Carbon Fast History and Introduction
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:
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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”.