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 5 Challenge: Fast from long showers and using the tumble dryer
We are over halfway through Lent. What has been your biggest challenge so far?
This week, we’re focusing on reducing our household energy consumption. Recent price rises have forced us all to take steps to cut our energy use, but many of us still take for granted the availability of plentiful electricity. So reducing electricity and gas consumption is good for the planet as well as our bank accounts. For those of us privileged enough to take electricity for granted, a fast reminds us that access to energy is an issue of climate and social justice.
Water heaters and tumble dryers use a significant amount of energy. The average Briton showers for 7-9 minutes, with younger people showering for up to 25 minutes. This week, we are reducing the time spent showering, and cutting our tumble dryer use to save electricity (and/or gas).
The Challenge: Limit your showers to 5 minutes or less to reduce the hot water you consume. If a short shower sounds like a struggle, try turning off the water while putting on shampoo, conditioner and soap. If you shower every day, why not shower every other day? Meanwhile, air dry your clothes. Get hold of a clothes drying rack or think about installing an overhead airer. If you have space outside, put up a washing line if you don’t already have one. If you wash your clothes after just one wear, try airing it out and wearing it again before putting it in the wash.
Why? Currently around 60% of UK electricity comes from burning fossil fuels (the remaining 40% comes from renewables– solar, wind, biomass and hydropower; for those on renewable electricity tariffs this percentage will be higher). The more we can reduce energy demand by limiting the use of energy-intense appliances like water heaters and tumble dryers, the less fossil fuels and other energy sources we consume. Read more about line drying clothes at Consumer Reports’ “Tricks and Tips for Line-Drying Clothes” and head to the Energy Saving Trust for tips on reducing energy consumption at home.
Almighty God who causes the sun to shine and the wind to blow, we are grateful for abundant free sources of energy. But we lament the inequity and harm caused by the fossil fuel industry and our consumerism and materialism.
When we feel cold this week, may we pray urgently for energy equity in our country and around the world. When we add another blanket to keep warm in our homes, may we give generously to charities supporting those in fuel poverty.
Bless the work of governments, businesses and agencies building and increasing access to renewable energy.
The Carbon Fast for Lent was created and is run by Climate Stewards.