Lots of people give things up at Lent time, many of whom aren’t necessarily religious. Chocolate is a common one but it could just as easily be sweets, coffee, alcohol, meat etc. However, the Bishop of Salford, John Arnold, wants people to abandon traditional penances in favour of lifestyle changes to tackle climate change. See the story here.
He believes that using less energy at Lent could be a really positive way of tackling climate change, including turning the heating down, hanging washing out instead of using a dryer, turning lights off when rooms are not in use and using the bus instead of the car.
So, would you be prepared to give up the heating for the next 40 days? We would imagine that if we asked the same question a couple of weeks ago when we had the unseasonably warm weather for February, people may have been quite prepared to sacrifice heating but the temperature has reverted to a more typical level for this time of year and we all know that March can bring any kind of weather (remember the Beast from the East last year!) so would you do it?
Of course, the true meaning of giving something up for Lent is that you’re making a sacrifice; if it’s not a challenge it defeats the object of doing it. That said, turning the heating down in March/April is not the issue it would be in December so would it be so difficult?
This kind of initiative doesn’t just appeal to those wishing to observe religious traditions, it could be good practice for those who are concerned about the environment. 40 days could be enough time to create new habits that stick such as turning lights off, ensuring the dishwasher is full before using it and not using more heat than we really need. It could also be an annual reminder to start thinking about turning the heating down though remember Lent is actually quite late this year and often starts in February.
If you are thinking about making some positive changes for the good of the environment, you might want to consider doing the following when it comes to the heating:
By focusing your attention on this, it will probably make you aware of other positive changes you can make and give you a real sense of achievement. Plus, if you’re doing this you don’t have to give up chocolate!
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