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[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] Anglicans and other Christians are being challenged to take enjoy a candlelit dinner as part of a series of challenges for a “carbon fast” during Lent. The initiative comes from the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and is being supported by the Anglican Communion’s Environmental Network (ACEN).
“For Anglicans, Catholics and many others, Lent is the time when we remember the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, facing challenge and temptation,” the Southern Africa environmental group Green Anglicans, say. “It is a time when we reflect on God’s purpose for our life. This year we challenge you to take a carbon fast – to reduce the actions which damage God’s Creation.”
A downloadable crib-sheet of daily challenges is available online. Participants are encouraged to take part in a variety of activities, including, on 15 February, “Reduce your meat consumption, starting with a Meat Free Monday.”
Other suggestions include, on 2 March, “On bin day, look at the size of your rubbish and commit to reducing it by half”; and, on 16 March, “Think of a place to plant a tree and make it happen this month.”
Other suggestions are less taxing. On 18 February, participants are encouraged to “fix your fridge” by “setting the temperature around three degrees Celsius”; and on 3 March to “create your own green cleaning spray with water and white vinegar solution.”
And there is also a romantic side to the challenge. On 26 February, participants are encouraged to “have dinner by candlelight, talk, play games and enjoy.” And, if that encourages couples to want to spend more time with each other, they are helped by the challenge on the following day, 27 February, which is dubbed “No electronics day” with participants challenged to “not use any electronics”, presumably including tablets, laptops and mobile phones.
The Carbon Fast for Lent crib sheet can be downloaded from the Green Anglicans’ website.