As we enter September we join with many other churches spending time focussing on Creation. This year we are drawing from the TEARFund material and their ‘Let’s Change the Climate Challenge‘.
You can find out more on their dedicated website, including details of the 6 day challenge they are encouraging:
You can also read on to find out about the 6 days challenge – these can be approached in many different ways. Each Day has two Challenge options – Option 0 is a lower-level challenge, Option 1 is more involved.
See the TEARFund website for a video explaining the background to each challenge and an even more demanding challenge Option 2 + some Bonus ideas.
Day 1 challenge – Nearly a third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK come from transport. As well as polluting the air we breathe, the high emissions from cars and planes are having a huge impact on the climate. Changing our travelling habits even slightly can make an enormous difference.
Option 0: Car-share – Find someone to car-share with for a journey
Option 1: Go car-free for 24 hours – For 24 hours, walk, cycle or use local transport instead of driving.
Day 2 challenge – The climate emergency is leading to extended periods of drought in some parts of the world. Meanwhile, here in the UK, the average person uses a whopping 142 litres of water every day.
Option 0: Record your water use for a day – Finding out how much you use and then look at how you might reduce that total.
Option 1: A day with less water – Use only 25 litres of water today for drinking, cleaning, cooking and washing up. Reflect on how we can reduce water waste in our lives. You might want to fill up a couple of buckets in the morning to represent what 25 litres looks like, but remember water intensive activities like showering can use up to 10 litres of water a minute!
Day 3 challenge – In 2019, around 10 per cent of the world’s population didn’t have access to electricity at all. Try limiting your own electric and gas use and gain an insight into the challenges of living without easy access to power.
Option 0: An hour in the dark – Try switching off all light and heating electrical equipment for an hour in the evening.
Option 1: Life with no energy – For a glimpse into the lives of people who have no access to energy, use no electricity or gas after 7pm tonight.
Day 4 challenge – The negative climate impact of meat is ten to 50 times higher than plant-based food. If we all reduced our meat consumption even slightly, the difference it will make will be enormous.
Option 0: Focus on Food waste – Look at how you might reduce your food waste.
Option 1: Go meat-free for one day – Eating more vegetarian or plant-based food can be healthier for creation and for you. Choose one day a week where you don’t eat any meat.
Day 5 challenge – The average UK household throws away a whole tonne of rubbish every year. Added up, that’s the equivalent of the weight of three and a half million double-decker buses.
Option 0: Reduce and Recycle – Look closely at labels of things you might throwaway to see if there is an indication on how it might be recycled instead of adding to landfill
Option 1: Don’t throw it – For 48 hours, don’t throw anything away. Pile up what you would have thrown away and reflect on what it would be like to never have any waste collection.
Day 6 challenge – Pray for all the aspects you’ve thought about from the challenges above.
As we contemplate the scale of the climate crisis, it’s important we keep our eyes fixed on the God of justice, who loves creation and brings restoration and peace.
Will you join us in praying for people affected by poverty and climate change? You can sign up to receive text prayer updates from our Advocacy team to inspire your prayers for those most affected by the climate crisis.