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17 March 2011

Losing carbon for lent

Losing carbon for lent

With potential nuclear catastrophe unfolding in Japan and key decisions about to be made on how the government implements the Climate Change Act, it's never been more important to keep ourselves carbon light and use our energy responsibly.

Alliance member Tearfund launched its annual Carbon Fast to mark the beginning of Lent this month.

Carbon Fast, a resource from Tearfund to help users get lighter with their carbon use, runs through the 40-day Lent journey and suggests simple energy saving actions each day. 

Launched with a 20ft tall 6ft wide giant energy saving light bulb by Tearfund and The Bishop of Liverpool James Jones, the campaign was also supported by Chris Huhne MP, and a group of carbon busting school children taking part in the fast.

The Academy Of St Francis Of Assisi in Liverpool is the only school in the UK with environment as its specialism, and houses rainwater harvesting tanks for toilet flushing and solar water heating. A solar atrium, made of transparent plastic provides free natural heat and green roofs as well as encouraging biodiversity in their building.

Carbon Fast lent actions include:

  • a meat-free Monday to reduce your environmental impact
  • having a technology free day to curb your carbon
  • thinking about whether you need or want something - combating consumer appetite and your carbon use

The Bishop of Liverpool Rt Rev James Jones, who first had the idea for the Carbon Fast, said: "Every year more people and churches choose to fast from carbon in Lent. This year, we are encouraging people to share some of the daily actions with others as well as doing them at home. "

This week, aid agency Progressio, launched a campaign asking the public to take part in their online petition calling on the government to deliver on the UK's carbon targets. 

"Reducing our carbon emissions is a matter of climate justice, as our poorest neighbours in Africa, Asia, South America and other parts of the world are hardest hit by a changing climate."