The Carbon Fast for Lent developed by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) is generating a lot of interest this year.
The on-line and downloadable Carbon Fast calendar invites participants to take 40 small, achievable steps during the 40 days of Lent to reduce their environmental footprint by reducing energy and water usage, waste and travel, and to consider the environmental impact of food.
Taking small actions that add up to great effect has interested many people around the Communion. The Primate of Brazil has encouraged his Church to follow the Carbon Fast. The Bishop of Davao in the Episcopal Church in the Philippines is encouraging his Diocese to follow it. The Fast has attracted interest beyond the Anglican Communion - the Global Catholic Climate Movement has encouraged its followers “to join the Green Anglicans in the Carbon Fast!”
“The Carbon Fast starts from the heart”, explained ACEN Steering Group member the Revd Dr Rachel Mash of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. “Those taking part are encouraged to practise an attitude of Gratitude which helps to counter consumerism, and to hear the cry of the Earth.
“From this basis, small steps such as Meat Free Mondays, aiming to reduce our waste by half, buying local produce and mapping our movements to see how to save petrol, open our minds to the changes that can be made. As our own attitudes change we can influence others.
“I may not change the world in 40 days but I can change myself! After 40 days we can incorporate such actions as part of our daily lives. If I stop running the tap when I brush my teeth for 40 days – why would I start again after Lent?”
Social media has proved to be an effective way of communicating the Carbon Fast for Lent. Globally, 22,000 Facebook users viewed the Green Anglicans Ash Wednesday post which first publicized the Fast. Green Anglicans Facebook posts frequently reach over 35,000 people each week.
“Concerns for the environment are drawing together three types of movements”, said Dr Mash, “those concerned with Gospel-rooted social justice, those concerned with the environment and those concerned with the rights and well-being of Indigenous peoples. It is uniting people across diverse Churches and other Faith traditions. We are part of a ‘movement of movements’.”
The Carbon Fast for Lent is here http://acen.anglicancommunion.org/media/207648/Carbon-fast-2016.pdf
The Green Anglicans Facebook page is herehttps://www.facebook.com/GreenAnglicans