Lent 2015: Cutting out my cuppas

Cutting out tea for Lent with CAFODSarah Hagger-Holt, CAFOD’s Campaign Engagement Manager, is cutting out one of her favourite habits for CAFOD this Lent. Here she explains why she’s giving up tea – and what you can do to help her cope.

It’s what I have first thing in the morning, often just before bed at night, and four or five times throughout each day.

It’s what I prepare to show someone they are welcome in my house, and what I use to break up a boring day.

It’s my small treat after a cold bike ride or a difficult meeting or to give us all a reason for a rest as I drag my kids round the shops.

I’ve had it in an Indian village – syrupy and sweet – and – full of sugar – on the morning of my wedding to calm my nerves.

Tea. I’m cutting it out this Lent.

Please sponsor me now and add to my tea-total.

Why tea?

There’s nothing wrong with tea. Many of my fellow CAFOD cut-it-outers are doing without things that have a direct impact on the carbon emissions that cause climate change, like eating meat, or taking up environmentally friendly activities like cycling. Tea, apart from the inevitable air miles to get it here, is a fairly minor vice. Especially as I always drink Fairtrade.

I’m cutting out tea because it’s a habit, even an addiction, and habits are hard to break.

Breaking the habit

Lent is a time for reflection, on our relationships with God, each other and the whole of creation. It’s a time for asking hard questions and examining the habits and behaviours that otherwise we don’t take time to notice.

So much of what we do – for good or ill – is habit. The habit that says, I’ll take the car instead of walking. The habit that says, I’ll just chuck it away when it breaks and buy a new one. The habit that says, I’ll book a flight to a holiday in the sun instead of exploring the countryside on my own doorstep. The habit that says, no politician’s ever listened to me so I’m not going to bother standing up for what I believe in.

I’m going to find it hard, really hard, to break my tea habit over Lent. I’d love to know that I’ve got your support as I do:

I’m hoping to raise at least £200 for CAFOD this Lent through cutting out tea. A pound for each cup I won’t be drinking. And what’s more, for every pound people give to CAFOD this Lent, the UK government will match pound for pound up to a value of £5 million. Please sponsor me now.

Among many other things, money given to CAFOD can help fund some of the world’s poorest communities adapt to the impacts of climate change and can help support campaigns to tackle the root causes of the problem.

I’m also hoping to encourage at least 40 people to add their names to CAFOD’s online petition for action on climate change during Lent. A signature for each of my tea-less days in Lent. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it makes a difference.

Follow my efforts on twitter @campaignsarah, share what you’re cutting out this Lent, and please do let me know whether you’ve joined CAFOD’s campaign or sponsored me – to cheer me up during the dark, tea-less days ahead.

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