Saturday, February 28, 2009

Carbon Fast for Lent: Love Food, Hate Waste

“Look at what food you throw away this week.Aim to reduce it by a third by eating leftovers and shopping more carefully — using a list and planning your meals.”

This year’s Carbon Fast for Lent is also very cost conscious — I’m not sure if this is intentional, but it’s certainly timely! I typically assume food trash isn’t “bad” trash because it isn’t plastic, right? But It turns out that food dumped into landfills creates literally tons of methane gas, which contributes to global warming and climate change (on top of costing money).

The UK site Love Food, Hate Waste estimates that one-third of the food consumers purchase ends up in landfills. They offer tips and ideas on everything from shopping to making yummy use of leftovers. And check out their Resources page for a food waste diary to see how much you’ve really been throwing away each week and chart your progress.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Carbon Fast for Lent: Be a Bottle Baby

“More than 150 billion litres of bottled water are sold worldwide every year.This contributes significantly to landfill and transport emissions. Say no to bottled water and drink tap water — buy a refillable washable bottle to use instead.

My Sigg red sunray bottle (right) is still going strong, with just a few dents to show that it is well-used. Stainless steel bottles are also becoming popular since they’re aluminum-free and BPA-free. Or for a safe plastic (also BPA-free) lightweight gym bottle that also shows your election love: I picked up a Democratic National Convention bottle on sale on the Obama Biden web site (below left).

Today’s mitzvah: Save money as well as helping to save the environment. Check out reusable water bottles instead of single-use throwaway plastic.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Carbon Fast for Lent: Nuke the Oven

DAY 2 – Thursday, February 26
“Cook food in a microwave. They use significantly less energy than a conventional oven.When you need to use a pan always use a lid to preserve heat when cooking – this will also cook your food faster.”

It’s only Day 2 of the Carbon Fast for Lent, yet already I have to make a confession: I may be the only person in North America who doesn’t own a microwave. Blame a small kitchen and a dislike for clutter. Don’t have one, don’t want one. Sigh. But point taken about all the electricity one uses heating up an oven, especially for small things (guilty again on that one). I’m contemplating a toaster oven as a compromise, especially for things like heating up a leftover slice of pizza. What about you? Are you a microwave fan?

Today’s mitzvah: Check out Tearfund’s complete array of Carbon Fast tips and support materials here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Carbon Fast for Lent: 2009

Is it that time already? You betcha. Welcome to Ash Wednesday and the 2009 Carbon Fast for Lent! From our friends at Tearfund in the UK, here’s the rationale:

“Climate change can mean our neighbours go hungry because of drought, or lose their homes because of floods. Faced with that reality, there are many things we can do, acting as part of the global Church’s response, to change the way our lives impact poor communities. Fast and pray with Tearfund this Lent to reduce your carbon footprint and help protect poor people from climate change.”

Let’s get started, shall we? I peeked ahead and it looks like this year includes its own activities and isn’t a carbon copy (no pun intended) of 2008. But we begin the same way, by losing one light bulb:

Remove one light bulb from your home and live without it for the next 40 days. This will decrease your energy use and act as a reminder of what you are doing during Lent.

Today’s mitzvah: Unscrew that lightbulb — and join us for this year’s Carbon Fast for Lent!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I miss blogging! It’s been a long few months. I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull off more regular posts, but I have my fingers crossed that Tearfund is going to help me out this year with another Carbon Fast for Lent series.

Since when I turn my back for five minutes, apparently the economy goes straight to hell: let’s talk coupons! I just I missed my grocery’s sale on the Apple and Melon non-petroleum based laundry detergent I’ve started using, which made me grouchy about paying full price even though this is pretty cheap. So I went on the Purex Natural Elements web site on a whim: of course they had a coupon. This got me thinking, doh!, I’ll bet most web sites for natural and/or organic products have coupons.(OK, I am remedial in all things domestic, I admit it!) Herewith, some coupons for items we like at my house. Three are printable coupons; the Kashi entree coupon is something they snail-mail to you. Happy savings!

Ecover Products: $1.00 laundry or 75¢ cleaning product coupon
Kashi Whole Grain Frozen Entrees: Free entree!
Organic Valley Milk (also Soy Milk & Cheese): $1.00 coupon
Purex Natural Elements Laundry Detergent: 50¢ coupon