8 Ways to Green Your Lent
For those who don’t know, Lent is the Christian tradition of almsgiving and giving up some sort of luxury on the 40 days before Good Friday, which this year goes from February 29th to April 9th. The practice is popular even for people who aren’t super religious, as it is a good time of the year to reset and renew from a long winter and get ready for the spring and summer season. Many eco-conscious Christians have noted that this practice can easily go hand in hand with some very eco-friendly ideas as well, and can be turned into a “training period” for building eco-friendly habits. So this year, we’re giving you 10 ideas to make your Lent into something green.
- Give up meat on Lent. Traditionally eating fish on Fridays was a major part of Lent, as meat was a luxury. But for people considering vegetarian or vegan diets, Lent is a perfect time to give that lifestyle a test run. Maybe now's the time to learn how to make a tofu slow pot meal, cook up some zesty vegan tacos, or finally try one of those Impossible Burgers everyone’s talking about.
- Plastic free Lent. Single-use plastics are some of the most prevalent forms of plastic-waste out there, and reducing your plastic consumption is therefore a major part of most environmentalist lifestyle ideas. So this year, try going zero-plastic for lent. Some ideas to get you going are giving up straws, using loose leaf tea (yes, tea bags have plastic), bring reusable cups and utensils with you, and try out bar shampoos and conditioner instead of the big clunky plastic bottles.
- Carbon Fast. A popular idea among the environmentally minded churches out there is to go on a carbon fast, and reduce or eliminate your carbon footprint. You’ll probably need a carbon calculator to do it, but they’ll give you plenty of easily trackable and measurable ideas. Easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint include using public transportation, line drying your clothes, and unplugging electronics when not in use.
- Clear out your media use. Unfollow any non-environmentally focused brand, unsubscribe from their email lists, and clear away any fast-fashion temptations you have out there. Cancel any physical media use and go digital. Instead, follow models, blogs and brands supporting sustainable initiatives such as sustainable stylist Lauren Engelke, Luna Wei from Living Petite, and Lindsay Rootare of the Hand Me Up Club.
- Go on a local only diet. Excess transportation is a major issue in our global food chain, so this lent go on a fast of any food that wasn’t grown or raised nearby. If you’re in the LA or NYC area be sure to check out Artists & Fleas.
- Buy nothing new challenge. Either buying nothing at all or if you do need to buy something, only buy reused, upcycled, or second-hand from thrift stores or brands like Rust & Fray or The RealReal.
- Fast from excess water use. Timed showers, switching out to low water faucets and shower heads, collect rainwater, and other ways to reduce your water consumption.
- Zero-waste Lent. Give up the luxury of a convenient trash can on hand. Zero-waste lifestylists like Bea Johnson can go a whole year without generating any trash. Lent can be a great way to try it out and see if it’s something you can do long term.
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