O.K. That was the negative part – what we won’t be doing on our eco-Sabbath. So, what’s to be gained by going through all this? First of all, it's a perfect way to take some time from day-to-day work and other kinds of responsibilities and to rekindle your religious faith, while, simultaneously, giving our planet a break. By not using any resources for 24 hours, we can cut our carbon impact for the year by 1/365 or 0. 03%. Now, that may not sound like very much. But once we learn how to do this, there’s always a fair chance that it could be repeated. If we did this for one day a week for the whole year, our personal carbon emission would be reduced by some 14%. And, second and equally important, these hours, taken out from our normal routines, can help us think about ways to make our lives more Earth-friendly on a full-time basis.
And, here’s more of the positive part. There are many good things that a person can do well and thoroughly appreciate on an eco-Sabbath. You may remember a simpler time from your youth when on Sunday you went to church and spent the rest of the day visiting with family and friends, eating an unhurried "Sunday dinner", playing games, and singing songs around the piano. Back then, there was enough time to do things on Sundays that were totally different from our regular routines. How did so many of us lose that perspective on Sundays? An eco-Sabbath can be a reason to enjoy some of the same enjoyable (and low carbon-impact) activities with friends and family.
Beyond that, from my own viewpoint, I’ll try out my first eco-Sabbath in good weather. That way I’ll not need any home heating or fans. Also, the good weather should allow for plenty of sunlight, and I’ll be able to carry out all my activities with daylight. Oh, and there won’t be any electric usage for the refrigerator either. I’ll do my "no-impact" day just before I do my weekly grocery shopping and, so, it won’t be difficult to put the remaining items in an ice chest. (This will be a perfect time for me to clean the empty refrigerator, a task that I dislike and am known to put off.)
I can reduce my carbon footprint a bit more on eco-Sabbath by not using any products other than hand soap, dish soap or a laundry bar soap for washing out a clothing item or a towel. That also means no use of paper (other than toilet paper) and, certainly, no plastic products. I’ll probably use olive oil instead of my all-purpose skin cream. Olive oil works as well or better than most commercial skin creams – the only drawback to it is the cost – as price of olive oil has increased a lot lately. My food won’t be heated, but I can eat it cooled - directly from the ice chest - or at room temperature, picnic style.
For my part, I’m pretty sure that I can carry out an eco-Sabbath at least one day a month (that’s 3% of the year) without any suffering at all. On such days, I would be able to enjoy a leisurely conversation at the kitchen table with my husband and take a nice long walk, alone or with my husband (or with my dogs). I could also do some inspirational reading, draw or paint, work in my small garden, write in my journal, do needlework or yoga. I would surely benefit from getting up with the sun in the morning and going to bed early, allowing me at least 10 hours of sleep time. And that would be a really healthy start to the rest of my week.
Now, I've told you some of my ideas about how I'd celebrate a "no-impact" (or "low-carbon impact") Sabbath. What would your eco-Sabbath look like?
STAY IN THE NOW
FIND HARMONY IN YOUR SACRED SPACE
REMEMBERING THE SABBATH
KEEP AN INSPIRATIONAL JOURNAL
SHRINK YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
TAKE STEPS TO USE LESS WATER
WHERE TP IS CONCERNED, OBSESSION WITH SOFTNESS = ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION