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Second Week of Lent | Additional Resources

Steps Continued - Consumption

Additional Resources

Visit the website of The New American Dream, dedicated to help Americans consume responsibly to protect the environment, enhance quality of life, and promote social justice. 

Watch a 20-minute online video, “The Story of Stuff” by Annie Leonard. Do something about our children being inundated with sales pitches. Go to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.  

Read Brian Swimme’s essay “Religion of the Ad”. Talk to your children about advertising, not shopping for sport and living with less. Help them resist being drawn into a world of materialism. 

Read “The Gospel of Consumption,” an article by Jeffrey Kaplan explaining how we got into this consumer rat race. 

Garbology. Each person in the U.S. annually generates 1640 pounds of trash, or 4.5 pounds per day. That’s a grand total of 246 million tons of trash dumped somewhere. Get to the bottom of what happens to trash in your area. Where does it all go?  Visit the closest landfill, waste processing center, recycling center, or salvage yard. If it’s too far away, consider simply interviewing your trash collector to get the scoop. Consumption and consumerism links and resources are abundant.

Make Your Own Cleaning Products


General Household Cleaner

  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup borax
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 gallon water
  • Mix together and use in spray bottle.
  • Window Cleaner
  • ¼- ½ teaspoon liquid soap or detergent
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups water

Mix together and use in spray bottle.


  • 1 teaspoon borax
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups very hot water

Mix together and use on surfaces you want to disinfect.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • Splash of vinegar

Pour baking soda into toilet bowl and drizzle with vinegar. Let sit for ½ hour. Scrub and flush. Add borax for stains if needed.

Disinfecting Scouring Powder for Sink and Tub

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup liquid castile soap
  • 5-10 drops of antibacterial essential oil such as lavender or tea tree (optional)

Pour baking soda into a medium size bowl. Add soap a little at time, stirring continuously, until the mixture has begun to resemble frosting. Mix in drops of essential oil. Store in airtight jar for up to a year. 

Imagine if the Earth were divided equally among all of us. Each person would receive 4.5 acres. Now imagine that everything you need – food, energy, home, clothing, gadgets – must come from those 4.5 acres. But it takes 22.3 acres to maintain the average American lifestyle.There is a new way of observing Lent that helps us care for God’s creation by taking steps toward using only our fair share of its resources. Moving in the direction of 4.5 is essential for anyone walking in the footsteps of Jesus today.

Our Ministry

Lent 4.5 is a seven-week faith formation program which inspires and informs Christian communities on how to use the traditional Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to protect God’s creation, embrace Gospel justice and nurture spiritual fulfillment. It offers practical opportunities for people of faith to apply the values of Christian Simplicity to their everyday lives.

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