25 September 2011

Step Down Sunday

Step Down Sunday
Every year hundreds of Quakers from around the country gather together for business and worship that leads our community forward; this event is called Britain Yearly Meeting.  Held at the end of July, this year's big topic was sustainability.  After the week long event, Yearly Meeting came to a bold conclusion:
We can no longer ignore the fact that our planet is finite. We have not only inherited the earth from our ancestors: we have borrowed it from our children and from their children.

With joy, our Yearly Meeting has made a commitment to becoming a low carbon sustainable community. The time to act is now.  We need to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide we produce. We are called to challenge the values of consumer capitalism. Between us we have already made changes with which we are comfortable: now is the time to make uncomfortable changes. Yet through transformative action we have much to gain: a simpler life can be a richer life.
I'm actually excited by this decision, as it's an opportunity to do what we know is right. But I can't say it's not scary, some of the numbers I've seen kicked around are calling for a 70% cut in our carbon emissions! That would be a drastic change in our lifestyle.  Plus many of the quick changes you can make to your life and your home have a significant cost we just can't afford.

My local Quaker meeting in Warrington has come up with a simple plan to help us achieve our goals.  We're calling the program Step Down. It's based off two Chinese Proverbs:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. - Chinese Proverb
It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness. - Chinese Proverb

So rather than be overwhelmed by the problem we face, we're starting with small steps. Everyday is filled with decisions that impact our environment, and if at each of those junctions we make even a slightly better choice over time we'll change our lives.

So I'm starting Step Down Sunday.  Each week I'll post a step we've taken to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.  Big or small each is a commitment to our goal.

Step Down Button

I'd love to see you get involved and join us, but if not that's okay. This isn't about telling other people how to live, it's about giving people hope.  By changing our lives, maybe we can make it easier for others to change theirs.