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Going Green for Lent?

On the subject of Lenten observances, one idea that I had about what to do for the next forty days is to try to makemy life a little more eco-friendly. While looking for suggestions, I stumbled across a NewYork Times articleabout Ireland's hatred for plastic bags and a CNS story about a Catholic school in Chicago that is hoping to "set the national standard" for what schools going "green" can accomplish.One thought on Ireland's plastic bags: I lived in Ireland in 2005 and was shocked the first time I went to the supermarket and was charged for plastic bags at the register along with my biscuits. I learned my lesson, however, and never went to the market again without my own bag to haul my groceries home. Seems like Ireland's plastic bag tax is really paying off. The market I frequent here in New York has canvas bags available to buy at the register for $5, but I haven't bought one yet. I should just bring the bag I used in Ireland to the store with me.The principal of St. Monica's School in Chicago is committed to teaching his older students the importance of stewardship with the school's green efforts.

The stewardship component has a natural tie to Catholic teaching, said the principal, Ray Coleman."It's a perfect connection for us, because we can include the messages of the faith," he said. "We have to be stewards of God's earth."

"Going Green" does sound more to me like a New Year'sresolution than a practice for Lent, but I think that if I am mindful about it andconscious of the reasons behind it, I could make it work. Suggestions are welcome. As are thoughts on whether or not thisidea should"count" as a Lenten ritual.

About the Author

Marianne L. Tierney is a PhD student in theology at Boston College.



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I have attempted a small "going green" habit by purchasing four canvas bags at my local supermarket. They packed them into a plastic bag for me to take out to the car. Since then, I have not once remembered to bring them into the store when I shop. So far, then, I guess I'm behind on the deal.

You and the Church of England are of the same mind: I'm no theologian, but it does seem like submitting to the discipline of inconvenience (whether remembering those darn cloth bags, or turning your thermostat down two degrees) in order to remember that we're called to share what we've been given with *everybody* -- well, that seems like a good spiritual practice.

I'm ashamed of this. I bought a string grocery bag from Whole Food. It's hung on a peg in my kitchen, and I use it to stuff new plastic bags in, most of which I don't use, just throw away. Totally irrational. Sigh.

Leave the canvas/string bags in your car! Never hang them on pegs. Leave them on the floor after you unpack them, and then take them back out to the car.

Joe is right!Here the Girl Scouts sold "green" canvas grocery bags as a fundraiser before Christmas. We use em all the time.

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