Lent is probably more well known as Pancake Day these days, but there are still a sizable number of people who use the Lent as a period of reflection and self-restraint.
We set out to find out what the most popular sacrifice was for Twitter users, and weather they were using the time to give up something for environment reasons. It turns out not many people do, but they may be reducing their carbon footprint in the process.
Most Given Up Things For Lent in 2023
We scoured over 2,900 tweets that mentioned what the user was going to give up, or commit to for the 40 days of Lent. We then pulled the top 50 mentioned words and phrases and ranked them into the most frequently used.
|Word||Number of tweets|
|only drink water||19|
31% of people are giving up food
Food was the most popular choice of sacrifice, with 14% of people choosing to give up things like meat, sweets, and coffee.
13% of people are giving up on dating
Over 400 people were staying away from dating and sex over the 40 days of Lent.
18% of people are giving up social media
Twitter was the most popular social media to give up, according to the tweets. Followed by Tiktok, then Instagram.
Most Popular Tweets By Category
Breaking down our top 100 words and phrases from the tweets, we have categorised them into the top ten things are being giving up for lent.
|Rank||Category||Number of Tweets|
How Does Lent Affect Your Carbon Footprint?
Now it’s time to evaluate the point of all of this number crunching– how does taking part in Lent affect your environmental footprint?
Well we looked at some of the most popular pledges on twitter and worked out how the carbon you’d save by not doing that thing over the 40 days of Lent.
Giving up meat for Lent saves a 240 mile car journey’s worth of CO2
Giving up meat products over the 40 days for Lent will save a whopping 70kg of CO2. Beef is the most carbon-intensive food product that we eat, due to the amount of feed required to raise and farm cattle. To put that into perspective of the 70kg you’d save, 62kg of that would saved from beef alone!
Giving up social media for Lent saves a 50 mile car journey’s worth of CO2
Assuming you’re a regular user of popular social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, TikTok, Reddit & Snapchat: you’ll save around 10kg of CO2 by avoiding using them over a 40 day period. Of all the social media platforms, Tiktok generates the most emissions per minute of use at 2.63g of CO2.
So How Did We Work This Out?
YouGov reported in 2018 that about 5% of people in the UK start their Lent sacrifice and see it all the way through to Easter. So thats 3,350,000 people.
We then apply the sampling we took from Twitter: the people who said they would give up social media (using our sample as a representation).
Finally we use the Carbon footprint per person identified from one of the calculators listed below, and times that by the number of people who would take part in Lent.
We’d like to nod to a couple of resources that helped us put this piece together:
- Compare the Market’s Social Media Carbon Footprint Calculator
- EcoTree’s Car CO2 Calculator
- My Emissions Food Carbon Footprint Calculator
- The Twitter API to help us pull out all of tweets