By Ethan Muehlstein, Office of Sustainability Intern
Sweets, carbohydrates, social media, cursing, and even warm showers are familiar sacrifices during the season of Lent. This year how about you choose your sacrifice to be one that will benefit both you and the world? With Pope Francis’s recent call to action to make climate change a priority, reducing your carbon footprint with a Lenten Carbon Fast is a great way to participate in a global cause by focusing on the actions you choose to take daily.
Lent is a special time of prayer, penance, sacrifice, and good works in preparation of the celebration of Easter. By engaging in such disciplines, Christians prepare themselves to be open to the glory of God. By following the advice in the Lenten Carbon Fast Calendar created by the Office of Sustainability, you can engage in a global act of self-discipline, while responding to Pope Francis’ call to action and reflection.
The Lenten Carbon Fast calendar provides guidance for those who wish to pursue daily challenges to both reduce their carbon footprint and increase their awareness of their energy use. For example, every Friday during Lent, “Trayless Fridays” will take place in the dining halls. By consciously choosing to not using a tray, students will help the dining halls conserve water and reduce food waste. Every action taken has a consequence, and by following this calendar, we can all reduce the negative consequences of our actions.
Additionally, the Lenten Carbon Fast calendar outlines a daily schedule with ideas, suggestions, and tasks based on weekly themes that will help students and staff focus on the importance of the environment. During the weeks of March 14 to 31, Notre Dame will participate in the Megawatt Madness challenge, which focuses on reducing energy use and consumption. Students will get the chance to pledge their commitment to many of the items on the Lenten Carbon Fast Calendar to receive points for their dorm.
By asking Christians to deepen their commitment to the fight against climate change between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, the Lenten Carbon Fast Calendar illustrates one of many profound connections between environmental awareness and Notre Dame’s mission. We have a deep, spiritual obligation to care for God’s creation, and we can begin to care for our shared planet one daily action at a time.
Find the carbon fast calendars here.