Lighten Your Footprint for Lent

Author: Rachel Novick

Jesus statue


During the season of Lent, Notre Dame students choose from a wide variety of fasting options: technology, food, and procrastination are among the more popular. But interest is growing in fasting from something even more pervasive: carbon. A campus Lenten Carbon Fast calendar provides guidance for those who wish to pursue daily activities and challenges to both reduce their carbon footprint and increase awareness about the impacts of energy use.

“The Lenten Carbon Fast is a great way to be conscious of our actions during Lent while understanding the positive impact we can have on the environment,” said Kate Christian ’15, who adapted the Lenten Caring for Creation Calendar from the Archdiocese of Washington to fit the lifestyles of ND students.

The calendar outlines daily ideas and tasks that will help students focus on the importance of the environment while encouraging sustainable actions. Several days of the week are themed: Sundays focus on prayer and reflection, Tuesdays suggest watching a TED Talk, and Fridays give opportunities to follow environmental feeds on Twitter.

“The Carbon Fast has a variety of daily activities and is very engaging for ND students,” added Sean Gervais, Keough Hall Sustainability Commissioner. “I’m really looking forward to watching the TED Talks each Tuesday and learning about sustainability from the experts.”

The Lenten Carbon Fast is just one illustration of the profound connection between environmental awareness and Notre Dame’s Catholic mission. “It’s integral to our Catholic faith that we should be stewards of the environment, especially during Lent,” said Fr. Brad Metz, Rector of Fisher Hall. “Caring for the environment is a service to all of the earth’s inhabitants, and a manifestation of Catholic Social Teaching.”

Click here to see the full Carbon Fast calendar.

Originally published by Rachel Novick at on February 26, 2013.