So Shrove Tuesday is over, and after eating your own body weight in pancakes and rolling to bed, you find yourself waking up to the beginning of Lent. Despite traditions, the idea of giving something up for forty days and forty nights doesn’t seem so appealing after the year we’ve had… As a global community, no one has escaped having to give up something important to them. Giving up one more thing won’t exactly help to ride out the coronacoaster. If you find yourself thinking the same thing, you’re not the only one!
Why not use Lent to do something good for the world instead? It doesn’t have to be giving something up; you may wish to do something extra like litter picking, planting something green or raising money for a good cause. As a little girl I was one of those kids who is obsessed with animals, and it made me so sad when I heard about certain species dying out because of how we are treating our planet. And so, come Lent, I decided to give up all sugary treats and use the money saved by my parents not buying them (plus my pocket money to make ends meet!) to adopt a polar bear. I funded my adoption this way for a few years, before teenagehood somewhat derailed my focus. This year, I want to take inspiration from my childhood self and save up money for Survival, a charity that supports indigenous peoples in their fight for environmental justice.
If you’re feeling inspired, here are some ways that you can do something good for the planet this Lent 😊
If you’re brave enough to give something up:
· Go vegetarian or vegan a few days a week (or full time!)
· Cut down on single-use plastics
· Avoid driving the car on certain days in the week
· Cut down on your electricity and water consumption (this doesn’t have to mean giving anything up if you are smart about it!)
· Give up anything of your choice (smoking?, chocolate?, takeaways?) and donate the money you save to a charity that means something important to you
If giving something up isn’t for you this year, there are still lots of ways you can be kind to our planet!
· Switch to reusable cotton pads, bamboo toothbrushes or whatever eco-friendly product tickles your fancy
· Visit your nearest scoop shop to refill your soap, cereals or grains (more info to come!)
· Switch to bar shampoo and conditioner
· Try eating foods within season and with fewer air miles
Whatever you choose to do, you can personalise it to suit yourself. The most important thing is to have fun with it and feel-good giving something back to the planet!
Let us know in the comments or on our twitter @ClimateNCL if you are giving up anything or trying something new to reduce your carbon footprint this Lent 💚