Carbon Fast For Lent

I am hoping to inspire others to move past giving up chocolate or camel rides for Lent, and to ascend toward something more useful - giving up carbon. We are truly addicted, as the following posts will prove. All content is subject to copyright - Leslie Holly, 2009

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Location: Upstate NY, United States

Trying to do my part to voice ideas and solutions to problems we can all solve if we try

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Carbon Fast History and Introduction

The Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, started the Carbon Fast in 2007. It continues today through an organization called TearFund. Each day, for 40 days, they email a different idea for you to use in your daily life.

I wish to take it a step further. I ask you to reduce your carbon footprint by 10% for Lent. The major categories are listed here, with some statistics on national averages, how even a 1% reduction, done nationally will reduce carbon emissions by tons, and ideas to help you succeed in your efforts. Your 10% effort for the 40 days of Lent will be that 1% reduction on an annual basis. Seeing this effort through the perspective of the entire year, it’s not nearly the sacrifice it may seem now. And as a collective action, the success becomes a remarkable deed!

So don’t give up chocolate, camel rides or jumping out of airplanes. Give up some of your carbon. It’s actually far easier! Read The Canticle of The Sun by St. Francis of Assissi. You may also wish to read from Catholic Culture an exercise that the Carbon Fast offers many opportunities to follow.

If you are of another faith, you may also have days or weeks of fasting. Please consider using this in addition to your faith's customs.

The focus for reduction:

Carbon Offsets
Natural Gas
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Reduction comes in many forms. Don’t use it at all, reuse it as often as possible, give to someone else to reuse, and use more efficiently that which you can’t reduce outright. We can’t stop using electricity. We can’t stop using gasoline or other fuels to do our daily travel. We can’t do without water. But we can reduce, reuse and use more efficiently.

Hopefully, you’ll gain some insight for these tasks beyond the ordinary pontifications of the conservation movement. I specifically have avoided many of the generalizations that are spilled forth by infomercials and “green” organizations.

Calculate your current Carbon Footprint at the CarbonFund with and without the reduction so you can see first-hand the fruits of your labor and sacrifice.

And while the main goal of this exercise in control is about reducing carbon emissions, it’s also about learning restraint, reducing our dependence upon foreign energy suppliers, and teaching ways to reduce your bills. Why pay the industrial giants if there is no need?

I would love to hear of your efforts, and what you calculate as your carbon reduction. It would be grand to have us all tally these efforts to see how true it is that “many hands make light work”.

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