Want to Give up Carbon for Lent? Use This Calendar

Many faith groups around the country have ways of bringing people together for a good cause. They do activities, some small and others bigger, that benefit people and communities. One such organization, the Interfaith Power & Light (IPL), has combined their observance of Lent with activities to better the environment. They created the Lenten Carbon Fast Calendar, a greener take on the Christian tradition.

The mission of IPL is to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. This campaign intends to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard the health of all Creation, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all. The Lenten Carbon Fast Calendar is part of their response.

“Each year around Ash Wednesday, we develop a calendar,” Juelle Novey, the director of Greater Washington IPL told us. “We offer ways in which people can cut their carbon footprint. Some are personal like biking and recycling. Others are opportunities to speak out on environmental issues.”


Each day on this calendar has something participants can do to reduce waste, connect with nature, and preserve natural resources. Some are simple, others ask for more elaborate effort, but they are things you can do in your daily life. Some of them include things like using reusable bags when grocery shopping, stopping receipt of junk mail, and supporting clean energy.

“This is something many congregations have done across the country,” Novey explained. “This is just ours. I imagine the copies of the calendar reach hundreds, if not thousands. I hope it’s an opportunity to think about our impact on the world.”

Novey is of a Jewish background and strives to live out her values in this organization. The staff is committed to what they do in bringing faith and environmental work together. The Lenten Carbon Fast Calendar is one of many ecological endeavors this group does. It can help people to be more mindful about the choices they make and change the world in little ways.

“The calendar on the refrigerator could remind people of the issue of climate change and the impact it makes on our lives. It’s that place where personal spiritual practice and global problems meet,” said Novey.

You can go online to their website and see if there are any congregations near you that are involved with Interfaith Power & Light. It is a great way to bring people from all religious backgrounds together.

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About the Author

Gina Merlino is a freelance writer who cares about environmental issues. She has a Bachelor's in Philosophy, a Master's in Engaged Humanities, and is an avid reader of the news. You can find me on Twitter.