Catholic church wants members to observe ‘carbon fast’ this Lent | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Catholic church wants members to observe ‘carbon fast’ this Lent

This year, the archdiocese of Bombay has asked Catholics to observe a ‘carbon fast’ during the season to create awareness about global warming and the importance of a sustainable lifestyle

mumbai Updated: Feb 22, 2017 01:48 IST
Manoj R Nair
Catholic church

Members of different denominations have their own observations during the 40-day period: while some abstain from tobacco and alcohol, others forgo their favourite foods; many spend the time with fasts and community service.(File photo for representation)

For the faithful, Lent – a 40-day season which begins on March 2 – is a time of austerity, prayers and atonement. Members of different denominations have their own observations during the period: while some abstain from tobacco and alcohol, others forgo their favourite foods; many spend the time with fasts and community service.

This year, the archdiocese of Bombay has asked Catholics to observe a ‘carbon fast’ during the season to create awareness about global warming and the importance of a sustainable lifestyle. Carbon footprint is a term used to describe the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide generated by human activity. These gases trap heat inside earth’s atmosphere, causing the earth to become warmer. Every parish – there are over a 100 in Mumbai with a total membership of nearly 5,00,000 – have been allotted a day when they will incorporate environment-saving practices into their activities.

Bishop Allwyn D’Silva, head of the Archdiocesan Office for Environment said the ‘carbon fast’ will encourage people to examine their daily actions and its effect on the environment. “The parish can decide what they want to do. This [the carbon fast] can be done along with other fasts. All know that the world is affected by climate change,” said Silva.

D’Silva has been a promoter of environment ideas in the church. As parish priest of the five-centuries-old St John the Baptist Church in Thane, he had set up a rain-water harvesting system, a solar energy plant and a waste recycling system in the church compound. He promoted the use of energy efficient LED lights and fans that used less electricity.

D’Silva said for the ‘carbon fast’. people could try to reduce their consumption of electricity, use less water and avoid use of plastic.

Brian Pereira, a member of St John the Evangelist Church, Marol, where the ‘carbon fast’ will be observed on April 7, said that he had several ideas for the day. “I can switch off the television on that day and spend the time in some activity to help the environment, or I can forgo the luxury of my car and use a bicycle,” said Pereira.

WHAT IS CARBON FOOTPRINT?

Carbon footprint is a term used to describe the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide generated by human activity.

These gases trap heat inside earth’s atmosphere, causing the earth to become warmer.

THE PLAN FOR LENT

Every parish – there are over a 100 in Mumbai with a total membership of nearly 5,00,000 – have been allotted a day when they will incorporate environment-saving practices into their activities.

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