A New “Green” Twist for Lent
February 17, 2010
Monday, the 1st- Speak out! Ask our leaders to take action on climate change today.
Tuesday, the 2nd- Turn off lights you're not using. Shut off lights as you leave a room. You can put reminders on your switchplates, or install motion sensors (about $20 each) that turn lights off automatically (ShopIPL.org)
Wednesday, the 3rd- Be aware of how much food you discard this week. Look for opportunities to avoid wasting food by planning well, and eating leftovers.
Thursday, the 4th- Consider composting your food waste. Put the nutrients from food waste back into the soil, not into a landfill. Learn more about composter options for indoors and outdoors.
Friday, the 5th- Pick up at least one piece of litter on the ground when you are out walking today, and dispose of it properly.
Saturday, the 6th- Making travel plans? Consider getting there without flying. If you have to fly, balance out the carbon impact by buying offsets. Fund a project that prevents one ton of greenhouse gases for each ton that your trip will cause.
Sunday, the 7th- Give the dryer a rest. Hang your clothes to dry on a rack or clothesline. Many households spend more than $100 a year on the energy used by their dryer, while the air can dry your clothes for free.
Monday, the 8th- Many electronics draw power even when off. Today, unplug your electronics that are off; place computers, radios, and TVs on a power strip, and turn it off between uses. Also, unplug your phone charger when it's not charging.
Tuesday, the 9th- End junk mail that wastes resources. Stop unwanted catalogs (CatalogChoice.org), credit card offers (1-888-5-OPTOUT), and other junk mail (DMAchoice.org). Or hire a service to cancel it for you (41pounds.org).
Wednesday, the 10th- Check the tire pressure of your car today. Cars with low tire pressure get lower mileage.
Thursday, the 11th- Save paper today: print double-sided, or wrap your next present in color comics, or a reusable gift bag. To reduce paper towel use in public restrooms, order "These Come From Trees" stickers.
Friday, the 12th- Minimize disposables today. Bring a mug to get coffee. Use cloth napkins at a meal. Wipe up with a rag instead of paper towels. Stick a fork in your purse or briefcase for the next time you eat out during the workday to avoid having to use a disposable fork.
Saturday, the 13th- Begin spring gardening by going organic. Grow your lawn and garden without toxic chemicals, and order a "Pesticide-Free" lawn sign! (PesticideFreeLawns.org) Don't have a yard to garden? Borrow one.
Sunday, the 14th- The world's poor will be hit hardest by climate change. Join Catholics taking action and raising our voice on behalf of Creation and the poor. Sign the St. Francis Pledge: (CatholicClimateCovenant.org)
Monday, the 15th- Many caring people are working to protect Creation. Find a green organization today, and sign up for their e-newsletter. (GreenAmericaToday.org, SierraClub.org)
Tuesday, the 16th- Are you recycling everything you can? Refresh your memory today on what items your city or county allows for curbside recycling. Place an item that can be recycled, but that you usually don't recycle, into your bin.
Wednesday, the 17th- Support clean energy by purchasing "Renewable Energy Credits". It may be an option through your utility, by switching energy suppliers, or by purchasing RECs online. (green-e.org)
Thursday, the 18th- When heating water on the stove, use a pot with a lid to conserve energy.
Friday, the 19th- It's hard to open ourselves up to the realities of the climate crisis. Today, learn something new about climate change. (AmericasClimateChoices.org, Climate Crisis.net)
Saturday, the 20th- Celebrate Spring! Plant a native tree (CaseyTrees.org), or support tree-planting in other countries (Greenbeltmovement.org, CO2covenant.org)
Sunday, the 21st- Have an "embrace the silence" Sunday. Turn off everything, and unplug it if you can. No TV, no radio, no ring tones. Stay home after church. It'll be good for the soul.
Monday March 22nd- Purchase more mindfully today. Print, cut out, and tape together a "Wallet Buddy" where your credit card can remind you of questions to ask yourself before buying: (NewDream.org/walletbuddy2.pdf)
Tuesday, the 23rd- Own Stock? Find out if shareholder resolutions have been filed to "green" the company's practices. (ProxyDemocracy.org) Stay informed and vote your proxy on behalf of green business practices. (ICCR.org)
Wednesday, the 24th- Help people on the "front lines" of climate change. Carbon Covenant links US churches with carbon-reducing projects in developing countries: (CO2covenant.org). Others bring clean energy to villages: (SELF.org, EnergyCures.org)
Thursday, the 25th- Subscribe to any magazines? If so, write an email to the publishers today, asking them to switch to environmentally responsible paper and printing practices (BetterPaper.org).
Friday, the 26th- Learn about mountain-top removal mining: Appalachian mountains are blow apart, poisoning streams. How much of this coal is for your electricity? (iLoveMountains.org/myconnection)
Saturday, the 27th- Help your kitchen fridge function efficiently by placing jugs of water inside (water retains cold better than air), and by pulling the fridge out to scrub down the coils. Second fridge or freezer in the basement? Try to make do with one.
Sunday, the 28th- Think today about the role of our church in its local environment. Could our community better care for Creation? Get involved with our green work, and get inspired by other "green souls" through Interfaith Power & Light (gwIPL.org).
Monday, the 29th- Show reverence for life and for the Earth today by obeying the speed limit when driving. Every 10 mph in speed reduces fuel economy by 4mph, and increases the risk of getting into an accident.
Tuesday, the 30th- Place an insulating cover over your hot water heater. You can find a "blanket" at most hardware stores. (If you have an electric water heater, it's an easy job to do yourself. If you have an oil or gas-powered heater, you may need a plumbing professional.)
Wednesday, the 31st- Replace the incandescent light bulbs in your house, even if they haven't burned out yet, with CFLs. Replacing one incandescent light bulb with a CFL saves 150 lbs of carbon dioxide a year. Don't forget to save one CFL for Maundy Thursday. (ShopIPL.org)