Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Small Things

Welcome to Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW)!

Wondering how to live greener? You've come to the right place. Each week we challenge ourselves to try a new task ... or "amp up" something we're already doing. We raise our awareness, learn from each other and develop Eco-friendly skills which will improve our lives and protect our planet. Doing so together gives us power ... the power to Change The World!

If this is your first visit, please click HERE for information and a complete list of all the challenges we've taken on so far.

This post contains great information and I encourage you to read through it at your leisure ... however, if you are short on time, you might find the following quick links helpful:

Last week proved that green living is often about making a small change. We fine tuned our computers to make our monitors run more efficiently. I have a laptop which runs on a rechargeable battery. Resetting my power saver settings, by just a little, had grand results. My battery lasted most of the day rather than just a couple of hours. That means that I recharged it far less often and saved electricity. Even if your computer comes with pre-set power saver settings, you can save a lot by adjusting them just a bit.

The Honor Society are those people who help us spread the "green" word by writing an article about our challenges and/or leaving pertinent comments.

Argentum Vulgaris was out watching nature last week. He found a creature which took him some time to identify. It's beautiful! He also shared his technique for saving energy via the computer monitor. You'll find all that, and more, by clicking HERE.

One of our previous challenges discussed needs versus wants. Laurel wrote an interesting post about travel and whether it's necessary or not. Her conclusions might surprise you. That post is entitled "Travel: Is It a Want or a Need?". She also wrote Monitor, What’s a Monitor? You might want to bookmark that post because it could come in handy for this week's challenge.

Lisa joined us and said this: "Thanks for featuring my post! Another great challenge this week. Simple steps make a difference!"

Mrs. Green accepted our challenge and shared this: "I'm so excited about this challenge SF, because it just goes to prove how EASY being green can be. This is the simplest challenge for anyone to take part, for sure! I'm having a little brag about the desktop I have - I bought it earlier this year and am so pleased with some of its eco credentials ;)" Wow, Mrs. Green ... your new computer is awesomely green!

Clare has no problem with her monitor but knows some folks who do: "Done (I'm a bit obsessive about it) but I've forwarded the challenge to my hubby and friends - perhaps someone other than me can change their minds! :-) Thanks Small!" So I'm curious, Clare ... did your husband and friends make a change?

This edition of Shopping Charity included my tweet of a CTWW article. Was it yours?

Marc Zazeela stopped by and kicked this challenge up a notch. He said, "How about reading a book instead of a monitor? Books don't use any power at all. And they don't break if you drop them."

Mary accepted the challenge and said this: "This is a great challenge! It's simple enough to lower your screen's brightness a few notches! Thanks for sharing this!"

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @GiveTreeGifts
- I adjusted screen tone on my monitor long ago - both to save my eyes and to save power.

From @artysmith2
- Wednesday's #quote "The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." Unknown

The #CTWW Gang are those folks who tweet our challenges using the hashtag #CTWW. If you're a Twitter member, I recommend following them ... they share great things. Let's meet them:

@2kidsandacoupon @allcollegeplan @almosttruth
@andreaptak @artbysandra @artysmith2
@aussiemoose @backyardforest @bananagrabber3
@beatepdx @bethcooperart @biculturalmama
@bulla_adriano @cannyhighlander @cellomomoncars
@charismayoonyh @climately @climately_news
@climatelycheryl @clothaddicts @collegegogreen
@comusetravels @corneliagracchi @csevenm_uk
@debsmikdav1 @dieselelephants @disssnippets
@ecoexpert1 @emmywinnermoses @etsyrecyclersgt
@factorydpromos @familyfocusblog @fleurdeb
@foggybottomgal @forloveofadog @freshcleanersaz
@geisheker @ginavalley @givetreegifts
@goldforestgrain @greenglobaltrvl @greenqueenofmod
@groovygreenlivi @herbgir1972 @homesustainable
@indiapaleale35 @justanotherhat @kaitlingarder
@kayhahn1 @kindlesgalore @kriswetherbee
@krmbalclothing @laalicia @ladyjcmuses
@laurelhounslow @looseseal27 @luthienthye
@marjoriemcatee @momsmadhousex6 @myzerowaste
@mzazeela @nolafusion @parker83591697
@rainbojangles @ramradasukonsar @rckweddings
@realityarts @romerojewelers @sfcouncil
@sjoecable @solaradvocate69 @solarkoala16
@solarkoalatweet @spafloating @suppressthis
@sxycowgirl @tamlanding @theworld4realz
@treesgroup @turningclockbac @tweetformoolah
@uasource @urban_mining @wasteeguru
@wastejobs @wencdj @whopaysthepiper

My Final Thoughts:

Changing the power settings on our computers took mere minutes to accomplish. While there was a potential for each of us to conserve a little energy, there was a huge potential if a whole bunch of us make the change. There are two lessons here. 1) Small actions make a difference and 2) together we can have a huge positive impact. Pretty good return on a small investment of time.

Thanks, everyone! If you wrote an article, I Stumbled, Tweeted, Facebooked and posted it on Google +. You can help spread the "green" word by using the share features located below this post.

This Week's Challenge:

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Small Things
Straws = A lot of waste
Last week we saw how a small thing can make a difference.

So how many more little actions could we take to live greener?

That's the question ... and the challenge. Here you go ...

This week, search your life for a small difference you can make. Need some ideas? Try these:
  • Don't use a disposable straw ... either drink directly from a glass or use a reusable straw.
  • Use one less square of toilet paper per visit. Some CTWW participants use no more than 6 squares ... can you do better?
  • Turn off a light, or appliance, which you normally leave on.
  • Add a living plant to your home and improve air quality.
  • Go meatless for at least one day this week.
  • If you're used to taking baths, take a shower instead. And if you're used to showers, reduce the duration of yours by at least one minute.
The idea, this week, is to dig real deep and do one more small thing which you're not already doing ... or to amp up something which you are doing (like eat vegan if you're already eating vegetarian).

Are you ready to search out the small things? I know that you are!

Until next time ...


Monday, October 20, 2014

Review - Save the planet & stuff

Review of "Save the planet & stuff" by Gail Gauthier
I recently had the pleasure of reading Save the planet & stuff by Gail Gauthier.

Save the planet & stuff is an environmental fiction. It's geared toward young adults and offers readers a delightful comedy about a typical teenage boy from the city who accepts a summer job in Maine with two of his grandparents' elderly, Eco-dedicated friends.

Let's take a look at the book's trailer:

The clash between generations and lifestyles gives the book a solid premise. It's hilarious when Michael has to endure the absence of air conditioning and finds himself living in a cabin with no television and limited hot water.

Michael's job at The Earth's Wife, an environmental magazine, brings him together with a cast of interesting characters and situations. There's Todd, the managing editor, who isn't everything he seems. Teenage Amber catches Michael's eye ... he wants to know more about her and she wants to know his thoughts on composting toilets. Roberta, a photographer, becomes Michael's friend and mentor ... until he finds out who she is. And then there's Walt and Nora. Walt "flips off" truck drivers who work for companies that he doesn't approve of. Nora is a loving person who cares for her household, the earth.

My thoughts on Save the planet & stuff

The story and characters are believable. I could definitely feel Michael's anxiety at being tossed into a strange set of circumstances and Walt and Nora's frustration at a world which isn't doing enough to save the earth.

The book carries a strong environmental message without being obvious. In fact, I got caught up in the story and while protecting the planet was a central theme, I didn't feel that I was being preached to ... I was simply enjoying a story which happened to include environmentalists.

Who will enjoy Save the planet & stuff?

This book is especially great for pre-teens and teens who will be able to relate to Michael. The story is also wonderful for adults, of all ages, as it touches on the challenges of living life as a "greenie", in a fun and interesting way.

I liked the book ... and think you will, too!

Review - Save the planet & stuff by Gail Gauthier
Gail Gauthier, author of
Save the planet & stuff
Gail Gauthier is the author of eight books. Her books have been nominated for readers' choice awards in six states, and published in foreign editions in Italy, Germany, France, and Japan. She has spoken in schools in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, as well as at professional conferences for teachers, librarians, and writers.

You can get your copy of Save the planet & stuff by clicking HERE.

I received a copy of "Save the planet & stuff" in order to write this review. I received no other compensation. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and reflect my honest opinion of the material reviewed.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Would you conserve if you had solar power?

Would you conserve if you had solar power?
The sun provides energy
Our new home will be solar powered.

As a "greenie", I am "geared" towards conservation. We turn off lights, use little or no heating/cooling, etc.

I spoke to someone who has solar power and they commented that they don't conserve energy.

That got me thinking and is the basis of this survey:

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.