We choose climate-friendly living because we reject the desecration of people and planet and embrace joyful lives of simplicity and solidarity. Such choices send a clear message. Rooted in gratitude for life and for Earth itself, our spiritual paths guide us to care for creation or nature, live simply, avoid waste, and love our neighbours, especially the most vulnerable.
Individual behavior change alone can’t save the Earth. Massive corporations, unwilling governments, and greedy financial institutions stand in the way of climate justice. But aligning our lives with what we believe is central to our faiths, and principled personal commitment is vital to every social movement.
That’s why we invite you to start living the change. As 2022 approaches, let’s start the New Year by committing to climate justice! This January, we invite you to join in “Time for Living the Change”, a season to make your New Year’s low-carbon resolution and live it out for a month.
Changing how you live takes you on a personal, intimate path, and you can join in Time for Living the Change from 1-31 January individually. We also know that it is truly inspiring and supporting to meet others and share, and we’ll invite you to be connected in various ways to our global, multi-faith community journeying together.
Namely, after registering as an individual, you’ll be invited to:
There’s nothing more supportive than walking the path of change together with your friends, members of family, of your religious community or of your GreenFaith Circle. In a group, we help each other, speak honestly about our joys and difficulties, feel the warmth of a friendly listener, and can hold each other accountable during January.
Namely, after registering as a group, you’ll be invited to:
Organize a kick-off meeting, where you will:
Have a spiritual time together;
Each choose your low-carbon resolution;
Write a short letter to yourself about why you’re taking part;
Share a nice climate-friendly meal.
Over the course of the month, reflect and share with your group members about the resolution you are living out;
Invite your group to a special meeting towards the end of January to:
Have a spiritual time together;
Read the short letter to yourself you wrote at the beginning of the month;
Tell each other how you did, your joys and struggles, and what you learned;
Celebrate your successes and envision what comes next;
Share a nice climate-friendly meal.
Join our celebration and sharing with the global community at the 31 January call!
“Be aware of the contact between your feet and the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. We have caused a lot of damage to the Earth. Now it is time for us to take good care of her. We bring our peace and calm to the surface of the Earth and share the lesson of love. We walk in that spirit.”
(Unnamed, by Thich Nhat Hanh, Source online)
“The ethical imperative: All beings matter. We should act in ways that are beneficial for both self and others, acting out of a commitment to altruism and compassion for others. Renunciation, simplicity: To resolve climate disruption we must be willing to renounce attachments to things to contribute to the problem and live more simply. The interconnectedness of inner and outer, the individual and the collective (or institutional): Climate disruption provides an unprecedented opportunity to understand the roots of the problem—which relate to the ways our minds work and how those patterns become embedded in collective and collective/ institutional practices and policies. This awareness can open the door to new ways of thinking and responding that will eventually produce different institutional practices and policies.
This precious human birth is an opportunity: We must always remember that it is a rare and precious thing to be born as a human and we have been given a rare opportunity to act as stewards because humans are not only the source of destruction—we are also a source of great goodness.”
(One Earth Sangha, Source online)
“For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield, but in the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard and with your olive orchard."
(The Bible, Exodus 23:10-11)
“Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.”
(The Bible, Daniel 1, 11-16)
“The monastic life according to the Rule of Saint Benedict is a path of simplicity and discretion: everything must be, and must be lived according to the just measure and leaving aside the superfluous. Everyone gets what is necessary to live considering that all goods are common.”
(Pater Lluc Torcal Sirera)
“I believe that the gratuitous, cosmic gift of the Creator invites all beings into right relationship with each other in the fullness of life. We are all part of Earth Community and are thus brothers and sisters to each other. St. Francis expressed this in a beautiful and powerful way in his Canticle of Creation, and right relationships are at the heart of a nonviolent life.”
“There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, Beyond all of us, beyond the heavens, Beyond the highest, the very highest heavens This is the light that shines in our hearts.”
(There is a Light from the Chandogya Upanishad)
“Hinduism teaches us that God is in everything, the Earth is our mother (Dharti Ma). The trees are our life source taking away the carbon dioxide and giving us oxygen. Dharma, our main principle, is generally translated as ‘duty’. If God is in every living thing then it’s our duty to care and respect it.”
“Coming to See”
All people of the earth, each and every nation.
Arise and rejoice at the continued creation of beauty, of springtime, the yearly rebirth of our protector, our home, our own Mother Earth!
Become a midwife to the birth of each flower. A guardian of our resources hour by hour. We must learn to take time to appreciate. The miracles of which we did not create.
For God has given this wonderful treasure. And its preservation will be the measure of people who recognize and will celebrate the birth of each season before it's too late.
In citizenship, in willingness to toil - We must bend our backs and tend to the soil In stewardship, arise and applaud the worth Of the wondrous marvel of our Living Earth! Consider creation. . . . Consider it now.
(GreenFaith Service, August 1992)
Creation in its perfect balance
"The Most Merciful, Taught the Quran Created Humankind, Taught him Eloquence The sun and the moon move in precise calculation and the stars and the trees prostrate and the heaven He raised and imposed the balance (Mizan) That you not transgress within the balance (Mizan) and establish weight in justice and do not make deficient the balance (Mizan)”
“He will not change a community until they change themselves”
(Quran, 13: 11)
“Our Prophet (peace upon him) is the model we should pattern our lives after. He is a model of simplicity. One cannot claim to be a true follower of the Prophet (peace upon him) if one does not strive to emulate his simplicity in living and doing without much.”
( Imam Zaid Shakir)
First Berakhah before K’riat Sh’Ma
Leader: Light and Darkness, night and day.
All: We marvel at the mystery of the stars. Leader: Moon and sky, sand and sea.
All: We marvel at the mystery of the sun.
Leader: Twilight, high noon, dusk and dawn.
All: Though we are mortal, we are Creation’s crown.
Leader: Flesh and bone, steel and stone.
All: We dwell in fragile, temporary shelters.
Leader: Grant steadfast love, compassion, grace.
All: Sustain us, Lord; our origin is dust.
Leader: Splendor, mercy, majesty, love endure.
All: We are but little lower than the angels.
Leader: Resplendent skies, sunset, sunrise.
All: The grandeur of Creation lifts our lives.
Leader: Evening darkness, morning dawn.
All: Renew our lives as You renew all time.
(by Rabbi Jules Harlow, from A Prayerbook for Shabbat, Festivals, and Weekdays)
Whether you join Time for Living the Change as an individual or as a group, you’ll each select one resolution from the areas that make the biggest impact -- transport, diet, and home energy use. With your group, you could as well all choose the same resolution and make it a collective experience.
For example, you could:
We have dozens of possible changes for you to choose from, along with inspiring testimonials that are honest, concrete, and spiritually rich.
At the beginning of this special time, we invite you to sit with yourself and take a moment to reflect about your motivation and vision for this 30-day challenge. Write it on a special paper or in a beautiful diary. This letter is for you only. After writing it, seal it and only open it again on January 31.
Here are 4 key questions to guide you:
Agriculture and food is a key driver of climate change. The meat industry alone emits more greenhouse gases than all transportation worldwide, says the UN.
So as you prepare for your climate-friendly meals together, if you join in Time for Living the Change as a group, we invite you to follow the tips shared in the reference book written by experts and French chefs from the NGO “Good for Climate":
1) Cook plant-based recipes!
Meat always has a higher carbon footprint than vegetables, with beef and lamb emitting the most. At the very least, reduce the amount of meat, cheese, and dairy in your plate, and choose fish coming from sustainable fisheries. Even better, cook a vegetarian or even a vegan meal, and eat more cereals and leguminous plants. The carbon footprint of your recipe will lower dramatically!
2) Pick seasonal and fresh products!
Growing fruits and vegetables when they are not supposed to is carbon intensive. For example, a greenhouse tomato emits 20 times more greenhouse gases than a seasonal tomato. Learn which vegetables grow at the time of your Supper, and pick species which are naturally available. Calendars can be found in many countries and even regions. Seasonal products also means fresh products, neither frozen ones nor ready meals, which are carbon intensive in their own ways.
3) Choose local and organic ingredients!
Transportation is a key contributor to the carbon footprint of food, especially if it travelled by plane. Choose ingredients which did not travel far from the pitchfork to your fork! This means also: choose organically grown fruits and vegetables, which help save at least 30% of emissions.
4) Do not waste!
About a third of all food produced worldwide, that is, 1.6 billion ton of food, is not consumed but thrown away. A third of it is wasted by consumers. Do not use more ingredients than necessary, and if there are left-overs, reuse them in yet another savoury dish. To avoid waste, also avoid buying packaged products.
Among other sources of information and good tips, we like the Eat Low Carbon website. Check it and learn even more!