It is easy to participate. Choose the level that is right for you, and sign-up! Try it now!

CAN I STILL JOIN?

Yes, you may join the fast at any time! If Lent is half-over, starting your fast now has great value. If you want to fast during Holy Week, join then. The impact of the community fast will be calculated correctly based on the date that you join.

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HOW DO I BRING GREENER LENT TO MY CHURCH?

Greener Lent can be customized for use at various parishes, including those that are not Catholic. All Christians are called to fast, pray and give alms. Although our traditions are different, our love is the same.

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Additional Frequently Asked Questions

How are the estimates calculated?
The estimates are calcuated using a free on-line carbon calculator. The anticipated meat consumption from the various plans was entered in to the on-line calculator and calculated for 40 days. This number was subtracted from the average meat consumption of an American for 40 days. An assumption is made that the person fasting chooses to eat the most meat and the most problematic meat (beef) as often as the fasting level allows; therefore, the estimates of CO2e savings are conservative, i.e. the savings are on the low side.
What is CO2e?
CO2e means carbon dioxide equivalent. There are different types of greenhouse gasses. For example, methane, produced by cows, isn't carbon dioxide, but it can be expressed as a carbon dioxide equivalent allowing comparisons between different gasses that cause warming. Therefore, CO2e is a standard measure, just like inches is a measure for length or PSI is a measure for pressure.
Will I get enough protein?
You can easily get enough protein on a plant-based diet, although our community Lenten Fast is not vegetarian. Some famous vegetarian athletes are vegetarians, such as Martina Navratilova (tennis pro), Venus Williams (tennis pro) and James Jones (Detroit Pistons). There are lists of football players, bodybuilders, boxers, ultra-marathon runners, etc. who are vegetarians. Protein needs of adults range from 46 grams (teenage girls) to 56 grams (adult men). Children need less protein and pregnant or breast-feeding women need more. There was a very large NIH (National Institutes of Health) study that answers this question. Looking at Figure 1 in the paper, the average dietary protein intake was over 70 grams of protein, regardless if the people were meat-eaters or vegetarians or semi-vegetarians. In the US, eating sufficient protein, regardless of whether you eat meat or not, doesn't appear to be a problem. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23988511
How do I change my fasting level or stop participating?
If you want to drop out during Lent, please send an email to rosemary.herhold@greenerlent.org. It is no problem at all, and thank you for helping keep the calculations accurate. If you want to change your fasting level, simply sign up again under a new fasting level. Your old level will be dropped from the calculations.
Is fasting from meat healthy?
Generally, replacing meat with fruits, beans, vegetables and whole grains helps control weight, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. However, if meat is replaced by highly processed food, cheese, eggs, refined white flour and desserts, there won't be a positive health impact. Fasting from meat can be very healthy and may result in gradual weight loss if other poor eating habits are controlled. Although fasting from meat can offer incredible potential health benefits and may be a reason to adopt a plant-based lifestyle, our Lenten Fast is focused on fasting as a means of repentence and considering the poor in our eating decisions. Nonetheless, the research of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a nutritional biochemist from Cornell University, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a former top surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, are featured in a documentary that does a fantastic job of explaining the health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Why is fish okay? Cheese and eggs?
Seafood has a smaller carbon footprint than other animal meat, on average, generally because it doesn't take land or other resources to feed it. However, seafood has a varied impact, with crustaceans, like lobsters, being the worst, and smaller fish being the best. This is basically due to the amount of fuel energy it takes to obtain the different types of seafood. Therefore, fish is excluded from the fast. Cheese and eggs are also excluded even though they have a higher carbon impact than fish; in fact, the carbon impact of cheese mirrors meat. However, people generally don't eat as many pounds of cheese as meat. BTW, if you want to lower your carbon impact, stick with soft cheese, such as mozzarella, feta, brie or camembert. The environmental impact of an egg is somewhat like that of a chicken, but it depends on many factors regarding how they were produced. Going down all of these "rabbit holes" made the Lenten FAST unncessarily complicated. So, fish, eggs and cheese are excluded, but don't overdo the cheese.
Can people outside of the Raleigh diocese or non-Catholics sign-up?
Absolutely! There is a spot on the form to capture a parish or an individual without a parish affiliation.
What do I cook for dinner?
Glad that you asked. Check out the recipes page of this site.
How do I sign my family up?
Family sign-ups are accommodated on the form.
Will my data be kept private?
There are no logins; we are not authenticating users. To tabulate results, all of the data will be downloaded, and someone will see it as it is exported from Google and imported into Excel. However, the data isn't inherently valuable, so we aren't requiring a password. Who needs another password to remember anyway? You can use fake names if you want. The data is reported by parish, not by individual, so it doesn't matter if the person is identified as "drtgbjiu765t" or "Fred" to us. We are collecting email addresses, which isn't sensitive information, so data privacy isn't considered. By the way, persons from the EU aren't welcome. Sure, we would love for you to join, but that GDPR compliance mess...no thanks.