I’m signing up to the Carbon Fast for Lent this year. It is a 40-day journey towards a lighter carbon footprint, with simple energy saving actions each day, and this year it’s being organised jointly by the Church of England and Tearfund.
Lent is a time of year when it’s really good to pay attention to the way we live. During Lent many of us will be trying to do without some of our everyday luxuries. The Carbon Fast offers all sorts of practical ways of putting our extravagant carbon habits under the spotlight. One particular action this year includes trying a day with no iPod, computer or mobile phone. I use a blackberry, mobile phone and email everyday, so this is perhaps one of the actions I will struggle with the most.
My hope is that giving up technology will free us to look more seriously at the issues that face us as a global community, helping us think of others less fortunate than ourselves. This simple action could act as a statement of solidarity with a world that does not have the ability to communicate the way we can, and be a reminder that perhaps we have got beyond ourselves in terms of our own consumption of technology. We have galloped forward so fast – maybe we have out-run our global responsibility in doing that?
Other Carbon Fast actions this year include being a part-time vegetarian, and turning out the lights and enjoying the ambience of a candlelit dinner.
There will no doubt be some painful personal sacrifices during my Carbon Fast this Lent – but I’m ready to embrace the challenge because I’m painfully aware that we need to make radical changes to our privileged western lifestyles for the sake of the rest of the world. It’s often the poorest people who suffer most from our unrestrained carbon consumption.
Will you join me in the Carbon Fast during this time of Lent?
You can find out more and sign-up at www.tearfund.org/carbonfast.