compared with in 0.067 tons in Ethiopia and 0.24 in Bangladesh.
Tadesse Dadi, a Tearfund worker in Ethiopia, said millions were already being affected: “Climate change may not yet be a problem for people in Europe, but here in Ethiopia its effects are being felt today by millions of ordinary men and women farmers. These poor communities, who have contributed least to climate change, are suffering the most from its effects.”
There has been a rising chorus on climate change from churches in recent years. The Church of England has already committed itself to reducing carbon emissions by 60% by 2050 through its Shrinking the Footprint initiative.
The full list of pledges for the carbon fast:
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 Tearfund’s work to 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 (farmersmarkets.net) 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. Check out Tearfund’s campaign work at tearfund.org/climate.
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 (apart from Fairtrade products).
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 or call 0800 512 012 for a paper copy. 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. Sign up to Tearfund’s e-newsletter Twelve at tearfund.org/twelve
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. Tearfund can help – visit the site.
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.