Whether it’s a big part of your church tradition or not, the season of Lent gives us an opportunity to reflect and consider how we can follow Jesus more closely. What would it look like to walk in step with Christ in responding to the injustice of climate change?
The climate crisis affects all of us, but it’s people in poverty who are suffering first and worst. Governments and businesses have a large part to play in tackling climate change – but we can all use our everyday actions to love our neighbours and build a better, fairer world.
If you’d like to join us in taking new steps to build a better, fairer world this Lent, here are five simple but powerful ways you can make a positive impact – even in lockdown.
Food plays a large part in our lives, and perhaps an even bigger role in the lead-up to Easter: from chocolate Easter eggs and hot cross buns to the all-important Easter Sunday lunch.
Like anything that’s precious, food comes at a cost – and not just the type that you see in your bank balance. There’s also the energy and resources that go into producing and transporting it. The choices we make about what goes on our plates can have a big impact on the climate.
This Lent, why not explore new local, seasonal and plant-based food options? Consider a less carbon-intensive diet by reducing your meat intake and buying local, responsibly farmed produce. Try some of these delicious plant-based recipes and give yourself a culinary treat!
Buy nothing newThe items we produce and buy as a nation have a huge impact on our carbon footprint. Sadly, many of these are used only once before being thrown away. Not only is this incredibly wasteful, it also uses up valuable energy and resources. Tackling the climate crisis means moving away from a throwaway consumer culture. Many shops remain closed, but could you challenge yourself to buy only secondhand – for example, via online charity shops or secondhand marketplaces? Or could you go a step further and choose not to buy any new clothes or household items this Lent?
Green your energy
Even though we are moving out of winter, it can still feel chilly at home. As many of us continue to spend more time at home than usual, it’s a good opportunity to think about where our energy comes from.
Switching to a renewable energy tariff, and considering other ways to save energy at home, can reduce our carbon emissions and, in some cases, save us money too.
If you’re looking for specific energy-saving ideas this Lent, you could try:
- Limiting draughts around doors and windows
- Turning your thermostat down by 1°C for the remaining cold months
- Switching electrical appliances off when not in use
- Layering up when you feel a chill
It may not feel like it, but choosing to learn more about the climate crisis can be a powerful way to get involved in climate action. This Lent, why not dive into some resources around the climate crisis, creation care, or justice?
You may find inspiration for what to read, listen to or watch with these 25 justice-themed picks. You could set aside time each day to pray for those living in poverty who are being hit the hardest by the climate crisis, theming your prayers around what you’re learning.
On yer bike
Before the pandemic, one third of the carbon emissions of the average UK household came from transport. When it comes to cutting down your carbon footprint, transport is one of the best places to start.
Could you adopt some new cycling or walking habits during Lent that last beyond lockdown?
Across the country, car use is down and cycling has been on the rise. If you don’t have access to a bike, this could be a great time to explore your neck of the woods on foot. It’s a great way to cut down on vehicle emissions, and you’ll be doing your health and your bank balance a favour too.
We would love to hear what action you are taking this Lent to live differently for the climate. Please get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you'd like to take your church on a journey to explore these and other lifestyle actions, why not take on Let's Change the Climate - a new Tearfund climate challenge perfect for congregations looking to take small steps towards climate action.