Give up your iPods for Lent, say bishops

Posted by Emma Woollacott

A bunch of bishops are calling on people to give up technology for Lent.

The Tearfund campaign is calling for people to "ditch iPods, abstain from meat and eat by candlelight" to minimise their carbon footprint.

"It's difficult to see how our energy-hungry lifestyles cause suffering for people around the world we may never meet, but the Lord invites us to walk humbly," says the website.

Tearfund even suggests different activities to focus on for each day of the fast - on day 27, for instance, you should cook thinner pasta than usual, because it cooks faster.

Day 20 is the real self-denial day, when you should bar the TV, iPod, computer and mobile.

The Rt Rev Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, said: "It's the poorest people in developing countries, who have done the least to cause climate change, being hit hardest by its devastating consequences. It is all of our responsibility to help reverse this injustice," said the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, Bishop of London.

"The Carbon Fast's simple daily actions are not only fun, but an opportunity to demonstrate the love of God in a practical way while reducing your carbon emissions, and everyone can take part."

The idea is that at the end of Lent, you should calculate your energy savings and send the money to the less well-off. We think that's rather short-changing the needy, who would come out of things significantly better off if we just sent them our beer fund instead.

The call comes as Irish bookmaker Paddy Power releases a list of the most popular Lenten abstentions. While chocolate tops the list, Twitter anf Facebook come in at numbers four and five respectively. The guy doesn't have much faith in the self-control of his customers: "I doubt if all the twits out there could stop tweeting for forty minutes, never mind forty days," he said.