Cut water and save the planet this Lent, churches are urged

Harvesting rainwater and wearing an extra sweater are some of the ideas being put forward to help people reduce their carbon footprint during Lent.

Churches across the Diocese of Gloucester are being challenged to take part in the 2015 Lent Carbon Fast, which runs for 40 days from 18 February.

Congregations from six dioceses across the South West will be taking part by finding ways of being more environmentally friendly for the period.

The Carbon Fast is part of the Diocese of Gloucester's response to the national Church of England’s Shrinking the Footprint campaign, which aims to see carbon emissions reduce by 42 per cent by 2020. The Diocese has already made significant steps towards this target by using renewable energy sources, including installing solar panels on the roofs of vicarages, schools and churches to generate electricity, with any surplus feeding back into the national grid.

This year’s focus is on the link between water, which needs to be pumped, cleaned and stored for our use, and the energy we use. Organisers are also hoping it will raise awareness of the build up to the UN Climate Summit in Paris in December, with thousands expected to fast on the first day of each month in the lead up to the event.

Suggestions for this year’s project also include committing to only showering instead of using a bath for a week, checking your house for leaks and dripping taps, and turning the heating off for a day.

The Revd Arthur Champion, Diocesan Environmental Advisor, said: “As Christians, we are always called to care – to care about and to care for Creation.

“To live sustainably on the planet, we will have to live more simply, reduce our ecological footprints and live in deeper harmony with all life on God’s earth.”

To find out more about the Carbon Fast, including more ideas of ways to support it, visit the website at http://ecochurchsouthwest.org.uk/carbon-fast..

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