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Action Steps | March 30, 2014

Our Lenten practice this week is to use energy more responsibly

Action Steps - What you Can Do

Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) is one of the main greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by burning fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas. These gases affect the air we breathe and the quality of life on our planet. In our country, it is extremely difficult to avoid using any one of these for energy. Yet we must take steps to reduce our carbon emissions.
This week, try fasting from carbon. Try to identify patterns of use that waste energy. Unplug, turn off, power down. From the options below, check the boxes of the steps you can take. Small changes at the personal level can lay the foundation for change at the national level.

Heating and Cooling Air

  • Give up 2 degrees. For every degree you turn your thermostat below 68 (in winter) or above 78 (in summer) you can save 3-5% of your heating and cooling use and costs.
  • Keep heated and cooled air in the house. Make sure your doors and windows are sealed.
  • Install a programmable thermostat for comfort and savings.

Heated Water –Think it through.

  • Dishwashing, laundry and showers – use the shortest wash that will get the job done.
  • Procrastinate. Run dishwasher only when it’s full. Air dry is free!
  • Forgo overheating water. Set water heater to 120 degrees (140 if using a dishwasher)


  • Abstain from the clothes dryer (or over-drying) whenever possible.
  • Line drying saves energy and money.
  • Use energy-saving settings on the big four: refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer.
  • Power down. Electricity is consumed by appliances (TV, computers, anything with a red light) even when they’re not active. Use power strips to turn them off when not in use.
  • Get an energy audit from your local utility company.
  • When replacing appliances, go with Energy Star models.
  • Give up TV for Lent – not just as an act of self-denial, but using the time to strengthen yourself spiritually.
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.

This Week...

If There’s Only One Thing You Can Do …



Give up incandescent
light bulbs. 

Use CFLs

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