By Mike Poulin, Justice Resource Manager

In recognition of the beginning of Lent, the Mercy Tips team invites you to consider ecologically minded fasting this season. To assist, each week of Lent we will offer a fasting idea that can reduce your carbon footprint. In doing so, we hope that your Lenten fast might become a regular habit to benefit Earth. 

Additionally, we invite you to send in your ‘green’ fasting ideas so that we can share them with the community. Email your thoughts to us at

For this first week of Lent, I offer a fasting idea from the frozen plains of Nebraska. It is cold here in February. The colder it gets, the more I want to turn up the heat. But I am going to fast from my normal temperature setting by turning down my thermostat (and putting on a sweater!). As I “fast” I’ll be using less fuel to heat my home. As a bonus, every degree I turn down my thermostat saves up to 3% on my heating bill.