Giving up something for Lent has been replaced for many of us by doing something positive. I liked the story I heard last year of the woman who decided that rather than give up cake she would bake a cake every day and give it to someone as a present.
Somehow I missed out on the cakes, but it was a good idea.
When I gave up the car last Lent, some people with wise insight said it was because I liked cycling. Of course they are right. I love cycling. But at the same time I thought I could make a statement about sustainable transport and climate change.
In the intervening year I’ve become a trustee of Sustrans, an excellent organisation which has done much to promote sensible transport policies, as well as practical action.
This year I’ve added local and Fairtrade food. Not because it makes life more difficult, but because they seem to me to be part of the same arena: our concern for the world, for the future, for fairness.
It’s Fairtrade fortnight. Fairtrade seems to have gone off the boil a bit. Sales are down in the shops, it was reported this week. That’s bad news for the world’s poorer producers. The local Fairtrade group asked me to support them in Lent. I am pleased to do so.
Fairtrade food is good quality and moral at the same time. A double winner.
Anyway adding Fairtrade positively means I can still eat chocolate and bananas.