Environmental fasting

Submitted by Charles on 7. March 2017 - 13:25

From 1-19 March is the 19 day period of fasting for the Baha'i community during which we avoid eating and drinking etc. between sunrise and sunset.  The mild discomfort this produces can be thought of as a little companion running alongside you through the day as a reminder to attend to spiritual attitudes and habits and to make the appropriate adjustments (you can't manage what you don't measure).

Each year, my wife and I also undertake elements of environmental fasting: we use the same daily mechanism of reminder to reduce our power and water consumption, minimising waste and unnecessary packaging, eating food produced as locally as possible and using public transport where possible.  We minimise our shopping and seek to use up what we have in the house playing "pantry bingo" - creating recipes from whatever comes to hand.

Thus we might become better aware of both our spiritual and environmental habits, and can make appropriate adjustments.  

We also then come to appreciate the advantages we have by way of running water and sanitation, heating and lighting, food security and accessibility which serves to strengthen a willingness to respond to the needs of those without as well as the impact we have on the planet thus making it a spiritually meaningful and environmentally beneficient time.