What about making a New Year resolution to measure, reduce and, only then, offset your carbon footprint? This is one of the suggestions in a list of New Year resolutions offered by the ecumenical group Green Christian. Others include, moving towards becoming vegan, which excludes exploitation of and cruelty to animals for food, clothing or any other purpose or making a flight-free pledge not to fly because of the climate crisis.
A commitment to structural change in the direction of sustainability and justice could include engaging with your MP on Climate Change and Biodiversity, encouraging the MP to take decisive action. Advice is given to support regular engagement. Or there is joining the dots between faith and finance by divesting from fossil fuels and nuclear weapons, and perhaps changing to a more ethical bank. In addition, spending power can be used to support ethical accreditation schemes such as the Fairtrade Mark and Living Wage.
If these all seem a bit ambitious, then simpler lifestyle ideas include getting a milkman, which reduces plastic waste. The milk delivered will be a bit more expensive, but if you can afford to do this, consider the extra as a donation to environmental causes. Walking everywhere under one mile will have valuable health spinoffs, as well conserving the environment. Or what about encouraging more wildlife in the garden or in a parish piece of land by nurturing and creating habitats. Turning heating down a notch or two saves energy. Another suggestion is checking how much you need in savings and putting any surplus into gifts to charities concerned with environment, sustainability and peacebuilding. Consider REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE at all times.
Green Christian, which is 40 years old in 2022, offers ideas annually at New Year for care of Creation through prayer, living simply, public witness, campaigning and mutual encouragement. Prayer guides and worship materials are particularly valued by church communities. The Columbans have been members for all four decades.
The website of Green Christian offers a video, ‘Introduction to the Green Christian Way of life’, urging deeper engagement and shared encouragement. Followers of the Way are called ‘Companions’ and can register interest through the website.