Ecumenical Water Network

The EWN is a network of churches and Christian organizations promoting people's access to water around the world

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Week 3: Temptations and sustainable living

Week 3: Temptations and sustainable living

Photo: Simon Tong

You probably have heard of the "ecological footprint" or the "carbon footprint". Did you know there is also a "water footprint"? For example, the average water footprint of a single hamburger is 2400 litres and it takes about 4100 litres of water to produce a simple cotton t-shirt. In everything we consume, water is an essential element.

For many, Lent is traditionally a time to do with less, to give up something. In the light of the ecological crisis, more and more Christians today make a conscious decision to "tread more lightly" on our planet as they choose what to give up during Lent - for example, in not eating meat, in avoiding the purchase of imported and unseasonal food or in resolving not to buy bottled water.

Ideally, Lenten practices transform us in a lasting way. We seek to understand who we are. Why are we doing what we are doing? How do we seek to change so as to shape our relationship with others and with Creation in a way that brings us closer to God?

Giving up something for seven weeks, by itself, doesn't do that. But it does have the potential to help us better understand ourselves, our addictions and temptations, our perceived and actual needs. We understand better what is truly essential to us. In the end, our fast may therefore also help us to tread more lightly on the planet and others, beyond Lent.

Biblical reflection: From temptation to radical acceptance

In his reflection on the three temptations of Jesus, Mike Schut, economic and environmental affairs officer for the Episcopal Church, looks at our urge to justify ourselves by what we have, how we perform, how others see us - and he asks how we can break free from this desire. Read more...

Background & resources:

Find about more about your water footprint and sustainable living. Read more...

What you can do:

Take a moment to consider the three temptations Mike Schut describes in his reflection and think about how you might be able to "tread more lightly" on our planet. Read more...