Have you embraced Carbon Fast 2014 for Lent this year? Two weeks after Going on Carbon Fast 2014, let’s evaluate how the journey to a carbon-light lifestyle is going. Perhaps our thoughts will encourage you to follow at least a portion of this road-less-travelled for your own Lenten reflection.
The folks at Anglican Community Environmental Network, who also call themselves Green Anglicans, authored Carbon Fast 2014. They combine scripture and concrete ideas to help us incorporate new habits into our daily lives that will nourish our planet. Below is a paraphrased prayer that inspires and challenges us to make the first step, or accelerate our journey.
Gracious Lord, may we take up the challenge to walk the path less travelled, to restore more of your creation than we destroy.
The first week’s theme was Stuff, and week 2’s theme is Water. Alison and I do not think for a minute that every suggestion should or realistically can be adopted; remember, it’s a journey. Here’s a summary of what has worked for us and where we need to stretch ourselves and keep an open mind.
Week #1: Stuff
This winter has been a harsh one, but many of you have capitalized on the time indoors to clean out closets and such like I did when I went Into the Closet with Wear It Well. I find this task has a double-edged sword: it’s liberating to shed unused or worn-out items but depressing to see how much unnecessary stuff we accumulate and warehouse. If you feel like that, then this week’s Stuff theme will resonate with you. Here are the highlights of our Stuff week.
- Meat-Free Monday. This was easy. My first inclination was to make a batch of vegetable soup, but my husband, in the spirit of Carbon Fast’s Local tip that Friday, encouraged me to use up what we have in our fridge, freezer and pantry to see what I could concoct, rather than purchase more stuff. I had all but one ingredient (cottage cheese) for what my family lovingly calls Fake Lasagna. Recipe follows at the bottom of this post.
- Tuesday: Plastics-Free Day. Alison always has a bottle of water within reach and decided to make this her signature gesture for Carbon Fast. She’s eschewed the ubiquitous plastic water bottle and instead can be seen toting a glass bottle. If this is something you’d like to try, there are oodles of choices for glass water bottles on the market today, including this one
we’ve added to our curated Gracious Posse Shoppe on Amazon (see our shop banner on the right column of this page). I like it because its double-walled design solves the major drawback to carrying a glass bottle: the risk of breaking the bottle. The outer layer is made of BPA-free plastic, and the inner canister is glass, the healthiest way to package your water. I love practical and stylish solutions, don’t you?
The other suggestion for Plastic-free Tuesday is to tote reusable bags to the store. While Alison has pretty well mastered this thanks to her corralled trunk featured in 3 Ways to Be More at Home in the Car, I have a harder time keeping the bags handy and remembering to use them even if they are handy,
but I pledge to step up my diligence.
- Fish Friday. Carbon Fast supports the consumption of fish over other meats because fish production’s carbon foot print is much smaller than red meat’s. LDB and I ordered the Tuna Disguised as Filet Mignon at The Inn at Little Washington. Admittedly, it was no hardship sticking to Fish Friday.
- Sunday: LDB and I decided to embrace Green Sundays by avoiding shopping and working, keeping the day simple. What a difference a simplified day makes! It’s a calm oasis sandwiched between our workaday task-filled days. Give it a try!
Week #2: Water
Focusing on a cleaner water supply and limiting water consumption are laudable goals, but boiling them down (pun intended) to a personal level is challenging. I am passionate about our waterways, given our location on the James River and proximity to the Chesapeake Bay.
However, I love my hot showers and our chemically-treated and irrigated lawn. Perhaps I rationalize keeping those by conserving in other areas, like using my glass water bottle, although not exactly a fair trade-off, but given today’s Carbon Fast suggestion is to Use Less, accompanied by the factoid below, I feel a little better.
Did you know it takes 3 litres of tap water to make 1 litre of bottled water? It takes 15,400 litres of water to produce 1 kg of beef and 11,000 litres to make a pair of jeans.
I am grateful to Water Week for making me uncomfortable in this area, and raising my awareness that I should do more.
Doing Our Part
When I first heard about Carbon Fast, my mind immediately recalled a hilarious scene from a Modern Family television episode.
Mitch’s neighbor Asher (played by Jesse Eisenberg) is an extreme Carbon Faster. I hope conditions on our planet never get to the point where we have to adopt his drastic measures. If we all do our part, maybe we won’t.
Do you have any Carbon Fast tips to share? We’d LOVE to hear them.
March 21, 2014
- 1 box or 1 bag frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles (I use Barilla brand; the noodles are cut just right for the pan)
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce (you will use approximately 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 large container low-fat cottage cheese
- 1 pound (or 4 cups) low-moisture mozzarella, shredded
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic or powder, or more to taste (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray bottom of 13"x9" glass casserole dish with cooking spray, like Pam
- Combine cottage cheese, 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, spinach, egg and garlic.
- Place one layer of noodles on the bottom of the dish.
- Spread 1/3 of cheese and spinach mixture on top of noodles.
- Place another layer of noodles on top, followed by 1/3 cheese mixture, and lastly one more layer of noodles.
- Spread the remaining cheese and spinach mixture on top.
- Evenly top with the spaghetti sauce.
- Sprinkle remaining 2 cups of mozzarella on top of spaghetti sauce.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.