Treading Lightly for Lent

Tread Lightly in Lent 2011
Presbyterian Church Environmental Ministries

Instead of giving something up for Lent, I have decided to take on the actions of the “Tread Lightly for Lent 2011” put together by the Presbyterian Church USA Environmental Ministries.  Basically, this is a calendar for the 40 days of Lent on which each day has an environmentally motivated action, reflection or idea.  Even though I’m an Episcopalian, I got my Episcopal Church to adopt the Presbyterian calendar because it was the best one I have found.  Regardless of whether you are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, agnostic or unsure I encourage you to look at the actions on the calendar as they are all about living greener.

One of the reasons I really like this calendar over the others out there is that the actions apply to regardless of whether you are just starting or are wicked green.  Two great examples are,

Replace one incandescent light bulb with a CFL. CFLs use 75% less energy than incandescent light bulbs.3 If you already have replaced all of your bulbs, offer one to a family member or friend.

March 24th
Walk, bike, or take public transportation as much as possible. If you drive, pledge to be idle free. Idling for over 10 seconds uses more gas than turning off the engine and restarting it.

I love the alternative options provided.  For me, biking to work in March and needing to pickup kids after school makes it not feasible, but I can certainly pledge to be idle free.  The other thing I really appreciate about this calendar is that it provides references for all the facts in mentions.  Citing your sources is critical for so many reasons.

So, what I started this post to share was experience from the action and reflection from Saturday, March 12th. –

March 12th
Collect your personal trash and recyclables throughout the day. At the end of the day, survey your waste and think of ways to reduce. On average, Americans create 4.6 pounds of waste a day.

To do this, I emptied the trash, recycling and compost in the morning before everyone else was up and then measured what we had collected by the end of the day.  I am happy to report that for a family of 5 who also had two friends join us for dinner, we did not come close to the American average. 

One Day’s Worth of Recycling, Compost &
Trash from our Family of Five

Our family of five in one day generated:

  • 2.5 pounds of compost
  • 3 pounds of recycling
  • less than 1 pound of trash (14.5 oz)

Per person that is less than 3 ounces of trash.  Of course it doesn’t include the industrial waste and other things that end up in the landfill on our behalf.  If everyone could reduce the amount of trash they generate by recycling and composting, it would make a big difference.

So whether you are looking for some positive actions for the Season of Lent or you just want some great suggestions on how to live greener, check out the Tread Lightly calendar and act upon what you find.

Share your favorite actions here or on our Green Lifestyle Consulting facebook page.

Happy Greening!

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  1. Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. If all families recycle at home, the volume of waste diverted to landfills would be greatly reduced.

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