A group called the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change is suggesting that families make a sacrifice for Lent this year that will help make the world more sustainable. The plastics-related suggestion caught my eye -- to give up disposable plastic or paper bags and replace them with reusable cloth bags. But according to this story from the Catholic News Service, plastics aren't being singled out. The target is consumption and lifestyle, with a goal to focus on "Christian simplicity." And the coalition also has some suggestions that specifically mention paper, too:
- Use cloth shopping bags instead of paper or plastic to reduce the estimated 380 billion plastic bags distributed in the United States each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. The U.S. Department of Energy says that if each U.S. household replaced just one bulb, it would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
- Give up disposable paper products such as napkins and paper towels.
- Use a refillable mug instead of disposable cups. One coffee drinker using disposable cups can generate 22 pounds of waste in a year.