Curb Your Climate Pollution by Driving Less March 7, 2024

Transportation is the largest source of climate pollution in the United States. Reducing our climate emissions is a way for us to follow the Pope’s call to care for our common home. And one of the simplest and best ways to do this is to drive less.

The Lenten season encourages us to remember that giving something up can be an act of love. Our small sacrifices remind us of the sacrifices that Jesus made to show us that giving yourselves to others is what will be our salvation and bring us closer to God.

Here are a few ways to show our love for God’s creation and each other, by reducing our climate pollution to protect our common home.

Drive less by taking fewer trips. Do you need that trip across town? Stay local and appreciate what is around you. Walk to the corner store. Work from home.

Carpool. Connect with friends and coworkers on your commute.

Take public transportation. When you take the bus or light rail, there are no worries about parking or fighting traffic (or who will be the designated driver).

Bike. Moving your body is healthy for you and for the climate!

Consider an electric vehicle when purchasing your next car. Granted, this isn’t much of a sacrifice. Electric vehicles are cheaper to maintain, higher performance, and save you time by never having to go to a gas station again. But needing to stop and wait while recharging on long trips is a sacrifice that stops many people from making this switch.

Our driving habits are borne out of convenience. We are all tempted by convenience and shortcuts. Jesus was tempted during his 40 days fasting in the wilderness to take the shortcuts to power that the devil offered. But convenience and shortcuts take us away from living a life of intention. In this time of Lent, when you are setting your intentions, consider these ways to tread more gently on the Earth and reduce your climate pollution. 

Joe Fargione

Every Friday in Lent, our Creation Justice Committee (CJC) will offer some suggestions as to how we might be gentler with our planet and help implement the vision Pope Francis set out in his encyclical Laudato Si’ on the care of creation and his more recent Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Dominum.