Logo for: The Chapel of the Cross

Creation Care Lenten Challenge

If you would like to do something a bit different this Lent, we have just the thing for you! Join us this Lent in a friendly game of positive actions that you can take to care for the environment. Look for our scorecard to be available in the church and on the website. There will be many fun things to try and most of them are not difficult.

Click here to download the scorecard.

Each completed action will earn a certain number of points for chances to win environmentally friendly prizes. All you need to do is pick up a copy at church or online and then fill out the scorecard when you have completed an action. Every action listed will earn you points. When Lent is over, return it to the designated box at the church or email it to anita.lewis.howell@gmail.com.  We will announce the winners as well as the cumulative changes our church community was able to affect.

Suggested Resources (for use with the scorecard):

1. Use public transportation or car pool when practical, and take walks or bike

Commit to using public transportation when it is practical and reduce the number of car trips you take by planning your day accordingly. Get some exercise and take a walk, jog, or ride your bike. Join us for Lenten hikes on four Sundays in Lent. Watch the website for specific information.

2. Do your wash in cold water

Washing using only cold water for one year will conserve enough energy to drive a car up to 421 miles. Read about the other advantages of cold water washing here.

 3. Eat Lower on the food chain

Depending on what you currently eat regularly, can you take a step or two down the food chain during Lent? For example:

• Eat no Beef

• Eat no Chicken, beef or pork, only fish and other seafood

• Eat no meat or fish, only vegetarian

• Eat no meat, fish or animal products such as eggs, milk and cheese

Eating lower on the food chain, or a plant based diet, greatly reduces the amount of resources used and has a huge positive impact on the environment. Even just one meal without meat can help conserve water, food, and energy. Read more here.

In our church library you can find the book Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé 

4. Visit a Farmers’ Market 

One easy way to support local farmers is to shop at your local farmers’ market. Here are three near the church.

Carrboro Farmers’ Market

Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market

Fearrington Farmers’ Market

5. Begin or recommit to composting for all organic waste

There are many options for composting in our area. You can bring all organic waste to COTC or one of two Orange County waste and recycling centers: Eubanks Road and Walnut Grove. See this link and scan down to food waste.  

The Carrboro farmers’ market also accepts all food waste and there are locations in nearby counties as well. Simply search for sites in your county accepting food waste. Or perhaps you simply want to re-commit to your backyard compost pile for the season of Lent. You might be surprised at how much less you throw in the landfill. We at COTC have been composting since the beginning of 2020 and as a community we have diverted almost 30 tons of organic waste from the landfill! The church has a starter composting kit (bucket and bags) for sale for $20.

 6 &7. Take a reusable shopping bag every time and everywhere you shop

If you have been forgetting these in your car, can you commit to remembering them or going back to the car to get them when you go to the store? You can bring them into all stores, groceries, pharmacies, hardware stores, etc.  and leave their plastic bags at the counter. One easy further step to avoid single use plastic bags is to invest in/ or again commit to bringing reusable produce bags. Here is a link to a set of mesh produce bags of various sizes.  They are easily washable and even better than plastic for many vegetables. 

8. Shop for Locally grown Food/Join a CSA

Our area is blessed with many small farmers and excellent farmers’ markets. See the farmer’s market websites listed above. Many of the vendors offer a CSA program which consists of a box of their produce in season that you pick up each week. No need to shop! And you are helping those farmers with more secure income. A win-win situation. The Farmers Market websites listed above will identify farms that offer CSAs.

There are also local meat and dairy producers that offer the option to order online and pick up once every week or two. Little Way Farm and Reverence Farm  are two local ones.

9. Plant a Garden 

Make this spring a time to plant a spring garden in your yard or even on your patio and really eat locally! You can purchase a “pizza garden” from Interfaith Power and Light.

10. Buy No New Clothes/ Donate clothes you no longer use

Can you avoid buying new clothes during Lent? Spring is a good time to look through your closet and take clothes you no longer wear to a thrift shop or Goodwill. Or bring them to the church for the ABC sale! Goodwill Industries will take all your fabric scraps for recycling–from cut-off blue jeans to worn-out t-shirts, and even loose scraps from sewing/crafting projects. This website has information on recycling almost everything in your closet including shoes and undergarments.