Journey through Lent with the Climate Witness Project

Our world is in crisis yet Christians are a people of hope. Join us on a holy and hope-filled journey through Lent. We will contemplate and lament the devastation humans have wrought, and take positive action to reduce our reliance on single-use plastic.  “Travel” as an individual, with your family, or with a group of friends.


 

Take the Challenge

Each week of Lent, we will reduce our use of a new category of single-use plastic.  Scroll down for a printable version of the challenge and tips for alternative products we've tried!  

We'll be walking this challenge alongside you so if you'd like regular updates or reminder make sure you tell us you're participating!

I'm Taking the Challenge!

 

 


 
 

Read Wild Hope As Part of the Lent Challenge

Throughout Lent contemplate and lament the plight of 25 of God’s beloved creatures, using Gayle Boss’ new book Wild Hope.  Purchase the book (with discounts for groups) at this link.  Use this discussion guide to guide your challenge as a group!

Wild Hope Interview with Gayle Boss!

To kick off the Lenten season we live streamed with Gayle Boss author of the book Wild Hope.  A recording of the conversation is now avaliable here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ash Wednesday - Looking Ahead

There are many legitimate uses for plastic, especially in the medical community.  Single-use plastic that is created only for convenience is hard on the environment and a source of carbon emissions through-out its life cycle: from the extraction of the oil and especially fracked gas from which it is made, though its manufacturing and disposal.  Less than 14% is recycled. The rest is incinerated, or ends up in landfills or the world’s oceans. Over 300 million tons of plastic is manufactures every year. Over half of that is for single use items. Here are a few really good, short articles about the problem: 
  1. Single Use Plastic 101

  2. Single-use plastics a serious climate change hazard, study warns

  3. Exposing The Myth Of Plastic Recycling: Why A Majority Is Burned Or Thrown In A Landfill

As consumers many things we can do to reduce our use of single-use plastic and demonstrate to corporations and policy makers that this a real concern to us. This is a journey.  As we journey through lent with Gayle’s Wild Hope readings, let’s also commit ourselves to reduce our single-use plastic waste. Each week, we will address a different category of single use plastic.  After Easter, we will review how we did, share experiences and products we tried and prepare for the Climates Witness Project’s deeper dive. Let’s make this a fun adventure that we go on together!      

 

 

Week 1 - Shopping

We North Americans do a lot of shopping.  Especially visits to the grocery store and purchases online.  With half a trillion plastic bags used every year, shopping is a great place to start to change our habits! Let’s bring our own bags when we go to the store, and ask Amazon to reduce the plastic when we shop online.

Here are a few products that can help.  There are many others alternatives available.  We just wanted to provide you with one option that some of us have tried and liked.  These are often available from the manufacturer, Amazon, and local stores. 

  1. Reusable Bags: 

  2. Ask amazon to send your purchases without plastic: 

    • Access the Amazon Website

    • Click Menu (3 lines in upper left corner) 

    • Scroll to/Select Customer Service

    • Hover over Need More Help; Click Contact Us

    • Click Start Chatting Now

    • Type Other to connect with a human being

    • Request Plastic-Free shipping (Amazon refers to this as Frustration-Free Packaging)

Week 2 - Bath and Body

If you are like us, your bathroom is filled with plastic bottles, containers and devises.  In fact, our bathrooms are among the most plastic intense rooms in our homes. We can dramatically reduce our plastic waste with a few better choices.  These are some places that are relatively easy to start. What other plastic products can we replace in our bathrooms? 

Here are a few products that can help.  There are many others alternatives available.  We just wanted to provide you with one option that some of us have tried and liked.  These are often available from the manufacturer, Amazon, and local stores. 

  1. Dental hygiene (all available from Life without Plastic

    • Bamboo Toothbrushes

    • Silk floss

    • Natural tooth paste

    • Refuse dentist “goody bag”: “Just say no”, and tell your dentist why.  

  2. Shower and sink: 

  3. Non-disposable Feminine hygiene products:

  4. Toilet Paper: 

 

Week 3 - Food

Our kitchens are the other big source of plastic waste from our homes.  We can dramatically reduce the plastic we bring into our kitchens by choosing products not packaged in plastic.  We can also cut down on plastic packaging by buying concentrated drinks (frozen fruit juices, etc). Another important way to cut back on plastic is using reusable, non-plastic storage containers. 

Here are a few examples and products that can help.  There are many others alternatives available. We just wanted to provide you with one option that some of us have tried and liked.  These are often available from the manufacturer, Amazon, and local stores. 

  1. Buy Concentrates

    • Available in local grocery store and online

  2. Buy Eggs in cardboard cartons

    • Available in most grocery stores

  3. Avoid individually wrapped items, buy bulk

    • Many local opportunities are available to purchase in bulk including large retail stores like Costco and co-ops

  4. Store leftovers in reusable Containers: 

 

Week 4 - Eating Out

More and more people are joining the adventure of eating out plastic-free.  Eating out plastic-free. It just takes a little preparation to have a plastic-free dining experience and it’s a great opportunity to show your commitment to others.   

Here are a few products that can help.  There are many others alternatives available.  We just wanted to provide you with one option that some of us have tried and liked.  These are often available from the manufacturer, Amazon, and local stores. 

  1. Refuse plastic straws, stirrers, etc

  2. Bring your own: 

  3. Bring a reusable container for left-overs

 

Week 5 - Laundry and Cleaning

Laundry and cleaning products are an easy way to reduce plastic use. There are so many options that reduce plastic and harmful chemicals in our home! We can even make our own!

Here are a few examples products that can help.  There are many others alternatives available. We just wanted to provide you with one option that some of us have tried and liked.  These are often available from the manufacturer, Amazon, and local stores. 

  1. Avoid liquid dishwasher detergent in plastic jugs.  Try: 

  2. Avoid liquid laundry detergent in plastic jugs.  Try:

  3. Concentrated liquids.  There are a number of sources of concentrated cleaners here’s just one: 

    • Reusable Bottles and Concentrated Cleaners (multi-surface, glass and mirror, and bathroom cleaners and hand soap): Blueland 

  4. Avoid sponges made of plastic. Try:  

  5. Avoid dryer sheets.  Try: 

  6. You can even make your own cleaners.  Here’s a great website: https://www.diynatural.com/

 

Week 6 - Holy Week Looking back and Looking Ahead

We just finished a six-week plastic fast.  How do you feel? Was it hard? Which practices can you continue?  Can we find even more ways to reduce our plastic usage? Complete our survey to help CWP we prepare for a deeper dive into reducing plastic waste. We would love to hear about your experience!  And if you haven't already please let us know that you took this challenge!