Things to Give Up During Lent to Help the Environment

In most Protestant circles, little is known about the season of Lent except that one has to give up something for a period of forty days prior to Easter which is the amount of time Jesus spent in the wilderness when He was tempted by Satan.

Jesus in the wilderness

Considering the serious problems we’re facing with global warming and climate change those who observe Lent might consider giving up things that will help the environment. Success in this endeavor could be determined by how it is approached. Rather than go to extremes (which usually always fails) simply take on either one or two things or a few small things.


Recycling would be a giving up of time to the effort of collecting and separating items to be taken to the recycling center. Those who don’t recycle have no idea how many recyclable items are thrown into the city dump. If everybody recycled, our garbage dumps would be a fraction of their current size.

In order to be efficient at recycling, a place for different bins needs to be set aside to hold glass, plastic, paper and cans. A container should also be provided for used clothing and unwanted items which can be donated to the Salvation Army or Goodwill and recycled back into society rather than being thrown into a landfill.

Plastic bags from the grocery store can be used in a number of different ways:

  • They can be folded down to nearly nothing and can be pushed down into a pocket or purse to be reused at another time.
  • They also make handy waste basket liners for the bathroom, office, and garage. Keep some in the glove box to dispose of trash which accumulates in the car.

Personal Transportation

Personal transportation would be another helpful thing to give up for Lent. In today’s fast-paced society an automobile is not a luxury but a necessity. However, for those who live within walking distance of some of the places normally frequented or near a bus stop, it would not only help the environment to leave the car and walk or take the bus but it would save money on gas. Of course, this obligation would have to include an exception for foul weather.

Walking is a form of aerobics which is good for allover health. Riding a bike is also good for allover health not to mention the fresh air and sunshine. Taking a bus would mean one less car on the road and less exhaust in the air.

Car pooling is another good way to cut emissions. Ask around at work about anyone who may have a car pool. If there are none, start one. Car pooling also works for off work activities such as flea markets, sporting events, school trips, and more. If everyone is going to the same event, why not use only one car?

There are a number of things one can give up for Lent that will help the environment such as washing clothes in cold water and hanging them on a line rather using the dryer, or making sure all nonessential electrical devices are turned off or better yet unplugged.

Lastly, keep in mind that Jesus Christ, the one who fed more than 5,000 people with only a few loaves and fishes, had the disciples gather the leftovers. Therefore, it seems rather obvious that He would not approve of our wasteful lifestyle.

So whether we observe Lent or not, each of us need to give up some of the things in our lives that contribute to the senseless waste we have grown so accustomed to and start living a little more conservatively. It won’t happen overnight as we have lived this way most of our lives. Perhaps giving up something for Lent would be a good start.

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