Faithful encouraged to practice ‘eco-fasting’

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland is encouraging its flock to take a different slant on Lent this year by committing to ‘eco-fasting’. The church says such climate-discipline can be observed in many ways, by believers giving up meat, driving less or spending less time in the shower during the annual holy period which runs from February 22 to Easter Sunday.

Professor Jyri Seppälä of the Finnish Environment Institute is supporting the drive, saying eco-fasting is as simple as making good choices. “In this way, little by little your behaviour becomes more environmentally friendly,” he said in a YLE report.

Ulla Ala-Ketola, , editor of the Environment Institute’s website, told the news agency that Evangelicals can also observe lent by choosing a new technical application that remotely controls the heating in their homes when they are not around.

“Many people don’t want the temperature to fall below freezing and, for example, freezing up the plumbing in the wintertime, even if the holiday home is not needed then,” she said.

Irja Askola, the Lutheran Bishop of Helsinki, is also supporting the campaign, saying eco-fasting naturally fits in with traditional Lent sacrifices.