Thank you to the Climate Stewards for the information below and their Lenten challenges for 2023. Sign up to receive emails from them through Lent: https://www.climatestewards.org/resources/carbon-fast/
This week’s challenge and prayer is quoted from their email below:
Week 1: Fast from consumerism
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the traditional 40-day Lenten fasting period leading up to Easter. Together we will embrace the discomfort of fasting from certain elements of a typical “Western” lifestyle. Some of these practices may be familiar to you because they coincide with lower carbon living. You may extend any fast through the entirety of Lent or even make it a part of your lifestyle beyond Easter. Each week will also feature a climate hope-related photo and accompanying prayer.
Since this week is shorter, we will observe our first Carbon Fast challenge for two weeks.
The Challenge: Until the 4th March, buy nothing unless you truly need it. Exceptions include food and necessities like toothpaste. If you’re not sure if you’re experiencing a “want” or a “need” ask yourself this series of questions before making a purchase:
- Can I wait until the 4th March or after Easter to purchase this?
- If not, can I borrow it from a friend or family member?
- If not, is there a second-hand alternative I can find?
- If not, can I find a responsible company selling an eco-friendly or fair trade version?
Why? Buying nothing for two weeks can open our eyes to how accustomed we are to fast fashion, next-day delivery, and the endless ways to consume material goods. Our collective societal appetite for new things drives wasteful practices and significantly contributes to climate change. Jesus was someone who lived with few possessions, focussing instead on receiving his joy and pleasure from God and community. Together, let’s turn our focus to gratitude for what we already have, while reducing our carbon emissions. Read more in this National Geographic article.
Father in Heaven, we are thankful for clothes to keep us warm and express our creativity or personality. Thank you for your continued provision throughout our lives. Please empower us to be good stewards of the resources you have blessed us with, and help us give abundantly to help others.
Give us the creativity to upcycle, repurpose, reuse, and repair our stuff. Help us to find new uses for the things you have already blessed us with, rather than continuing to consume. Bring us closer to you as the material status symbols of this world fade away and become less important to us. Amen.
The Carbon Fast for Lent was created and is run by Climate Stewards.