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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

31 July 2019: Christine Traynier, Parishioner St Laurence Catholic Church

Saving our Planet

Many religious groups are encouraging us to ‘Save the Planet’. The Catholics, Anglican and Methodist Churches have all spoken out on this as well as the Hindu religion amongst others. But what’s to be done?

I am thinking about this while in a narrowboat on the Llangollen canal. I’m not certain how this holiday affects my carbon footprint but I feel it must be better than a flight to the beaches of one of the Costas.

The drawback is the diesel engine that powers the boat. It is, however, quite efficient because while propelling us along it also heats the water and charges the batteries. We also have a solar panel which tops us up when the sun is shining. We are living in a 12 volt world, no high powered electrical equipment for us. There is enough power to charge the phone and the laptop and drive our 12inch television. We have a limited supply of water on board so no long luxurious baths. Trips to the shops mean we can only buy what we can carry back to the boat.

Unless we trade our engine for a horse we continue to use some diesel. We try to minimise this by not going more than 4mph. We turn the engine off whilst we are waiting at locks or filling with water.

I need to keep these lessons, learnt over this holiday, in mind when I get home. The habits built up with the boat should be carried over to the car when we get home. We should cut the engine in traffic jams or whilst waiting at the level crossing in town. I should perhaps also use some of my frugal customs learnt whilst I’m away on the use of electricity and water back at home.
I realise none of us individually can solve the whole problem, but we can all contribute even in a small way to help save our planet.

PACT Holiday Club continues, with a new format and location, on Fridays: 2nd, 9th and 16th August

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