Church embraces plastic reduction; Earth Hour 2018
The Church of England this year asked people to give up single-use plastics for Lent. It is remarkable that their entire Lent program was focused on an environmental issue. This request came at a perfect time after the plastics ban China has issued (China is no long accepting plastic recyclables from around the world) and England is seeing a back-up of recyclables, just as the United States is. Additionally, the European Union announced in December targets for waste reduction for member nations, with a focus on plastics.
The Church of England created a calendar for a plastics-free Lent, with each day providing tips about reducing everyday plastics or Bible verses that are environmentally themed. You can find the calendar at churchcare.co.uk/images/Plastic_Free_Lent.pdf. In it are suggestions such as bringing your own water bottle and shopping bags, as well as requesting restaurant take-out (or as they say, “takeaways”) to be packed in a container you bring.
Additionally, the calendar suggests using bar soap instead of liquid hand soap in a plastic bottle, and using a razor with removable blades rather than disposable. I know that Lent is well on its way, however the calendar has some great suggestions about everyday plastic reduction, so I encourage you to check it out.
Earth Hour will be celebrated this year on March 24, from 8:30-9:30 p.m. local time. Coordinated by WWF, Earth Hour is the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, with millions of people taking part each year. During the hour between 8:30-9:30 p.m. on March 24, it is asked that you turn off all non-essential lights.
During Earth Hour in 2017, 187 countries took part including over 3,000 landmarks and millions of individuals, businesses and organizations. The goal is to spread the word about climate change by word of mouth and on social media. In 2017, 18,526 people donated the Earth Hour Facebook feed, which reached a potential 12 million people. Thirty countries saw the hashtag #EARTHHOUR trend on Twitter. This kind of social media outreach spreads the word about Earth Hour and therefore sparks interest in addressing climate change.
Making climate change part of our everyday conversation will help us to address climate change now. The more people who know and care about the earth, the more the earth will be helped. I hope you will participate in Earth Hour this year. You can make it fun by hosting a candlelight dinner or telling ghost stories in the dark, it’s entirely up to you! Visit earthhour.org for more information.