I’m on a Carbon Diet #digidisciple @hollypoulter

So it’s unlikely that most people reading this will be giving up Facebook, or giving up their mobile phone this Lent, so if you’re still looking for something to fill the gaps in between #BigRead12, this might be for you.

Hundreds of churches around the world, from the UK to Australia, will be cutting carbon for Lent this year. That’s right.

Tearfund’s Carbon Fast sends you helpful daily actions via email over the 40 days of Lent to help you reduce your carbon emissions. This year Tearfund is throwing down the gauntlet to supermarkets by urging them to ditch excessive packaging on selected products.

“The Carbon Fast encourages ordinary people like me to think harder about how we treat a planet which has limited resources and is in danger of irrevocable climate change. Removing a light bulb may be easy on day one but asking my supermarket to reduce its packaging on day 28 requires more demanding action. It’s the kind of challenge I hope a lot of us will take on – and keep on after Lent is over.”

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard

Other actions include having a zero spend weekend, converting your car to run on chip fat (one of the more challenging challenges) or investigating electric cars and booking a ‘staycation’ holiday or short break.

Sticking to the Fast for a year could save seven tonnes of CO2e, the equivalent of a return trip to New Zealand for two!

Churches in the US, Brazil, South Africa, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand and the Netherlands will also be taking part in the Fast, connecting through a strong social media presence (@CarbonFast and #carbonfast) to encourage people to keep going, and provide helpful tips. There’s also a Flickr album from people already doing the Fast. Plus being digital, it’s already paperless, so you’re already on your way.

Our lives may not be impacted severely by climate change yet, but in developing countries the devastating human and economic costs of a changing climate are already being felt. Last year parts of East Africa were hit by the worst drought in 60 years, and parts of England were also officially in drought following a dry spring.

Carbon Fast is now in its fifth year and is still a great way for people to reflect on and pray about what it means to care for the earth and the people who depend on it as God commanded, and come together in community with people around the world who are suffering the consequences of our carbon use.

Ironically, today’s daily action is encouraging people to tell a friend or a neighbour about the Carbon Fast. Tick…

Sign up here or follow @CarbonFast for more details!

Editor’s Note: #BigRead12 are publishing details of @CarbonFast on each daily post too, with a link back to the site, so keep an eye out for those. 

About Holly Poulter

Holly Poulter works as a Press Officer for Christian international aid agency Tearfund, and runs an wedding and event planning business, 'Pretty, Please Events'. She lives in Surbiton, Surrey with her husband James and bi-polar cat. Big fan of popcorn, coffee and duvets.