Green living, Spirituality

Plastic-Less Lent 2018

February 1, 2018

Would you like to find a way to reduce the amount of plastic in your life? Then join me and a whole lot of other people in doing a Plastic-Less Lent this year.

The idea is very simple: over the course of Lent, we will take steps to use less plastic – we will do this together, helping each other and learning along the way.

So how do we do this?

Well, because it’s such a big area and because plastic so dominates our lives, we’re not going to make it prescriptive. We can each decide what we do. But, here are some options you might like to consider:

  1. You might decide to fast one thing – for example, single-use water bottles or disposable coffee cups – and resolve to do without that item for Lent, even if it means having to forgo a cup of coffee at the station because you forgot your re-usable cup that day.
  2. Or, you might decide that each week you will fast one thing, building it up over the six weeks. Maybe single-use water bottles… then disposable coffee cups… then plastic bags… then yoghurt etc.
  3. Or, you might want to go further and take as many steps as you can. On the Plastic-Less Lent FB page I’m going to put up a plastic-less tip each day to give you lots of ideas both for Lent and for after.

Why do this at Lent?

Lent is a really good opportunity to focus on a particular discipline for a set period. It is a time to break out of bad habits and, in particular, to reflect on the things that are wrong in our lives as we lead up to the events of Holy Week and Easter. The traditional word for this is sin, and when we consider the terrible damage that our plastic usage is causing God’s creation (including humans), I think it is entirely appropriate to focus on that this Lent.

So join in!

It would be great to hear how you are going to do this so please do join the Plastic-Less Lent FB page (don’t forget to make sure notifications is ticked) and leave a comment and join in the conversation.

And Finally…

It’s nearly impossible to be entirely plastic-free, and my guess is there will be some things you do still buy. So here’s an idea: let’s all keep all the plastic we use over Lent tucked away in a bag somewhere, and at the end of Lent we can take a picture of it, share it on our FB page and see what things we really haven’t been able to shift. There’s learning even in that.

Thank you for joining me in this. It’ll be a Lent adventure, and together we can take many little steps in the right direction.

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  • Reply Catherine Green February 1, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    This is all great but another really action which will help to change things is to contact the manufacturer or supplier of the plastic things you do buy or don’t buy and tell them how you would like them to change to more sustainable packaging.

    • Reply Ruth February 9, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Yes, I agree Catherine. I’ll feature this sort of thing in my daily tips.Thanks for making the contact.

  • Reply David Higgon February 2, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Hi Ruth
    I am living near Ullapool where our school children have successfully persuaded all local shops, cafes , hotels etc to stop stocking plastic straws. The response of the community has been brilliant and it is being taken up as a nation campaign. Our Episocalian church has just registered as an eco congregation and I will circulate your initiative for A plastic free Lent among the congregation
    God bless

    • Reply Ruth February 9, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      That’s great to hear about, David, thank you. All the best as you look to become and eco congregation.

  • Reply David Morgan February 8, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Pleased to see an Anglican initiative with daily plastic reduction activities

  • Reply Ruth February 9, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Yes, I gather Shrinking the Footprint is doing something similar. Very good!

  • Reply janet stenner February 10, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    I’m up for that whilst also doing”Live below the line”(for Oxfam)

  • Reply Meditation Monday – Creating a Lenten Garden – Godspacelight February 12, 2018 at 10:00 am

    […] Ruth and Greg Valerio are giving up plastic for Lent. I plan to give up being judgmental. Prayerfully consider: For love of God what will you give up to make the world a better place this year? And please do let us know. […]

  • Reply Sandie Stratford February 13, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Joining in…but I already do these things, so looking for ways yo reject food packaging. Am I brave enough to unwrap and leave excessive packaging by the till?

    • Reply Ruth March 10, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      I hope you’re enjoying the group, Sandie, and have summoned up the courage to take some action in your supermarket! All the best, Ruth

  • Reply Simon Phipps February 23, 2018 at 6:58 am

    Love this! We did something similar several years ago as part of my brother’s geography research project. It was a very eye opening experience. Firstly just how much plastic packaging things had! And secondly, how many better alternatives there were. It is definitely not an easy thing to do, but so necessary 🙂
    Thank you for doing this.

    • Reply Ruth March 10, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      You’re welcome, Simon, thanks.

  • Reply Can you reduce plastic use? | St. Luke's Church, Maidstone July 3, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    […] Lent has already started but if you are not cutting back on meat as we suggested last month, or even if you are, you could still join in with Plastic-Less Lent […]

  • Reply Jane Bartlett January 8, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    Hello Ruth, will there be a plastic free Lent initiative this year, 2019?

    thanks, Jane

    • Reply Ruth January 9, 2019 at 8:56 am

      Hi Jane, I’m planning on it, yes. I need to give it some thought but I’m hoping to do it again, via the Plastic Less Living FB page (which would become Plastic Less Lent for the Lent period again). Thanks for asking, Ruth.

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