Today is Ash Wednesday and many families will begin their Lenten journey by giving up meat and usually something else.
Often times folks choose to give up things like chocolate, French fries or a bad habit.
It seemed for a while when I was in college it was more in vogue to do something for Lent (like charity work) as opposed to giving something up.
But now I am hearing a drumbeat for giving up things for Lent that will help the planet. Even the leaders of the Church of England are getting involved calling for a “Carbon Fast.”
“Senior bishops are calling for a cut in personal carbon use for each of the 40 days of Lent. Their list of ways to achieve this includes eating less meat, flushing the toilet less often and cutting vegetables thinner so they cook faster.”
“But one of their tougher challenges is to give up technology such as television, mobiles and iPods for one day. The “Carbon Fast” , organised every year by development agency Tearfund, even suggests giving up technology for a day every month of the year and giving the money to charity.”
“The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, said giving up technology would help people to think of others less fortunate than themselves.”
” ‘Lent is a period when we should look at how we live our lives,’ he said. ‘Giving up chocolate is a symbol of that but giving up technology is a more serious way of looking at the issues that face us as a global community. It is a statement [of solidarity] with a world that does not have that ability to communicate the way we can and a reminder to us that perhaps we may 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.’
While some may scoff at a “Carbon Fast,” the traditional giving up of meat actually does help the environment. You hear all the time that if families cut meat from their diets even just once a week they would reduce methane in the world, which would in turn help global warming. Also eating less meat would reduce the space needed for the animals and could in theory allow it to return to vegetation which would help reduce greenhouse gases.
Here are two stories with stats on that:
Other sites are listing other environmental choices for things you can give up. Here’s another list from thedailygreen.com: 9 things you can give up to help the Earth
So lots of questions today:
Will your family give up something for Lent?
Are you giving up something Lent?
Will you ask your children to give up something for Lent?
At what age do you require your kids to give up meat or something else for Lent?
Do you ask the kids to not eat meat as well on Fridays? (The Catholic Church doesn’t require kids to give up meat until they are 14.)
How do you feel about Going Green for Lent and giving up something that will help the environment as opposed to French fries or chocolate?
Will you participate in the “Carbon Fast?”
What do you think of the reasoning this it help us think our or less fortunate brothers and sisters around the world, as well as use less energy and save money?
Is your child affected by test tampering?
Last week, the state announced that several schools in Georgia are suspected of tampering with answers on the state’s CRCT. While the schools flagged in the investigation have come under scrutiny, the students are arguably the ones impacted most. We’d like to tell their story. If you are a parent who believes that your child may have been affected by suspicious scores and you’re willing to talk with a reporter at the AJC, please contact Gracie Staples at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kristina Torres at email@example.com.