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Anita and Clara’s challenge for a plastic-free Lent

Challenged by her daughter to go plastic free for Lent last year, Bury St Edmunds parishioner Anita Fildes rose to the challenge, as she explains.

When I asked my 15-year-old daughter, Clara, what she was going to do for Lent, she challenged me to join her in going plastic free for Lent as our family’s response to the climate crisis.  It was the toughest Lent ever, but really worth it!  Here are some of the things that we did:

  1. We found a company in Thetford that delivered milk. The company collected the bottles and recycled them. I bought whole milk and diluted it to semi-skimmed, to make it go further and minimise the extra cost.
  2. I went to the local farm shop, where the fruit and vegetables are sold loose and not in plastic. This dramatically reduced the amount of recycling that we had.
  3. I went to the local butcher and bought meat there. Again, we noticed a big reduction in the amount of packaging in our recycling bin. We cut down on our meat consumption to offset the extra cost as supermarket meat is cheaper on the whole.

We also checked that we did not incur any extra miles in the car by travelling to the two stores.

  1. We tried taking our plastic containers to the refill shop in Bury, but the cost of refills was prohibitive. We have decided that this year we will move from using shampoo in a bottle to shampoo bars and from shower gel back to using soap (how novel!). This is more cost effective.

At the same time, we discovered that the Jesuits have produced a new examen which we used to try and go deeper spiritually and listen to the promptings of the spirit on how we could become more ecologically aware.  It is brilliant.  You can find it at:

It really was a commitment, as Lent should be! My daughter was willing  to take up something for Lent which she was willing to give herself to, wholeheartedly. 

I am delighted that the diocese has set up an environmental group and are looking at ways that they can tap into our young people and get them involved in contributing to it. They are so passionate about this issue and it is an opportunity to draw them close to our creator God.

Pictured above are Clara and Anita Fildes.