“Lent 4.5,” is an idea from the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center in Kentucky.
It gets its name from the fact that if the world were divided equally among all its residents, each would receive 4.5 acres of land from which to derive all of his or
her food, energy, clothing, housing, and “gadgets.” But it takes about 18 acres to maintain the average North American lifestyle.
For a Lenten discipline this year, why not explore a consciousness of living more lightly on the earth? Consider:
- Where do you get your produce from? During Lent, choose products sourced on your own continent, rather than from South Africa, Chile, or South Asia.
- How much carbon are you using/producing? Use one hour less of electronics or powered equipment each day, or get your bike out early, dress warmly and opt not to take the car for short excursions.
- What is your water consumption? Drink only safe tap water, rather than any bottled water products during Lent. Set a timer for your shower, and try to cut your shower time by 10-20% each week. By the end of Lent, your 20 minute shower time is down to 9 minutes, and uses much less energy and water while having plenty of time to get you clean!
- How are you sharing food and resources? Once a week during Lent, plan to get together with friends to cook a simple meal together. Take turns hosting. save energy and create community. One way we live lighter on the earth is to not assume we all have to own everything privately – what do we ‘own’ (or have access to) that we could share with others around us?
Lent 4.5 explores a different theme each week. This first theme (Ash Wednesday week) is Christian Simplicity. You can visit:
Week by week, this website will focus on a particular aspect of consumption as it relates to Christian simplicity, fasting and almsgiving. A new focus issue will be available each Sunday of Lent.
Ash Wednesday Week – Christian Simplicity: Compassionate Living
1st Week of Lent – Food: Buying and Eating are Moral Acts
2nd Week of Lent – Consumption: Buying Less, Wasting Less
3rd Week of Lent – Water: Conserving and Protecting
4th Week of Lent – Energy: Choosing Efficient and Clean
5th Week of Lent – Transportation: Getting Around
Holy Week – Gratitude & Generosity: Becoming Involved
“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”
From their website