Having barely emerged from January’s wreckage of failed New Year’s resolutions, it was with a groan that we greeted the news that Lent arrives early this year. Questions of belief aside, Lent always seems likes such a promising self-improvement programme: give up chocolate, drink less, quit smoking. But didn’t we just make – and break – those same resolutions last month? We’re not such optimists to think we should try again so soon.
Perhaps we don’t have to. News comes this Shrove Tuesday that rather than advocating some of the more traditional Lenten practises of self-denial, Church of England Bishops James Jones, of Liverpool, and Richard Chartres, of London, will instead be encouraging practitioners to join them in a carbon fast, spending the next six weeks making lifestyle modifications to reduce their contributions to climate change.
There’s a moral imperative on those of us who emit more than our fair share of carbon to rein in our consumption.
You hear that, man carrying your groceries in plastic bags? How about you, woman with every light turned on in your flat?
Nor is it enough to point the finger of blame at others and to demand that somebody should act for us.
Not to be outdone, the Catholic Church is now encouraging its meat-abstaining adherents to switch to “green” fish and chips on Fridays this Lent. At least according to the (fake) tips given us by our (imagined) sources.
But we digress.
The Carbon Fast suggestions are worth perusing. For anyone with a passing knowledge of eco-friendly practises, few will seem novel. But they provide a much-needed reminder that often the simplest of changes in our daily routines can have the most impact and move us that much closer to becoming green citizens.
Kermit, your day has come: Green is beautiful.
Image courtesy of Sophie Harrington’s Flickr photostream